BSH Home Appliances’ made-in-India refrigerators to hit retail shelves in October

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on June 18, 2021

Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO

Consumer appliance maker invests ₹300 crore at Chennai facility

The consumer appliance maker BSH Home Appliances said its plans to ramp up domestic production is on track as it aims to grab a bigger share of home appliance segment. It expects its made-in-India double door refrigerators to hit the retail shelves by October.

The company that sells home appliance products under brand Bosch and Siemens, has invested ₹300 crore at its Chennai facility to set up a refrigerator plant. Neeraj Bahl, MD & CEO, BSH Home Appliances, said, “We have begun manufacturing a few 100 units at our refrigerator pant in Chennai and given the diverse temperature range in India we are testing these units to gain feedback. We expect these made-in-India frost-free refrigerators in the 250-390 litres range to begin selling in the market from October. We will start rolling them out from Tamil Nadu itself.”

The company has so far been making front-load washing machines at its Chennai facility. “Earlier, we use to import our top-loading fully automatic washing machines to India. We have stopped doing that now and even these products are being made at Tripur by our OEM partner,” Bahl explained.

As many States have eased lockdown-like restrictions, consumer durable players are gearing up for monsoons which is a key season for the washing machines segment. “As of now the laundry business is the biggest contributor to our topline and our washing machine business has been growing at a faster clip than the market growth rate. This year we have stepped up our focus on 8 kg and above categories and we are augmenting our portfolio in this segment. We have revamped our core front-loading washing machine portfolio and we are adding a new line-up in the 8 kg-10 kg segment and we believe this will take our positioning one notch higher in the value and value-added segment,” Bahl added.

Dishwasher range

The company has also been beefing up its dishwasher range with the launch of 19 new models, a segment that has witnessed strong traction from Indian consumers during the pandemic times. At the same time, the company also plans to ramp up its chimneys and hood segment with 20-25 new models in the auto-clean chimneys space next month.

Asked about recovery trends, Bahl said the impact of the second pandemic wave has been more devastating than the first pandemic wave, adversely affecting consumer sentiment. “We believe consumers will continue to focus on need-based purchases. At the same time, we are positioned in the premium segment and we feel that segment is far more insulated from economic shocks,” he added.

BSH Home Appliances also has robust plans for rolling out the direct-to-consumer strategy in India. It has been running a pilot in Mumbai and the company will gradually be unveiling this strategy. “We believe D2C channel has a strong potential and in the long term could contribute 8-10 per cent to overall sales. E-commerce channel currently contributes about 20 per cent to our sales and has been seeing strong growth,” he added.

Published on June 18, 2021

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