Godrej eyes European market for frost-free fridges

Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) Godrej Appliances is looking to export its frost-free refrigerators to European markets, according to a top executive of the company.

The appliance maker recently entered the enterprise refrigeration units for vaccines and blood banks and it expects to sell this product range in several countries, the company’s executive vice president and business head, Kamal Nandi, said.

“We will be using the Godrej Interio’s sales network to explore the market for the cooling machines for vaccines and blood banks,” Nandi said.

Its traditional export market, which contributes 3-4 percent of the company’s consolidated revenue, comprises SAARC countries and the UAE which is expected to remain stagnant this year.

The company, which is focusing on strengthening its frost-free refrigerator range, commands a 16 percent market share in India in the overall refrigerator category with a 10 percent market share in washing machines. It has a 5 percent market share in the air-conditioner segment with another six percent in the microwave category.

The appliances company expects to lift its overall market share in consumer appliances. “We aim to increase the overall market share between 2.5-3 percent this year and have hiked the sales target by five percent for the second and third fiscal quarters,” Nandi said.

He said the refrigerators will continue to drive the majority of its sales and the company is focusing on continuing to differentiate its product portfolio to achieve a higher market share.

“It accounts for 60 percent of the total unit sales,” he said.

This move is aimed to recover the firm’s lost ground as its cooling appliances division lost about 10 percent business in 2015 primarily on account of a bad summer season.

The company, which normally completes 35 percent of its annual sales during July-December, is now aiming to complete 40 percent of the target. “This will also help us in recovering the sales dip earlier this year,” the executive said.

A higher market share gels with the company’s plans to achieve Rs.3,500 crore revenue target during 2015-16.

He said the profitability for home appliances companies in India as well as abroad is varying between 3-7 percent annually and will be so for his company as well.

“The production capacity which we have at present will suffice till 2018,” he said.

Its present plant capacity can roll out three million refrigerators, 0.6 million washing machines and 0.3 million air-conditioners. Washing machine and air-conditioner production will, however, touch 0.8 million and 0.5 million units respectively by 2018.

(Avishek Rakshit can be contacted at avishek.r@ians.in)

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