The air quality across India has started worsening with the onset of winters. Craving fresh air at least in the confines of their homes, Indian customers are increasingly buying air purifiers.
Samsung India launched a new air purifier that aims to fight dust, viruses and gases. With this launch, Samsung has marked its presence across entry, mid and premium price segments.
Air purifiers are estimated to be among the fastest growing products in the home appliances space with average 30 percent annual growth. Roughly 280,000-300,000 units are estimated to be sold each year.
Saurav Katyal, Director, Consumer Electronics Business, Samsung India believes this is just the beginning.
Katyal said while pollutions levels have been on the rise and more people are getting sensitized about the situation. “Initially, we had only seen parts of North India buying air-purifiers. Now sales have gained momentum in other parts of the country as well,” he said.
On average, the price of air-purifiers range from Rs 8,000 to Rs 40,000 depending on the area that the product covers. October to mid-February is considered the peak season for this product. Companies like Kent also offer table-top air purifiers for as low as Rs 2500.
It is an organized market with multinational companies dominating the space in India.
Among the companies, Samsung, Panasonic, Xiaomi, Blue Star, Kent, LG, Philips as well as UK-based Dyson offer products in the air-purifier category in India.
Air quality across cities in India have been on the decline in India, due to climate change as well as vehicular emissions. On the PM2.5 index, places like Delhi have consistently fared poorly. PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers.
Delhi has an average Pm2.5 level of 450-800 whereas the safe level is 0 to 50. Longer exposure to polluted air leads to lung and breathing ailments, chest congestion among others.
During winters, anti-pollution masks are common. Now, customers also want superior air quality in their homes.
Vir S Advani, Managing Director, Blue Star said as the per capita income of Indians goes up, there will be a demand for products related to air, food and water. Blue Star sells air-purifiers as part of its product offerings.
How do the products work?
Once the product is installed, they can offer both display and non-display varieties. A display variety gives the customer an idea of how pure the air is.
Katyal said their product with a display variety has a red button that is an indicator of the pollution levels. After being in use for a few minutes, the indicator turns green giving a signal that the air is getting cleaner in the vicinity of the device.
There are products available for a large room as well as tiny apartments. All of them are portable so that they can be easily carried around in the household.
Apart from manual switches, customers can also remotely operate the device. For instance, Xiaomi’s Mi Air Purifier launched in September 2018 aims to circulate clean air entirely for a 21 square metres room in just 10 minutes. This device can also be remotely controlled using the Mi Home app, Google Assistant and Alexa.
Will prices come down?
Most of the products and the raw material used to make air-purifiers are imported. With a rising customs duty and depreciating rupee against the dollar, prices are expected to remain constant.
While volumes are going up, companies are facing pricing pressures from the falling rupee and rising fuel costs. Katyal said the current rates will hold on for the next one to two years. However, he pointed out the products were much more affordable than three years ago.― Moneycontrol