Most places in India gets blazing during the long summer months. On such a summer evening, Sam who lives alone in his apartment was returning home thirsty from office. He wanted to have a chilled glass of ‘Nimbu Pani’. However, he did not know if he had lemons in his refrigerator. Generally, what would have happened in this situation is that he would have bought extra lemons just in case there was none at home. However, this time was different.
Sam had a smart refrigerator with futuristic technology. He opened the refrigerator’s application in his smartphone and checked the ingredients of his refrigerator. He found that he already had an ample amount of lemons and chilled water in the bottle to make a glass or two of refreshing ‘Nimbu Pani’.
The above scenario depicts the time we are moving in to in terms of smart home appliances. The recent technological advancements are making the earlier seemingly science fiction like features very real and that in use in daily life. Technology pioneers started developing and integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) with their consumer electronics products.
This has advanced and moved on to the next step and that is bringing these technologies to the home appliance industry. Companies all over the world are making efforts towards integrating AI and ML with most of the home appliances such as Television (TV), refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners (AC).
This research has been conducted by Market Trends Research Foundation and The Policy Times and the report has been prepared by the team of ReviewTech.in. A diverse sample size of over 2000 people was taken from across India to get a true picture of the needs of the consumers. The samples included homemakers, students, employees and self-employed/business persons.
Research is crucial for feeding human’s curiosity. Research is one of the basic activities carried out to acquire information and gain knowledge about anything in this world. Research can be just asking a person about any topic or carrying out a research experiment in a proper laboratory. It is required in almost every field and is crucial for the growth of most of the companies in the world.
This particular research has been conducted to understand the nature of demand of the Indian home appliance consumers. This report would help the brands in the consumer electronics and home appliances industry to better understand the future trends for the 4 home appliances taken into consideration. The appliances are TV, Refrigerators, Washing Machine, AC.
This survey was done over a period of 2 months in which the team gathered over 2000 samples from most parts of India. People from various profession and genders were involved in the survey. The following pie chart shows the composition of the samples used for our survey.
The highest number of samples belonged to the businessperson/self-employed category followed by employees. This includes a lot of women who actually use the appliances more than their male counterparts in most real-life cases.
The sample survey method was used for this particular research. Since the research is about the preferences of the Indian consumers, the sample survey suited the best to the needs. The samples helped the researchers to reach out to a large group of people situated in various parts of India and reduce the intentional and unintentional biases as much as possible.
The home appliance industry is currently very hot and active. Brands from all over the world are trying to capture the Indian market as it presents such great business opportunities. The previous researches that have been conducted on similar topics lack the essence of smart technologies that this report contains. The report asks in-depth questions related to the smart features that the users might want to have in their home appliances and how would they want to use those features, which sets this research apart from others.
The existing researches do not take into account most of the smart features that have been included in this report that makes this report unique from others It also helps in filling the void regarding the unique smart features that are crucial for the home appliance brands to consider for their future manufacturing and business strategies.
The questionnaire had 12 questions that were specially designed to get the optimum result with minimal efforts put in by the samples. Questions asked to the consumers for the research has been put in the report and analyses have been done for the questions.
The chart represents the timeline of the next purchase of home appliances by the samples. The highest votes in each category have gone to the option of not sure followed by 2019 and 2020 respectively. The reason that most of the people have opted for the option not sure is that they really are not sure.
Over 500 samples stated that they want to buy an AC in 2019 itself due to the increasing summer temperatures. The AC companies can take note of this fact.
Home appliances are slow moving consumer goods. They are meant to last for very long and most of the samples already have these appliances. They would need a strong reason to make a purchase as they cost a good amount of money too.
Talking of the budget, the chart above shows the distribution of people in the three different budget categories. The highest votes went to the middle category of Rupees 30,000 to 50,000. This seems to be a reasonable bandwidth as most of the good quality and reliable brands’ home appliances cost in this bandwidth only.
