BSH Household Appliances, which sells the Bosch and Siemens range of white goods, is betting on India as its next growth market. However, a group of retailers in South last month decided to stop selling the brands alleging the products are sold at deep discount in e-commerce marketplaces and the company did not take action to stop it. Gunjan Srivastava, the MD and CEO for the Indian operations at BSH Household Appliances, said the company cannot interfere with pricing as per Indian laws. Edited excerpts.
Q: What is your view on the decision by a section of dealers to stop selling BSH products in India due to e-commerce discounting?
We are fully compliant with Indian laws and stand by our very strong anti-trust values; therefore, we do not interfere with any of our retailers’ decisions on pricing. We are working with each partner individually to resolve this by reiterating our long-term commitment to our partners and the Indian market. We are exploring areas of collaboration to add value to the consumer within the avenues of our contract with each retailer.
Q: How is the company planning to tackle e-commerce discounting? Do you think the revised FDI in e-commerce policy will help to control discounting?
We welcome the government’s decision to create a level playing field with the revised FDI policy. I would like to reiterate that BSH does not interfere with any pricing decisions of any offline or online retailer. The new FDI e-commerce policy reinforces some of the core tenets of the original policy. We are analyzing the operational impact of this and the impact on discounting remains to be seen.
Q: Do you think brands will get a level playing field due to this e-commerce policy?
As the policy has just been published by DIPP its impact on brands, discounting and the industry remains to be seen.
Q: What percentage of your sales comes from e-commerce and what percentage from offline retail?
Our online and offline sales contributions are in line with the industry. The share of turnover of online versus offline is decided by the consumers directly.
Q: What is your business outlook for this year?
BSH is committed to delivering quality products, localized for the Indian consumer. We are excited about 2019 and we are expecting a healthy double-digit growth this year. The Indian market is extremely important to us and we look forward to every challenge and opportunity along the way. We would also like to reiterate, BSH does not discriminate between trade partners, be it offline or online.―Newsfeed