Consumer durables maker Whirlpool of India on Thursday said it expects domestic washing machines market to grow in double digits in the next 2-3 years with a rise in demand for mid and premium products.
However, the company’s entry level segment is struggling at present.
The company, which has forayed into the front load segment of washing machines with its new XpertCare range, is aiming to have a higher growth rate than the industry volume growth, Whirlpool of India Managing Director Vishal Bhola said.
In the last two years, the market has been very volatile but the expectation is that in the next two to three years, the washing machines segment will grow in double digits, he said here in an interaction.
The Indian washing machine market is estimated to be around 60 lakh units this year.
For the company, he said, “We want to grow ahead of the industry.”
With Whirlpool of India entering into the front load washing machines category, which accounts for 30 per cent of the total market, he said, the company’s headroom for growth is large.
The mid and premium segment consumers are back and are buying higher capacity and more feature loaded products thereby driving the growth, he said, adding, however, at the entry level, “consumers are far more discretionary” and continue to seek value.
On the reasons for Whirlpool’s bullishness on the Indian washing machines market, he said, the penetration level is very low at around 14 per cent. This, along with the replacement demand coming in, there is “a big opportunity in the next ten years”.
When asked about the festive demand for the overall consumer durables segment, he said, the company is “cautiously optimistic”.
“It is very clear that there are different segments, different geographies, different categories, which are behaving very differently. In the same market, you could find two very different things happening. The mid and the premium consumers are back, asking for more features, buying a more premium refrigerator and actually going for higher capacities,” he said.
On the other hand, he said, in the same market, at the entry level consumers want to buy something which is offering them great value.
“Therefore, I think people are making their own choices when it comes to what they do with their money,” he said, adding that even in the world outside there is “this kind of dichotomy in what the outlook for the future is or what the sense of recovery from pandemic is”.
Traditionally, he said the festive season sales account for up to 40 per cent of the company’s total sales. The online channel growth has also stabilised after a spike during the peak of the pandemic, and currently accounts for around 10-15 per cent of total sales.
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