As observed in the last 3–4 years, home appliances market in India is growing steadily, and several product categories have fared well. Out of the many home appliances, air conditioners have seen positive growth in sales, thanks to the higher-than-expected summer heat from January to June this year. Consumer buying power during this heat wave shifted more toward air conditioners compared to other electronic appliances.
With time, consumer demands from an AC are changing rapidly due to evolving lifestyles of individuals, rising disposable income, advancement in technology trends like artificial intelligence, and more. Consumers have become technology conscious, which is why the smart home dream is gathering pace in the urban and semi-urban regions in India. The only way to benefit from this as a brand is to keep providing air-conditioning solutions with multi-functionality, new technology, and improved capabilities that enable faster connectivity and operations. We see a huge potential in Tier-I and Tier-II cities, which will continue to generate such demands given the development in infrastructure and availability of power. From a manufacturing point of view though, the home automation segment in India is in its nascent stages compared to the global trends and technology advancement.
Therefore, in the AC segment, the opportunity exists in product differentiation by focusing on products that will meet consumer needs and price affordability across all economic strata. For instance, the declining air quality in the indoor and outdoor environment demands innovative air-cleaning technology. At present, it is the inverter technology that is promising to deliver as per these consumer expectations.
Considering such insights, we have introduced the Cruise VarioQool Inverter series that is aimed at providing the latest of air purification, cooling, heating, and dehumidifying features without compromising on energy efficiency. We are constantly engaged in product innovation and portfolio extension to provide a seamless experience of technology to our consumers. Hence the main focus in the room AC segment will remain more on the inverter followed by non-inverter ACs.
In the coming years, we can expect brands to promote more of inverter technology because of the improved buying power, higher disposable income, and ease of availability on digital platforms.
On the digital front, the online market is slowly gaining momentum and is proving to be an essential medium, especially to market our products. Since most of the content is consumed on the digital space, it is crucial for brands to be available to consumers online.
The overall sales in the consumer-durable segment on e-commerce may not be attractive at the moment since consumers follow the research online buy offline pattern. However, this medium cannot be ignored as it remains one of the most cost-effective media to reach out to a mass audience.
The author is Director, Cruise Appliances Pvt. Ltd.