Weather continues to have a major impact on sales in India. The promise of a long and hot summer is music to the ears of the AC industry. March, April, and May have seen exceptionally good sales for air conditioners (and refrigerators too). And the trend is expected to continue for at least a couple of months. If the monsoon also plays truant, the industry may see a 40–45 percent growth over the same period as last year. Brands are investing in manufacturing facilities, ramping up their distribution network, focusing on the latest models as inverter ACs and energy-efficient ones, getting celebrities to endorse hyped up ad budgets, and even moving toward exploring the possibility of making India an export hub.
On a similar note, increased pollution levels have added a new product to the dealer’s offering basket – the air purifier. Projected to grow at a CAGR of 30 percent over the next five years, this product has caught the attention of the elite consumer, albeit primarily in the metros, with Delhi ahead in the race.
The last four months, since January, have seen an appreciation in the rupee to 64.5 from 67.5, prompting the flat-panel TV makers to drop prices by about 5 percent. However, the appliance makers, with rising commodity prices, particularly of steel and copper, finally raised their prices by about 3–4 percent in April.
The month of May is seeing major aggression in the online marketplace. Amazon with its Great India Sale, scheduled May 11–14, is promising the consumer thousands of blockbuster deals at never-seen-before prices. Flipkart is not far behind with its tenth anniversary celebration, Big 10, scheduled May 14–18, offering 20–60 percent discounts on TVs and appliances. This is in anticipation of some confusion expected once GST is implemented in July and a pre-emptive strategy before the next discount bonanza in the festive season hits the market.
On the global front, the television market is certainly high on technology. As QLED TVs, a marketing term for an LCD TV with a QD-enhanced backlight, gain popularity, there are 13 brands selling OLED TVs, and a Micro LED TV is not far behind.