Whirlpool to expand AC, built-in kitchen appliances portfolio

Whirlpool would increase its contribution as it is scouting for more geographies

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: November 20, 2016 5:38:20 pm

Home appliances maker Whirlpool of India, which is aiming to double sales in next four years, expects non-core segments like air conditioners and built-in kitchen appliances to contribute to 20 per cent of total sales by then.

Besides, Whirlpool is also investing about Rs 140 crore in next two years in its existing plants to expand production capacity and manufacture new products. Whirlpool, which presently exports to neighbouring South Asia and South East Asian countries besides parts of Australia, would increase its contribution as it is scouting for more geographies.

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“We are looking to double our turnover in next four years. We are increasing the contribution from business from the non core which is non washing machine and refrigerators, by growing into other categories,” Whirlpool of India Managing Director Sunil D’Souza told PTI.

He further added: “We are aiming to move from current 10 per cent to 20 per cent.” The company posted Rs 3,488 crore net sales in FY16. “We have set an objective of growing the base business, which is washing machines and refrigerators, and set a target of expanding our portfolio and growing beyond that. So, we are focusing on ACs, water and cooking led by our built-in business,” D’Souza added.

Presently, Whirlpool of India is operating plants at -Faridabad, Puna and Puducherry and manufactures up to 90 per cent of the domestic needs. “We had spent Rs 75 crore capex in 2015-16. In the current financial year, we plan to take this number up by 25 per cent. For the next financial year 2017-18, we intend to increase our capex further by 50 per cent over 2016-17 base,” D’Souza said.

He further added: “We have now specific plans at some of our plants. We would make sure that we would utilise them to the maximum and invest going forward. This would be for the base capacity and also focusing on new product launches.”

On exports, he said that the company is looking for new geographies, and its contribution would increase in the coming years. “Currently exports are about 5-6 per cent of our business, but we aim to grow that significantly as we go ahead,” he said. Primarily, Whirlpool exports refrigerators and washing machines from India.

“We have export markets across Asia and Africa, prominent being South East Asia, Australia and this year particularly, the new market of Morocco. We aim to continue to leverage our strong brand, differentiated products , great quality, competitive pricing and global networks to continue to increase exports,” he said.

Whirlpool of India, a subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation, has launched its premium kitchen appliances brand ‘KitchenAid’ in the major Domestic Appliance (MDA) segment in India. KitchenAid, a leading kitchen appliance brand in Europe and USA was present in India in Small Domestic Appliance (SDA) segment, which includes countertop appliances such as stand Mixer, food processor, toasters and blenders. The company is also looking to tap the opportunities emerging in the online space through its various channel partners.

“E-commerce is about 2-3 per cent of our turnover but we are seeing very aggressive growths in this channel, and we see this growth continuing for sometime in India, going close to double digits in the future,” he said. Presently, Washing Machine contributes 20 per cent and refrigerators 70 per cent to the company’s revenues while the rest come from others segment.

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