This was followed by the below Rupees 30,000 category. The distribution throws light upon the price-sensitive Indian market. The brands need to make products keeping in mind the price-sensitive consumers of the country.
We talked about a strong reason to buy home appliances. The above chart shows the reason that a person might buy the next home appliance. The highest votes went to the not sure option but apart from that the main reason for purchase would be the existing appliance getting old. People would love to own a new appliance after having used an old one for quite a long time. They would also want to experience the new smart technologies that are coming to the market.
In the modern world, there are numerous sources from where one can purchase electronics and home appliances. The advent of the internet has spiked the sales of such appliances from the online sources as opposed to the previous sources such as the offline stores. However, the votes for each category show that the highest votes went to the offline stores only.
The online stores tend to offer appliances at a cheaper rate but what played in favour of the offline stores are as follows:
a. Option to touch and feel the product
b. get offers on debit and credit cards along with financing options
c. instant delivery to home unlike the wait that one has to while online purchasing
Offline stores such as Tata’s Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales and so on has popped up in the country and are a huge hit among the customers. Seeing them, the online-only brands have also started opening the brick and mortar stores.
Demand for Small Household Appliances
Apart from the main big home appliances, here is the list of the smaller home appliances that people also want to possess. The above chart shows that the top three among the lot are:
a. Water Purifier – Over 62%
b. Mixer-Grinder – Almost 60%
c. Microwave Oven – Almost 58%
Water is one of the most crucial resources that one uses on a regular basis. However, due to over-consumption and misuse, the sources have been polluted a lot. This has resulted in a higher demand for water purifiers in India. Most of the people now want electronic purifiers with RO and UV based cleaning.
In the old times, the grannies of the house used to make delicious recopied using hand grinders made of large pieces of stones. Nowadays, it is very difficult to use those techniques and hence people tend to use the electronics mixer and grinders to prepare their spices.
Microwave ovens are still scarce in Indian households. It is still considered to be among some of the luxurious products but as people are moving out of their houses for education or work purposes, the need for food reheating and easy cooking has spiked. This has resulted in the increased demand for microwave ovens.
Major Electronic Home Appliances Taken into Consideration
Electronic home appliances are machines that help people carry out their daily chores in an easy manner. The appliances considered for this report are Television, Refrigerator, Washing Machine and Air Conditioner.
Television – TV is considered the most basic of all home appliances in India. Data shows that TV is the first electrical appliance that any household purchases after getting an electricity connection in their home (rural India).
The consumption rate of TV is also very high as it is a major source of entertainment and information for most of the Indians. People get awareness about what is happening all over the world through the television via news or informative channels. People are also addicted to sports and in India, it is cricket and then football. The mega-events in these sports attract a huge amount of public viewership, which in turn makes the TV platform a goldmine for the big companies to put in their advertisements.
The technology related to TVs has been changing very rapidly in the last decade. We moved from the bulky Cathode Ray Tube – CRT TVs to the modern day sleek and sharp OLED TVs. Moreover, a plethora of smart technologies has been added to TVs. The following chart helps us understand the smart features that the consumers are demanding in their future TVs:
– Speed – Fast User Interface
– Apps to support streaming video services, Music Streaming, Games etc
– Apps for Touch screen
– Energy Efficient (BEE Star Rating etc)
– Integrated voice assistance for all settings (e.g. Alexa )
– Sync with the smartphone
– Hand Gesture Controls
The TV is the most popular home appliance in India with over 80% penetration. It is even more popular in the rural areas as compared to the urban areas in India. It is the prime source of entertainment and news for most of the people in India even in the age of smartphones.
People have voted in large numbers to state their preferences with regards to the smart features on a TV. Over 51% of samples voted for BEE rated energy efficiency as this device runs for long periods of time and consumes a lot of electricity.
The second most popular feature is applications such as Netflix, Amazon Videos, Hotstar etc. supported by the TV to run online contents as the world is fast moving towards a digital content dominated one.
