Water purifier maker Eureka Forbes is betting big on retailers and e-commerce rather than its mainstay direct sales to gain share in an increasingly crowded market which now has more than 150 brands. The shift in strategy comes on the back of big firms such as Hindustan Unilever and other multinational companies entering the market and customers preferring the online route.
“We are expecting a digital-led business where customers will come through the digital platform, but will close the sale through direct selling,” said Shashank Sinha, Chief Technical Officer, Eureka Forbes Limited. Currently, online sales contributes to 7-10 percent of its overall sales, while the rest is through its offline presence. Besides, the company also plans to expand the network of retail stores, where its products are sold, to 25,000 from 20,000.
Sinha said Eureka Forbes held nearly 60 percent share of the entire electric water purifier market that is pegged at around Rs 4,500 crore. However, he said, “in all the categories, we see a significant headroom for growth as the overall market penetration is still very less in the country.” In water purifiers, he said, the penetration is less than 30 percent, while for vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, penetration is less than 10 percent and three percent, respectively.
In addition to strengthening its retail presence, the 37-year-old company is also expanding its direct sales to smaller towns and for newer products such as air purifiers and home security solutions, awareness for which is still in its infancy. Eureka Forbes has about 7,000 direct sales executives, making it the largest direct selling firm in Asia.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group company is growing at a CAGR of around 12-15 percent and the market growth for the categories has been between 8-10 percent. The company is present in 800 town and aims to double the number in the current fiscal year “with a focus on non-metros and semi-rural areas,” Sinha noted.―New Indian Express