Mathew Young, Head of Brand Licensing at Electrolux, said that the company is focused on sustainability and has energy-efficient products. “And the natural extension for us is to move into products associated with healthy living, of which the first is water. We have no experience in that space but we had the opportunity to partner with Kent RO Systems for water purifiers,” he said.
Regarding its plans to go international, Young said that while the company is yet to identify specific countries, it does see opportunities to take these products to Latin America, Africa and South East Asia. “We will be taking samples of these products to international markets to evaluate opportunities,” he said.
India is one of the few markets where the Swedish multinational is selling all its products through licensing agreements with players such as Videocon. Young said the company would be keen to enter into a licensing agreement for consumer electronics. From a licensing standpoint, he believes India is one of the fastest growing markets for the company.
Asked if the Electrolux range of water purifiers would cannibalise Kent RO’s own water purifiers, Mahesh Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Kent RO said, “I don’t see any cannibalisation happening, as water purifier penetration is only at one per cent of the total population. Through the Electrolux range of water purifiers, we will look at a discerning audience who are looking for designer products that better fit their kitchens.”
Gupta said the company hopes to sell 50,000 units of the Electrolux range of water purifiers in the first year and then expects to grow 25 per cent year on year. He said initially the company will be present in the top 50 towns, and it will invest substantially in marketing and promoting the brand across the country.
The company has roped in Shilpa Shetty as the brand ambassador. The water purifiers under the Electrolux brand are priced between Rs 18,000 and Rs 19,000.
The water purifier market is estimated to be about Rs 3,000 crore and is expected to grow to about Rs 6,000 by 2015.