The third highest voted feature is integrated voice assistant. Since most of the smart devices nowadays are coming with voice assistant support, people want their TVs to be smart enough to have voice assistants so that there is no more need for a remote. Channels, volumes and many more can be controlled by just voice commands of the users. This would make life so much easier for TV users.
Refrigerators are considered the second appliance after television in terms of demand. It is a cooling appliance helps in cooling foods and beverages. India has a tropical climate and it is mostly hot all over. This makes refrigerators a necessity in most places. This helps in cooling the water or other beverages for use in the summer season. However, this is not just used for that. Food storage is an important function that the refrigerator helps with. The appliance is used to keep foods and beverages cool and preserve them for a longer period so that it can be consumed days after it was purchased or cooked.
Working professionals do not get the time to cook every day. They generally cook whenever they get time and store it in the refrigerators for using it over the next 4 to 5 days. Same happens with most families who cannot buy vegetables every day; the appliance helps theme to store and preserve the freshness of the vegetables for around a week.
The technology in the refrigerators remained more or less the same for a long period in history but after the advent of smart technologies and Internet of Things (IoT), this appliance also saw new dawn. Out of all the features that were mentioned in the questionnaire, the samples selected the options in the following pattern:
– Sync with the smartphone
– Wi-fi connectivity
– Touchscreen interface (set expiration dates, list of stored items (name & quantity) so that fridge need not be opened.
– Smart see through doors (visibility can be controlled by smartphones)
– Small TV screen to watch while cooking
– Customize temperature by drawer or compartment
– Can be integrated with water purifier
– Daily use item container in upper compartment (Freezer in the down compartment)
– Adjustable Racks as per container size
– Integrated voice assistance for all settings (e.g. Alexa)
– Energy Efficient (BEE Star Rating)
– Refrigerator contents can be seen on your smartphone
The above chart shows, which features are in, demand by how much percentage of the samples.
The top three features are:
a. Touch Screen Display – Over 44%
b. See-through door (Visibility can be controlled by a smartphone app) – Over 38%
c. Energy Efficient with BEE star rating – Almost 37%
These features can be really helpful for the users. The touch screen is a technology that most of the users are nowadays comfortable with due to their interaction with the smartphones that comes with touch screens. Users also demand a see-through display, which allows them to see the materials in the refrigerator without the need of opening that. Moreover, they need the feature with a mechanism to control the visibility through the smartphone app which can allow them to make the door look frosty when they do not want to see what’s inside. This feature can be handy when guests are in the house and the user does not want to show the constituents of the fridge.
One of the basic appliances all over the world, it is still one of the luxuries in India as most of the household do not possess one. It is a relief to the households as it helps in washing the clothes with minimum human interference.
Washing machines have seen a steady growth in the Indian market. This has a major impact on society as well. The employment rate of women in India has risen due to the less time spent on washing clothes. A higher employment rate among Indian female population results in higher income among households. This results in the creation of nuclear families, which in turn raises the demand for washing machines. This is a cycle and that is why the future of washing machine sales looks positive in India.
The modern consumers of washing machines want smart features embedded into this simple machine. The reason behind this is that they want everything smart just like their smartphones. The following chart shows the demands of Indian consumers in terms of smart features in their washing machines:
– Front Load
– Top Load
– Double Load
– Fully automatic
– Water temperature control
– Compartment for colour and white clothes
– Sync to smartphone
– Temperature control
– Time Delay – pre-soak
– Full drier
– Monthly detergent storage along with the dispenser
– Energy Efficient (BEE Star Rating etc)
– Integrated voice assistance for all settings (e.g. Alexa)
The above chart shows the features in a washing machine that the samples voted for as per their requirements. The top three features that they voted for are:
a. Fully automatic – 53.5%
b. Water temperature controller – 38.3%
c. Full drier – 35%
Fully automatic is a feature that is already available in the market but not everyone uses it. Consumers want it to be more popular in the future, as it is effortless to use. However, they also wanted an option to set the water temperature from the smartphone app to control on their washing machine.
