A customer examining a washing machine at a retail outlet, in Anna Salai, Vellore, Tamilnadu

The good monsoon this year brought copious business for washing machine players with over 20 per cent growth during the peak sale months (between June and August).

Almost 55 lakh washing machines are sold every year with the category estimated at ₹7,000 crore. The category has low penetration at less than 10 per cent compared to other home appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioners. Apart from the monsoon fuelling growth for the category, users looking for larger capacity machines is also aiding sales.

Market leader LG has recorded a growth of 20 per cent over last year during the monsoon season. “We are now looking forward to our Onam sales,’’ said Niladri Datta, Corporate Marketing Head, LG.

Consumers’ need

With the washing frequency dipping, the need for larger capacity machines is making companies innovate. For instance, home-grown home appliance major Videocon Industries is upgrading its models from 6 kg to 8 kg.

Rajesh Rathi, Sales & Marketing Head, Videocon Industries, said: “Consumers want to upgrade capacity since the frequency of daily washing is going down. As the frequency of washing decreases, there is need for larger sized washing machines since the volume goes up… We are addressing this need.’’

“While there has been a spurt in sale at 15-20 per cent during the monsoon, the category which has seen low penetration at 8 per cent is also growing in value terms due to the larger capacities,’’ added Rathi.

Growing category

The spurt in monsoon sales is also being experienced by other players.

“Sale of washing machines as a category has expanded from 50 lakh to 65 lakh units this year with the category growing at 15 per cent so far. Semi-automatic and the top-load segments have grown 15-20 per cent,’’ observed Gaurav Minocha, Head – Home Appliances, Panasonic.

The Japanese durables player managed to grow the business of its washing machines by 25 per cent this monsoon compared to about 15 per cent last year. Instead of importing machines from its subsidiaries in Thailand, Panasonic has now started making them locally and sells almost one lakh machines a year.

German MNC Bosch Siemens Home Appliances, which had a monsoon campaign for the first time since inception this year, also claims to have got the needed ROI (return on investment) for its campaign.

“We experienced growth rates of 30-40 per cent for the front-load washing machines during July. The investments made for our first television campaign has paid off and sales peaked this monsoon,’’ said Gunjan Srivastava, MD&CEO, Bosch Siemens Household Appliances.

[Source:- thehindubusinessline]