With hotter summer creating hotter demand in ACs, improving macro-economic conditions and consumer’s increasing disposable incomes, cheaper financing options, development of smarter cities, greater product availability with the expansion of electrification, this year is expected to make a dent in the AC market. Also, brands are coming up with higher energy-efficient options and new features suitable for Indian conditions helping faster adoption. India is likely to grow at 12-15% in the next couple of years compared to the global growth rate of 8.5% led by the factors mentioned. Split AC will continue to grow it’s part of the pie from the current 85%, with inverter ACs which are currently almost one-third of the pie, to increase to almost half in volumes by 2020.
The industry including Onida is continuously putting consumer interest in front while researching the latest market movers and shakers. In the past, Onida was the first to identify and address the need for instant cooling and to measure actual savings, first to launch pre-cool SMS AC, launch ‘My Favorite, and to launch Air-Conditioners with Wi-Fi and App control. These topline features have then been widely used by other players and have gained acceptance in the market too.
In line with the trend, we have meticulously worked on our in-house ViOT technology which helps the consumer to control AC with only his/her own voice through Amazon’s Alexa app and gives a frictionless human interaction, addressing the convenience and hassle-free needs of the consumers. Also, recognizing the need for families to get more value from the AC in terms of the cooling capacity, we have also launched magnified cooling technology with multiplier inverter technology which delivers 120% higher cooling than the rated capacity. We have set our eyes on a bumper sale through our thousands of offline partners and e-commerce partners such as Amazon.com.
It’s encouraging to see industry along with channel partners investing in educating the customer on the advantages of inverter vs. non-inverter ACs and also the importance of power saving/cooling capacities along with smart ACs which seem to be the flavour of this season. Since this category is medium to high involvement category, we also have taken steps of reaching out to consumers in form of infographic videos, blogs, how-to and unboxing videos talking on the things to look out for while buying an AC and elaborating on how to operate smart ACs via Alexa.
Innovation is and would be a way forward in this category, with players who invest a lot in R&D and consumer research winning the day. We always endeavour to listen to the consumer chatter and invest in the best-of-the-lot products which will solve customer’s problems. Slowly, we have seen the industry’s marketing strategies moving from mass advertising to personalized targeting & selling, and recently more into a more educative and consultative approach to selling ACs – exactly what customers need.
Expecting a very robust season ahead, with AC sales already picking up from the last month due to soaring temperatures. From 5.2 million units in FY 18, the AC market is expected to jump to 7.7 Mn units by FY 20% with a CAGR of 15% indicated our internal estimates.
The target group has been primarily male in AC buying decisions, with young females playing a critical role too in purchase decisions. They are well informed, research on the net, and take efforts to find out the right product with a greener footprint. On salaried class, the pool includes everyone from a corporate joiner to a mid-level climber to a seasoned professional. Although we have been pretty happy to note that tier – III and IV towns buyers also purchasing ACs a lot due to the increase in the rural farm incomes and an increase in temperature.―Tech Observer