One can drop their laundry in the machine and start it, then forget about it and it will come out clean and semi-dry.
Semi-dry? No… Users want their clothes to get fully dried instead of semi-dried. This is another feature that the samples wanted in their future machines. 35% of people voted for it.
This is probably the most luxurious of all the home appliances mentioned in this report. It is one of the most expensive as well not just due to the cost of the machine but also due to the running cost (electricity bill), which is very high. It is still considered an appliance, which only the higher upper class can afford but the scenario is changing rapidly.
As already mentioned above, India is a tropical climate country that makes the weather very hot almost all year round. In some places, the temperatures soar high enough that a normal fan or even a cooler does not work anymore. There one needs an air conditioner, which can cool the indoor temperatures even if it is sultry hot outside and some of these machines can control the moisture levels inside for added comfort.
As mentioned above, the new generation wants all their belongings to be smart if possible. ACs can be made smart and companies have started integrating smart technologies in ACs already. However, there are huge avenues for advancements in this sector and the following chart shows us the consumers’ demands in that sector:
– Sync with the Smartphone
– A wide range of temperature and fan speed settings
– Control settings away from home, so you can come home to a frosty house after a day out
– Customize colour options (Can match with the room)
– Less Noisy
– Energy Efficient (BEE Star Rating etc)
– Integrated voice assistance for all settings (e.g. Alexa )
It seems that users of AC are fed up of its noise. They must be irked by the humming sound it makes which sounds quite loud especially during the night while sleeping. This is the reason that a whopping 58.2% samples voted for a more silent AC in future. 44.4% per cent people voted for options to control the machine from far away and almost 40% voted for BEE energy efficiency.
Voice controlled Home Appliances
Technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Amazon have their own voice-assistant embedded into their devices that help users with various tasks. This not only makes usage easier but also fun. These voice assistants can open the text box, search a number and send that person a customized text message just through your commands and you do not even need to touch a single button.
Home Appliances are not left out as these assistants have made their way to the appliance world as well. According to a Digital Trends article, General Electronics (GE) and Electrolux kitchen appliance are turning towards Google’s Assistant for Voice Assistant support. The article says that it would be a bit too much to ask for a human helping hand so a voice assistant would do in that place. GE and Electrolux are launching internet connected and voice-assistance enabled appliance by 2019. This will help users by giving the command and the appliance will perform the tasks as told.
Xiaomi is one of the technology giants of the world that originate from China. Like its peers, TCL, Haier and Hisense, they are focusing on smart home appliances.
Recently we saw the Korean electronics major Samsung launching its Bixby supported refrigerators. These high-end appliances are worth every penny because of their premium build quality, latest features and also the convenience of using an assistant. All the other major manufacturers are also vying for smart appliances. The pace at which the technology sector is developing and AI is being adopted, smart appliances are inevitable. The time is not far when almost all the appliances will be controlled by users’ voice only.
Smart Homes is becoming a reality all over the world
People spend a fortune on building a luxurious home they try and make their homes an experience rather than just walls and bricks. Architecture is the most important part of building a home has a lot of avenues in it. However, there are new things added to that, there are new features the architects and the interior designers need to be aware of the features, which makes a home smart.
Nowadays every technological equipment needs to be smart. It needs to have different features for different things. A fridge only doing a job of a fridge is not a cool fridge nowadays; pun intended. It has to tell its owner about the things it has, the expiry dates of the product not only that it should be able to book an Uber and also play music; absurd but yes, a fridge nowadays can do that. That said, a house with all the smart appliances is called a smart home.
It is surely the future of homes as the shift is totally happening in the United States. People are already looking to make their homes smarter. There are people who want to keep a check on what is happening at the house even when they are not at home. Some people have pets and they want to watch them and smart homes help you do that with ease.
That said, people in the US are making homes smarter for different reasons though. They have business purposes for making their homes smart. There are people who are turning their apartment into a smart home so that the resale value of the apartment will be good. This is some good thinking and foresight into the smart homes business.
