Airconditioner makers like Voltas, LG, Daikin, Panasonic, Blue Star, Hitachi and Haier are witnessing some green shoots in sales this year after two successive years of weak growth and expect a double-digit rise in their sales this season. Also, the companies are expecting higher adoption of superior technology and power efficient range of inverter airconditioners (ACs) by consumers, with northern India being seen as a bigger demand driver in the market as usual. AC makers also hope that slightly higher temperatures this summer, as predicted by the Met department, will push sales in the coming months.
Consumers are being lured by companies with several offers that include easy finance, extended warranty and free service etc. Daikin India MD and CEO Kanwaljeet Jawa looks at this season as “very promising” for the residential AC segment and believes that fundamentals are in place and intact. “The industry is poised at an inflection penetration of 7-8 per cent, and I see it exploding over 10 per cent.
The developed nations like Japan, the US, Australia and China are all above 90 per cent penetration. India has a huge potential. I predict the industry growing at 14-15 per cent during FY2019-20,” he added. Besides, companies are expecting higher rural electrification and rise in disposable income and aspiration levels to help ramp up sales figures this year. They are investing substantially on branding and market to reach consumers in tier III places and rural areas.
“This year the IMD has predicted strong summers, and some of the green shoots are already visible with temperatures rising in southern India in March itself, and markets showing buoyancy in parts of east and west India,” Voltas MD and CEO Pradeep Bakshi said. Panasonic India President and CEO Manish Sharma said there is a progressive shift in the consumer demand for upgraded technologies and energy-efficient range of ACs. “The progressive shift in the consumer demand for upgraded technologies, energy-efficiency and health and lifestyle value offerings has had a positive rub-off on the air conditioners segment and driving growth of the industry. The improvement in consumer's discretionary are factors that would contribute to the growth,” he said.