Companies

Godrej Appliances to go rural to get growth back post-demonetisation

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2018

Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice- President, Godrej Appliances   -  Ashoke Chakrabarty

Will have products such as single-door refrigerators and semi-automatic washing machines

After facing tepid growth due to demonetisation in the past few months, Godrej Appliances is banking on the rural market to generate sales on the back of rural incentives announced in the Budget, along with a good monsoon.

“Our portfolio expansion will have a rural focus with products such as single-door refrigerators and semi-automatic washing machines being targeted at the rural market.

The Budget announcements for the rural segment will see incomes going up; and if the monsoon is as good as last year, sales will only get better in this market,” said Kamal Nandi, Business Head and Executive Vice-President, Godrej Appliances.

‘ChotuKool’

With 35 per cent of its turnover contributed by rural markets, Godrej Appliances has also been developing specific products such as its ‘ChotuKool’ refrigerators for the past few years.

Pegged below ₹6,000, ChotuKool refrigerators are currently being test marketed in Karnataka and Maharashtra and is yet to have a pan-India presence.

“We are working on an unique thermo-electric technology for ChotuKool as the challenge is to make the product work even when temperatures are as high as 40 degrees (Celsius) like in the Northern markets, which will take a while,” added Nandi.

With about 40 litres of capacity, ChotuKool can work without electricity , and is meant for those not looking for large cooling solutions.

The product has been a work in progress for the past five years. “ChootuKool will still take some time as it is in the trial and development stage, since we are seeking a larger potential for the product,” he added.

Making products for the rural market also includes addressing the needs of Tier III and IV towns where there may be lack of power, hindering the working of refrigerators.

“We have a series of ‘stay cool’ direct-cooling refrigerators which help in longer cooling even without power supply,” Nandi said.

While there continues to be innovation in developing such products for the rural markets, urbanisation has also been increasing, which makes it difficult to completely ignore it.

“While the rural economy is primarily agriculture-based and monsoon-dependent for generating demand, there is also increasing urbanisation; and we have to develop parallel products for this market. We recently launched a range of ‘chest freezers’ with varying capacities to cater to the demands of the urban markets.”

Refrigerators is the largest segment for Godrej Appliances with almost 45 per cent of its sales coming from it.



Published on February 22, 2017

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