It is brilliant because over 59% of the Americans are interested in buying a smart appliance or a home. This was found out by carrying out a survey in 2018. The whole Internet of Things (IoT) as it is known in the tech world, came into people’s eye because of smart speakers. The concept of Alexa is out because there is a speaker which can play your songs and book you a cab. It can also help you buy things and all you have to do is make sure you speak whatever you want correctly.
In that case, smart speakers have gained huge popularity in the states. The business is going to be huge, there are currently 26 million smart speaker users in America, the number is supposed to go up by 40 million and reach up to 66 million by the end of 2022 according to Forrester. The smart homes will also see a huge rise as it will grow two-fold from the current situation. Right now there are around 12.2 million homes having smart appliances apart from smart speakers. The number will reach 26.7 million in 2022 again according to Forrester’s survey done in the US.
This is how huge the smart home industry is going to be in the US. A similar thing is happening in China as well. The whole world is yet to be exploited and then there are going to be a lot more smart homes in the world than there will be normal houses.
New smart appliances innovated in India
Food, a thing for which people do everything else in their life. Some of them make a living out of it, while some of them make a living for it. It is a way of life for some people. In spite of all this, there are people who find absolutely zero time to cook their own food. They fail to even eat their meals because of the limited time they get.
Many people in this day and age are working. There are families in which everyone is working and it is hard for them to find some time to cook food. This opened up a possible job for cooks. There are cooks almost in every family nowadays. This has also created a lot of jobs for a certain class of people. That said, there are boons and banes of this thing as well. The cook needs to be a good one, he/she needs to be trusted, there are holidays they take and many such things come into play.
In that case, to eradicate all of the banes of that job, a couple of Bengaluru-based men have designed a robot that will cook for you. Now, robots cooking or machines cooking is not a new concept, it is already practised in China. However, the reason Mechanical Chef, as it is known, is better than all of them is because it can cook more than 100 dishes and you don’t even have to touch it. The Mechanical Chef is designed by Cohan Sujay Carlos and Arpit Sharma. They have been designing and building this thing for more than four years.
Recently, the robot made potato fry in front of almost 200 people. The Mechanical Chef has been tested by 25 people at the moment. There are prototypes given to these people to test it and the reviews are great. Another best thing about this Chef is that you can cook remotely. It has mobile connectivity and it will start cooking if you inform it do so via your phone. This feature is up and coming and in development but so is the whole project. It can fry, boil, temper and do all the things related to cooking. You only have to fill the containers with the necessary ingredients.
Carlos, while talking on the History TV show ‘Oh My God’ that the Mechanical Chef costs around INR 40,000 but will charge less in the near future. The makers are trying to install more than 150 dishes and will add the options like deep frying and pressure cooking to it as well. You can find the video of the same on their website. The audacity of the makers to invent such a thing and make people save their time is incredible, to say the least.
In addition to that, this is a bit scary as well. The artificial intelligence is already taking up most people’s job in today’s world and now the most important thing in a man’s life will also be prepared by a robot. The taste of the food, the essence it carries and the feeling behind it will be completely lost when food will be made by metal hands and not flesh itself. However, it is still in the making and it will take years before it hits the households, till then enjoy the handmade food.
Downsides of having all appliances smart in a home
Smart Homes sound so much cooler and funkier when you just think of it. It can be the house of your dreams but then it can be the house of your nightmares also. Yes, one might think I have watched a lot of Black Mirror lately but it is true not that I have watched a lot of Black Mirror but that technology is interfering our lives. There are gadgets out there, which are powering your house with some cool technology and then there are gadgets, which are totally over the top and there is no need for them to actually exist.
It is such a blessing to have your own assistant and all she does is listen and never complain. Alexa is a brilliant thing to have, she literally makes our lives a lot easier. Then there are other smart devices like a doorbell camera, which really helps from a security point of view. That said, there is a product which Panasonic recently showcased known as HomeHawk Floor. It is basically a lamp with a camera which has a 140-degree wide lens. You can find this HomeHawk Floor on sale on Indiegogo.com. The fact that this lamp comes in different sizes and shapes is another amazing thing not necessarily in a good way.
