Whirlpool India is ramping up its manufacturing capacity, marking its foray in the front-load washing machine segment in the country. The company has invested ₹115 crore in its existing plant at Puducherry to manufacture premium front-load washing machines . It already makes semi-automatic and top-load washing machines in India.

Vishal Bhola, Managing Director, Whirlpool of India, said, “Front-load washing machines contribute 30 per cent share to the overall washing machines segment in the country. We were so far absent in this segment and now we are going to make a play in this segment for the first time. Despite not having a presence in this segment, we are already among the top three players in the washing machine segment.”

The consumer durables major aims to garner double-digit growth ahead of the market growth levels in the washing machine segment on the back of lower penetration and uptick in premiumisation trends.

Responding to a query on macro-economic conditions and inflationary pressures, Bhola said, “In the last two-three years the market has been extremely volatile. We have seen a dichotomy in the market. The mid to premium segment has been witnessing strong demand. There are consumers in the mid-to-premium segments who are willing to spend more to upgrade to higher capacities and premium products with more features. At the entry level, consumers are being more watchful about their spends and seeking more value.”

Cautiously optimistic

Bhola said the company is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming festival season. In response on a query on supply chain challenges, he said the company has built-out strong inventories for the season. “ We are a well-covered for the festival season and there won’t be any shortfalls,” he said.

Whirlpool has invested about ₹800 crore-900 crore in capacity expansion as well as to get controlling stake in Elica PB India. “ We are well poised for our growth ambitions for the next few years and will continue to invest wherever needed,” Bhola added.

On Thursday, the company launched its new washing machine line-up ahead of the festival season. This includes its front-load washing machines with Ozone Air Refresh technology, Hydrowash semi-automatic washing machine range and Stainwash Pro range of top-load washing machines.

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