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Whirlpool’s Investments for a Better Grip in India

[Whirlpool India Website]

Whirlpool is one of the most popular home appliances brands in India. The American technology major has been in the Indian market for over 2 decades now and understands the market inside out. The brand also has several local manufacturing plants that help it to keep the costs low and supply fast for the huge demand in the country.

India, being one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, has a huge demand for electronics, especially home appliances. More and more people are moving to the cities from the villages and the families are in need of home appliances. The villages too are not away from the developments in the fields of technology. This has resulted in a huge surge in demand from rural and urban consumers alike. The refrigerators, which were a seldom sight in villages have become extremely common even in the remotest villages of India with the availability of electricity.

Whirlpool has decided to invest ₹590 crores into the Indian market over the next 5 years. This is a significant move by the brand to improve its hold in India. The current valuation of the American home appliance manufacturer is ₹5502 crores with over 16% market share in India. According to IBEF, it has over 22% market share in the direct cool segment and over 17% for frost-free refrigerators. Moreover, it has around 14% in the washer segment too.

According to a report by the Economic Times, the refrigerator arm of Whirlpool is the most successful as it contributes around 60% to the revenue in India. The washing machine segment contributes around 22% of the total revenue generate din India. This also shows that the refrigerator market in India has grown significantly in India whereas the other major home appliances such as the washing machines and air conditioners markets are still lagging being as compared to the major economies of the world.

As it is clear from the above facts that the refrigerator market has huge potential in India, Whirlpool has decided to enhance its arm with the investments. The brand has 3 major factories in Faridabad, Puducherry and Pune. The investment is aimed at increasing the production capacities at the Faridabad and Puducherry plants. Moreover, the Pune based plant, which manufactures the double-door frost-free refrigerators is about to get modernized drastically. This way the plants will function at optimum levels.

According to reports and some company officials, the customs duties levied on the imported consumer durables have been on a constant rise in recent years. This has almost compelled the companies in the industry to look out for production facilities in India. Many foreign players have set up their manufacturing plants in the country to comply with the rules and regulation of the Indian government that is in India’s interest.

The officials also said that the constant efforts towards offering high-quality products and services have resulted in the rapid growth of the company. Amidst all the growth and positivity, Whirlpool lags behind when it comes to the on-field competition with the South Korean giants such as Samsung and LG. The reason behind the lag is the proper sales channel. According to market research by MTRF, the reputation of Samsung, LG and Whirlpool is almost at the same level in the hearts of the Indian consumers. However, it is easier for any consumer to purchase a Samsung or an LG product as compared to a Whirlpool product. This is the reason that the South Korean companies have been able to reach deep into the Indian markets, unlike Whirlpool. With the current announcement of investment, the company has also said that it will be focusing on the online channel i.e. e-commerce platforms. The e-commerce platforms are giants in India with almost half of the Indian population online. The rate, at which the e-commerce is growing, makes it unavoidable for Whirlpool. The company needed to have a deeper understanding of the Indian e-commerce market and thankfully it has finally started giving it the due importance.

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