The HomeHawk Floor will spy on your house and will record everything. Now, this is creepy. Imagine finding this kind of a lamp in your hotel room and it will suddenly turn into a nightmare stay. There are many such things, which are extremely over the top. Internet of things is being integrated into every single thing nowadays. That is the reason Smart Homes are becoming more like haunted houses and dream houses are becoming real nightmares. As mentioned before, technology is good but too much technology is never good.
That said, there are even more gadgets like these. Recently, the company Ring was accused of allowing its employees to see the recordings from all of its security cameras. The company has denied it and came out with one of the best tech gadgets. The peephole on your door is now a camera and will record everything. This is such an ingenious way to protect your house, however, again a peephole is now gone and a camera has taken its place.
This makes people question everything now. It is really difficult to trust anything when you have cameras all around you. It creates an environment, which is hazardous to everyone. There need to be regulations for such a thing. There needs to be a committee making sure that people would know if they are being watched and it should be with the consent of the people. If this does not happen then it will not be long until the whole world becomes a surveillance state.
Home Appliance Business in India
Season-Wise Sales Performance
India has primarily 3 seasons namely summer, monsoon and winter. This varies from the north to south and east to west. However, most parts of the country have a tropical climate, are very hot and humid in the south and east and dry in the centre and north. This happens during the summer season and it continues for almost 5 months starting late March. The beginning of the summer season is a treat to the home appliance makers as the sale of their home appliances especially Air Conditioner goes up rapidly.
However, this has not been the case in 2019. To much of people’s relief, the summer has been delayed and the temperatures are still favourable. This has resulted in people delaying their purchase of Air coolers and ACs until it gets a little hotter outside. However, this is good for the environment and humans alike, the electronics companies are in distress.
Popular brands in the Indian market fell back on their March estimation as they expected higher sales before summer starts. The low temperatures and pleasant weather are not helping their sales at all. However, their TV sales have been going up due to the start of popular sporting events such as the Indian Premier League in late March.
Considering the low sales, the companies have been reducing the price of the stocked up inventory to clear out as much as possible as soon as possible. It has been recorded that companies have reduced the prices of their ACs and refrigerators by almost 20%, which would attract customers to purchase them before hard summer hits.
Interestingly, there was a surge in offline sales a few months back due to the introduction of the new FDI policies that affected the sales of the e-commerce players. However, that wave has settled now and business is as usual for most players. In such a situation, the brands that earlier increased the prices of their products a couple of months earlier have been now forced to reduce the prices to sty n the competition. Brands are now reducing the prices of the goods that are not specific to the summer season such as washing machines and televisions.
Brands that are making it big in India
Indian market is home to numerous home appliance brands from all over the world. Most of these brands are performing well due to the huge market that this country with over a billion population provides. However, there are a few brands that are making it really big in the country.
South Korean Giants Duo LG and Samsung are famous among the Indian consumers as they are very reliable and have been present in the market for very long. Sony is highly regarded by the consumers for its superior quality and advanced Japanese technology but their prices are generally higher than others. Chinese Haier and TCL have started doing good in the market in recent years. German brands such as Bosch and Siemens along with some American brands such as Whirlpool have been in the market for some time now and are trusted by the consumers as well.
Some local brands such as Tata’s Voltas, IFB, Godrej and Maharaja also perform well due to reliability at low prices for the consumers who cannot afford the expensive foreign brands. Many other brands such as Panasonic, Daikin, Hitachi, Bajaj etc. also perform very well but only in their expertise areas. Having said that, it has been seen that one brand stands out almost always and that is LG.
LG’s superiority in India
LG beautifully spreads the philosophy of ‘Life’s Good’ through its name and logo. They have proved this statement true repeatedly over its existence in India. The South Korean electronics major has been present in the country for over 2 decades. Public perception of the company is very good just like its products. However, companies need to perform continuously and keep up to the users’ expectation to remain at the top for long periods.
