While each and every brand is making a splash with its new models, it is not easy to increase market share in this hugely competitive segment. 

Washing machines have softly and slowly found their way into Indian households, and have now become a necessity in the daily lives of people. Demand has been fuelled, like other home appliances in the country, by the availability of innovative models from domestic and global brands, increasing disposable incomes, increasing investment by the government in infrastructure, and a changing household arrangement.

Indian Market Dynamics 

The Indian washing machines industry is significantly under-penetrated. Over the next 5 years, with rising disposable incomes, increased urbanization, improving rural electrification, rising affordability, increased apartment living, a shift toward nuclear family model, this graph can only look upward. Prices have been steadily falling and preference shifting toward fully automatic models, with top models being preferred over their front-loading counterparts. The rollout of GST, once the dust settles down, is also expected to provide impetus as the tax levels fall from the current 25 percent. Also GST will provide an opportunity to the manufacturers to optimize the supply chain, improve productivity and thus lower costs.

EN1_Butterfily

The Indian market for washing machines in 2016-17 is estimated as 6 million units, valued at Rs.7760 crore. Value-wise the fully automatic segment dominates with a 61 percent share, whereas volume-wise the semi-automatic machines continue to be preferred and hold a 58 percent share. The consumer is gravitating toward larger capacities, as a single load washing is increasingly being preferred. Dryers,  machines for the sole purpose of drying clothes are virtually non-existent in the Indian market as of now.

LG continues to dominate this segment, in volume terms, while Samsung has gained share since last year. Videocon family of brands and Whirlpool have aggressive presence. Godrej continues to ride high on its stainless steel model, and IFB dominates the front-loading segment. Haier, Panasonic, Intex, