Companies

Usha International bets big on cooking appliances business

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 20, 2018

Rural demand to boost growth for the vertical





The growing aspirations of the rural consumers for modern ways of cooking will bring more opportunities for consumer durable players like Usha International. The company looks to increase the number of its rural distributors by over 50 per cent, from 98 to 140 by August.

Of its several business verticals, including fan, coolers, humidifiers, water dispensers and sewing machines, among others, cooking appliances business is expected to grow the fastest.

“It is a clear sign of rural market opening up, that rural consumers are moving from the traditional way of cooking to mechanisation. There is an increased preference for brands. The market is moving inwards. Companies are coming closer to these consumers,” said Dinesh Chhabra, CEO, Usha International Ltd. Cooking appliances contributed about 15 per cent or ₹230 crore to the company’s overall revenues of ₹2,200 crore for the year 2015-16.

“The largest contributor to our revenues is our fan business at about 45 per cent, while sewing machines also have a significant share, as we are the market leader in that segment. Cooking appliances business will grow faster than other verticals,” Chhabra added.

The company aims to add 100 touch points for every rural distributor to be appointed, and this will add to its existing network of about 100,000 touch points across the country.

In the urban markets, the company is pushing lifestyle products in fans, coolers and cooking series.

The sewing machines vertical is estimated to have about 20-25 per cent share in the total revenues. The company is banking on its latest product — digital machines, which are household sewing machines having digital display and modern looks.

Fashion-conscious

“Users can download the design of their choice and stitch it on their garments. We see a shift in trend here as well, where more and more women consumers are turning to digital machines to stitch or design their garments. Men, if fashion conscious, too want it stitched as per their choice of design,” said Chhabra.

According to him, out of the overall ₹800 crore domestic sewing machines market in the country, Usha commands about 70 per cent share or roughly around ₹530 crore. “We grew by three times in the last three years in the sewing segment. This means the market also grew at a similar pace,” he said.

Published on April 12, 2016

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