Leading consumer durables brand Usha is playing to its core strength. The eight-decades-old brand, which has a strong presence and recall in the southern market, plans to further consolidate its position in the region besides deepening its presence in the rural pockets across the country.

“We, as a brand, are very closely associated with South India. The brand as such and its journey has been very well received in the South,” Rohit Mathur, President-Fans, Usha International, told BusinessLine .

He was in the city for the launch of a new fan under the brand’s ultra high-speed category – ‘Racer’ series – on Saturday. “The launch that we are having here is a testimony to the fact that this market is very important to us,” Mathur said, adding that South India contributes close to 35 per cent of the total business.

Though the brand has a strong presence in north and eastern regions as well, Mathur said that there are some challenges in those regions which the company is addressing as it grows.

“The challenge here is to create products for that region. Sometimes, things work more here than anywhere else, and sometimes, it can be otherwise,” he said. The fans division contributes almost 45 per cent of the total business of the company. Usha’s product portfolio also includes a wide range of cooking appliances, sewing machines, water heaters, room heaters and electric water pumps.

Usha is the number two brand in India’s organised fan market, which is currently pegged at ₹7,500 crore. The brand has a pan-India market share of 21 per cent, while Crompton Greaves is believed to hold the number one position.

The rural opportunity

“We have scaled up our market share by 2-3 per cent in the last 2-3 years, and we expect that we will continue to grow at a healthier pace than the industry,” Mathur said. Usha caters to more than one lakh retail outlets across the country. The company has a strong network of distributors and dealers, and institutional, modern and traditional retail teams. It has also created a dedicated team for rural India.

“The opportunity in rural India is immense. We are trying to address even the sub-ten thousand population towns directly just to make sure our brand is present at the grassroot level,” Mathur said.

Noting that the industry was also affected by the economic slowdown for a short period, he said, “But the industry has done very well with a CAGR of 7-8 per cent in the last five years and I think it will continue to grow.”

He also added that the company will maintain its dominant position through a mixture of new product launches, technology and innovations, and enhancement of its distribution network.

On the industry’s challenges, he said: “The industry’s growth is driven a lot by real estate development, but, in the last 5-7 years, it has been little moderate with a lot of projects getting stuck. That’s something that could move up this industry.”