LG India turns 20, bets big on rural growth

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on January 13, 2018

Will bring out smarter, health-conscious product offerings

As the Korean consumer durables major LG Electronics completes 20 years in India, it is betting big on rural growth, health-conscious products, besides focusing on premium products, such as smarter appliances with IoT functionalities for its next phase of growth.

The company said it continued to aim for double-digit growth on the back of innovative products and focus on strengthening product leadership, besides operations excellence. India is among the top five strategic markets for LG globally.

Potential to grow

Kim Ki Wan, Managing Director, LG Electronics India, told BusinessLine: “Unlike some of the global markets, India has continued to show potential for growth in the last couple of years. So, there are a lot of expectations from the Indian market. India has the potential to be among the top two key markets for us, besides China. We believe that the current government’s push to boost the rural economy will further expand this market.”

Kim agreed that factors like demonetisation did impact the dynamics of the Indian market last year.

“India is not a simple market. Indian consumers are very sophisticated and evaluate various aspects of products comprehensively before they make a purchase decision. This year, we will complete 20 years in India, and this means we have accumulated the knowledge and deep understanding about this market. This is the reason why we have comparatively seen higher growth than our competitors last year,” he added.

New segments

Talking about future plans, the LG honcho said: “We will focus on introducing new health-conscious products and incorporating health-conscious functions in our existing products. Last year, we entered the water purifier segment. This year, we will be introducing air-purifiers. These will be sophisticated and we will come with smart functions and will be IoT (Internet on Things) compliant.”

Kim said: “even in the case of air-conditioners, we are the first company to shift completely to inverter split ACs. Our dual inverter ACs offer various benefits to consumers, such as higher energy savings and low operational noise. So, we will continue focus on introducing differentiated and superior technology products in India.”

This year, the company will also start testing some of its other premium smart appliances in India to gauge consumer feedback before commercially launching these.

On rural growth, Kim said: “With the government’s initiatives such as electrification of villages and investment in infrastructure in rural regions, we believe rural demand for consumer durables will grow significantly. But these products will need to be simpler and targeted at first-term buyers.”

Published on March 09, 2017

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