LG washing machines and refrigerators are ranked #1 for the second year in a row for customer satisfaction in India. LG performed the best in the areas of top-load washers, side-by-side and top-mount refrigerators and freestanding ranges. They stood best in reliability, performance, ease-of-use and features.
They are trying to achieve the same rating all over the world and hence focusing on their consumer durables market. They have been performing well in that sector in India too. In India, the competition is tough between Samsung and LG in the consumer durable market in every appliance as these two companies make almost everything from smartphones to TV sets to washing machines and fridges.
The US is one of the largest markets of LG but India is also a huge market and they have their eyes set on India as the potential for growth is huge in unlike anywhere else in the world. A recent analysis showed that washing machines are scares in India. This means that with growing disposable income, a steady supply of electricity and abundant supply of tap water, the market for washing machines will grow in India. Hence, LG is hopeful for this market. Likewise, in many such appliances like refrigerators, microwave oven etc. has a huge growing market in India.
There is a difference in selling a product like hot cake and sustaining that growth and reputation in the market over a long period of time. The newer players have shown that they have potential. Their products are of good quality and very affordable. Along with it is their design which makes them a very attractive choice for the consumers and hence they are selling like hot cakes. These companies include Xiaomi, Thomson and so on. However, they still have to stand the true test of time. That will happen when their products will start getting old and the consumers need to take them for servicing or repairs to the service centres.
The reputed companies such as LG and Samsung have passed the test of time and they are so popular because their after sales service is very good. Most of the consumers are satisfied if their appliances run for 5 years. After that when they get it repaired at the service centre, it runs for another couple of years. This adds value to the company and the consumer gets full value for money.
LG, in particular, fares well when it comes to the after-sales service. They have been ranked the top company for after sales service 2 years consecutively. The company ranks top on the list of most reliable companies. It needs to consider that consumers while paying a good amount for any appliance, they want the company to be reliable enough so that the appliance runs for a long time and can be repaired when damaged. LG is a reliable brand and scores well in these fronts. The new players can learn a lesson from such experienced leaders in the market.
Whirlpool’s profits are soaring high in India
The US has some of the most recognized brands in the world in the consumer durables segment. Whirlpool is one of them and is renowned worldwide. India is a huge market for the brand as they have been present in the country for a long period now. The brand is popular for its consumer durables such as refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, microwave ovens etc. It is considered a very good brand in India due to its durability and after-sales service.
The brand competes with its prime competitors such as Samsung, LG, Godrej, Haier and so on. Their profits are on a rise as are their innovations. They have been very enthusiastic regarding their research and developments. Last year, they were granted a patent for a ‘Sous Vide’ machine according to the United States Patent and Trademark Organization (USPTO). The machine has an induction cooktop, a cooking vessel, wireless temperature probe and a magnetic stirring plate. These accessories make the appliance as high-tech as it can get. It is an extremely advanced and involved piece of machinery that helps the professional as well the home cooks alike.
Developments such as these in the cooking appliances as well as in other segments, give an edge to the company over others. Whirlpool tries to bring modern technology into its customers’ houses. It changes the way people perceive smart technology.
The coming times will be even more interesting when AI will start to look after humans’ homes without any human intervention. Connected devices are the new trend in the market. Consumers want their devices to be smart and controllable through either voice and/or smartphones over Bluetooth/the internet.
Whirlpool also showcased numerous connected appliances that can talk to Google home and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Whirlpool’s Smart Over the Range Microwave with Scan-to-Cook Technology can receive cooking instructions from an accompanying app when the user scans a UPC code on a frozen meal. This is another example of technological advancements in the home appliances segment.
The company earned more than Rupees 60 crore in the last quarter of 2018. The company earned more than 14% of profits after tax when compared with the last quarter of 2017. With an ever-increasing revenue and now profits, the company is looking forward to bring its innovations to the Indian market as well. Since we have seen that India is one of its major markets worldwide, it becomes necessary to bring the advanced technologies here as well.
