Unilever-owned indoor air purification technology company Blueair wants to expand in the Indian market utilizing the distribution and sales strength of Hindustan Unilever, Blueair’s global CEO Henk in ‘t Hof said.
The Stockholm-headquartered brand, which was acquired by Unilever in 2016, has identified India as one of its top five priority market with 14 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities in the country.
“Indian people are among the populations suffering the most from air pollution. We will therefore continue to invest in India and we are convinced that we will continue to outperform the market in terms of growth,” said Henk.
The CEO said since Hindustan Unilever is a major player in India, it will help strengthen Blueair’s presence in the country. “More concretely, it (Hindustan Unilever) will help Blueair expand into new cities, leverage consumer insights and understandings, build the brand and help provide access to clean air for millions of more people,” said Henk.
Currently, the air purifier market in India is very fragmented with lots of brands. Blueair CEO said the brand is growing faster than the market and expects to continue to outperform the market over the next 5-7 years. Increasing awareness and urbanization are the main propellers of growth, he said.
“A recent study by WHO states that India has 14 out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentration. But awareness and understanding amongst Indians remain low. Despite the alarming health effects of breathing polluted air, as well as the fact that indoor air is up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, we have not yet seen the same urge for clean air (in India) as in China. However, it is on the rise,” said Henk.
Henk said the market for air purifiers in China rose gradually. Rising awareness amongst consumers, budding health concerns, lifestyle changes and increasing disposable income encouraged the adoption of air purifiers in China.
Blueair has also started incorporating Indian consumer insight into the product R&D process. “The core innovation sits in Sweden and work closely with R&D colleagues in India. This set-up, which is similar to that we have in China, helps us understand and develop solutions for local consumer needs,” said Henk.―Business Telegraph