Prashant Dhar
Vice President (Marketing),
Ariston Thermo Private Limited

Reborn Everyday With Hot Water

The overall water heaters market is Rs 3000 crore and is growing at a rate of around 10 percent per year. The penetration level of the category is still low at around 10 percent in urban India. This signifies that the potential for the category to grow is immense. With the disposable income in the Indian households going up, the penetration is definitely going to increase. Water heaters ownership is not restricted to a single unit in a household but has a potential of multiple units, so that expands the scope of the category. Water heaters are gradually moving from a basic consumer durable to a bathroom accessory. Aesthetic designs along with technological innovations offering customization and energy savings are the factors that drive value for the consumer.

Current technologies are focused on energy efficiency, safety and durability. The products on offer these days are much more energy efficient than yesteryears. The new technology in water heating is the tankless or the online instant water heaters technology. However, they are mainly limited to the metro. The bulky products of yesteryears are now sleeker, which blend into the trendy bathrooms of today and are easy to operate.

If you look at the penetration of the category, it is still low. This signifies that the potential for the category to grow is immense. With the disposable income in the Indian households going up, the penetration is definitely going to increase. The consumer of today is not looking at a consumer durable as a mere appliance but an extension of her own personality and lifestyle. The choices are governed by the need for customization and aesthetics while being conscious of the environment. Innovation backed by consumer insights is the way forward for water heating.

As a brand, we see a lot of opportunity and hence we are planning to grow by leaps and bounds in the next two to three years. It is also important to note that electricity shortages and frequent outages are major constraints for higher penetration of electric water heaters, especially in tier-II and III towns.

Utilizing renewable sources of water heating is a wonderful way to reduce the carbon footprint. Better infrastructure and piped water facility in rural India would drive solar water heaters penetration. For Solar water heating, challenges can be bifurcated in to three broad areas – development of rural market (lack of piped water supply and logistics issues; retro market (inadequate area for installation on the roof, problem related to management of a community system; and industries (solar can meet only a small part of the total thermal heating requirement as the space required for installation is very large). We see good opportunity in heat pumps, especially in the commercial applications. We have an optimistic outlook for 2019. Expect the newer technologies like tankless and heat pumps to grow at an inorganic pace. While the EWH category shall grow organically.

Broadly, Racold would continue to consolidate its leadership in EWH category and in solar to capitalize and drive higher growth for the category. With its expansion in the solar water heating domain for domestic and commercial/industrial applications, Racold would continue to provide integrated hot water solutions on a turnkey basis for a wide range of applications. In terms of communication, Racold would be aggressive in its strategies in the coming year and would have focused activities to reach out to the consumers.

We have one of the widest distribution networks in India in the water heaters category. This is backed up by a nationwide presence of our company sales and service personnel supported by dealer promoters. Racold has a pan India presence with over 12000 retail outlets and 216 service centers that help us to deliver an unparalleled customer experience. We would continue to expand our presence across town classes and continuously enlarge our product offering in all 3 categories – electrical, solar and gas water heaters.

Racold as a brand is synonymous with breakthrough innovation, premium quality, and complete customer satisfaction. The brand position of Reborn Everyday With Hot Water establishes the role of quality hot water from Racold in a consumer’s life. The current communication of #PowerOfHotShower takes this theme ahead. Being market leaders in the category, we would continue to invest in media, on ground activations and mobile and digital to further build relevance and aspiration for our brand in the coming year.

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