Whirlpool to alter its India biz strategy
KOLKATA: Having weathered the downturn with success, Whirlpool of India has decided to completely alter its business strategy for the fiscal. The Indian arm of the world’s leading home appliances maker, the $19-billion Whirlpool Corp of US, plans to increase its investment on product development, marketing, sales and service infrastructure. Towards this, Whirlpool plans to invest around Rs 300 crore in India over the next 3 years.
The Rs 2,100 crore company has also revised upward its revenue growth from 15% to more than 20% for this fiscal. Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Whirlpool of India vice president (corporate affairs and strategy) Shantanu Das Gupta said the company wants to ensure that it can drive growth now that the market and consumer sentiments are improving.
"For the last one year, our focus was on cost-control and maximising margins. We lowered our marketing investment and there was a total freeze on recruitment. The strategy no doubt worked for us. We generated Rs 100 crore cash surplus in the first quarter of this year, improved our profit and cleared our debt. Now is the time to change our strategy to drive both revenue and profit," said Mr Das Gupta.
While Whirlpool of India grew its revenue by 6% in 2008-09, sales went up by 7% in April, 15% in May and touched 30% growth rate in June and July. "In fact, we are hopeful to achieve 40% growth rate in the ensuing festive season (September-November) and garner around Rs 450 crore cumulative revenue in this period," Mr Das Gupta said.
The company is betting on refrigerators, washing machines, water purifiers and built-in kitchen segments to grow in the market. "We are aspiring for market leadership status in the Indian market in these product segments. Currently, we are either in the number two or three positions and enjoy leadership in direct cool refrigerator," said Mr Das Gupta.
Whirlpool of India enjoys 22% share in refrigerator, 15% in washing machine, 8% in microwave oven and 4% in AC. "We will roll out a new line of refrigerators, microwave oven and washing machines. This apart, we will also foray into side-by-side and three-door refrigerator segments," Mr Das Gupta said.