Whirlpool is planning to invest heavily in modernizing its production units in India. They want to introduce the smart ways of manufacturing smart appliances, which will not only be beneficial for the company but will also be a great experience for its consumers. The market leaders such as the South Korean giants are not wary of Whirlpool but it will surely cross their minds every now and then when planning for the Indian market.
Havells is one of the largest and oldest domestic electrical equipment companies in India. It started way back in 1958 and since then has continued to provide high-quality equipment to the Indian consumers. The company also has a range of home and kitchen appliances in the Indian market. Their superior quality and Indian background place them on 125th rank on the list of most reputed Indian companies.
The company also spreads out into various other sectors by owning local companies such as Crabtree, Lloyd, Standard Electric and Promtech. Currently, the company is doing business in 50 countries apart from India. These companies together with their core business let them manufacture a plethora of products for the domestic as well as industrial usage such as electric circuits, circuit protections, lightings, motors, AC, water purifiers, coolers, wires, fans and so on.
The company said in an interview with The Hindu Business Line that they want to become a full-fledged home appliance maker. Indian home appliance market has grown day and night in the past few years since the economy is performing very well. The sales are seeing new heights with the rise in the disposable income of Indian households. This opportunity has been used by the new companies especially the Chinese ones to targets the new consumers. However, Havells want to be among the few Indian companies that use the opportunity to grow.
Havells, as mentioned earlier, is a highly reputed company among Indian consumers. Their home appliance products, however, are not so popular. The market is dominated by other players. Their motive is to expand Lloyd’s product range in the country. The company feels that launching a range of refrigerators will make them a complete home appliance brand as per comments by their Chairperson and MD Anil Rai Gupta.
Havells has promised to invest a whopping 1000 crore rupees in the market towards expansion. They have said that 400 crore rupees out of the 1000 crore will be spent for bringing up an air conditioner manufacturing facility in Rajasthan as a part of the greenfield unit. The other 600 crore rupees will be invested in the existing manufacturing plants all across the nation as a part of the brownfield.
Lloyd was acquired by Havells two years ago. With this company in their portfolio, the products now range from wires to deep freezers to TVs. This gives them an edge over other similar companies due to their long presence in the market and good reputation too. Indian companies are aiming for the stars now, as the local policies are favourable for them. Most of the market-related policies that have been released by the current government has been lauded by the local players in India. The latest of all is the new FDI policy that in a way devastated the plans of the global giants that owned huge stakes in Indian companies. This is a very good time for the Indian players and they should proactively take the decision to utilize the opportunity.
India, as mentioned above, is a huge market for electronics. Considering the huge percentage of youth in this country, the demand for smart technologies are going to skyrocket in the coming years. This is a great opportunity for the home appliances brands to gain some grounds in the country and expand their businesses.
This shows us that there are two kinds of opportunities for the youth in the coming years and they are:
1. Career opportunities in the hardcore technical sector such as AI, ML and IoT
2. Career options in the business developments sector such as Research and Marketing
Smart technologies are becoming more and more popular each passing day. It is eminent that they will soon reach our homes through the smart home appliances that we would be using for our daily chores and entertainment purposes. It is of utmost importance to understand the basic functionality of these technologies and use them sensibly.
The major point that came out from the research report is that the consumers want their home appliances to be smart and most of them want it to be connected with their smartphones. Smartphone connectivity is crucial for any smart home appliance because most of the users are on their smartyphones for long. The ease of controlling a home appliance from a smartphone is just the thing everyone needs. Samsung’s new advertisement for their Bixby controlled Washing achine shws exactly this thing when the boy gives a voice command (from a different room through his smartphone) to the smart washing machine and its starts washing the clothes.
More such smart appliancs are about to hit the market. It is only a matter of time but the brands need to play smart by following the trends as described above to win the smart race.