Interview with Mr. Natarajan A., Head- New Business Unit, Whirlpool of India
1) How has the Built In appliances business grown in India?
Built-in Kitchen Appliances Market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 17% during 2016-2021; on account of changing consumer lifestyle and increase in customer awareness about benefits of using built-in kitchen appliances. The other major factors driving the built-in kitchen appliances in India are growing working population base, rising women workforce and expanding middle class population. Growing personal disposable income level, from USD 1.20 million in 2011 to USD 2.30 million in 2015, is anticipated to boost the market for built-in kitchen appliances in India over the next five years.
2) What are the strategies to face the intensified competition in the retail market? How do you market the products to the developers?
Currently, in the market there are several multinational companies as well as local brands that are operating at different price points, catering to consumers with different budgetary constraints and requirements. Whirlpool offers an enviable range of products in Built-In appliances that are segmented by features and price: Glamour at the very high end, Ambient in the middle and Genesis for the value conscious. With our products, we strive to offer to our customers with European products that are well-crafted, robust, and durable and speak of the best in terms of craftsmanship, quality as well as technology. Through our unique investments and tie ups, we stand to provide the consumer and industry the best of the high-end kitchen appliances.
Our business model is to sell through kitchen manufacturers. We have developed partnerships with >200 such manufacturers across the country. Sales and Service functions report to one unit manager to provide the best customer experience. We have also started an initiative called ‘Chef on The House’, where we send a qualified chef to our customer’s residence who buy our Built In products to provide a cooking demonstration at the comfort of their home.
3) How will the Built in appliances help the real estate industry and developers?
Luxury and premium class lifestyle has trickled down to middle class buyers these days. Today, the consumers are well-informed, tech-savy and educated. Going with the brand vision of Creating Happier Homes, Whirlpool offers built-in appliances that are technologically advanced and are easy to use. These appliances are designed to be installed flawlessly into any home, utilizing every inch of space.
Moreover, the real-estate industry has recently seen a boost in demand for luxury amenities and from developer’s point of view, it serves as an additional feature when it comes to marketing their initiative. On the other hand, buyers get an advantage of functional homes that too with an immediate effect.
4) Comments on your tie ups with Real estate developers.
Whirlpool has partnered with leading real estate players like AIWO, DLF, Della, Lodha, Kalpataru, Supertech among others to enhance the gourmet kitchen in different settings. Whirlpool’s Built-in appliances are usedin upscale service apartments, grand hotel projects, boutique residential properties and luxury residences.
5) What are the Built In range of appliances that Whirlpool has introduced in India till yet?
Whirlpool offers an array of Built-in appliances that are at par with competition in aesthetics. These appliances are designed and manufactured in Europe; and are designed to make life easy and relaxing. Wide range of Whirlpool’s Built-in appliances includes microwaves, ovens, hobs, hoods, Built-in washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, water purifiers and wine coolers.
Apart from this, Whirlpool has also introduced its super premium brand KitchenAidthat also has a variety of Built-in appliances for its customers in India.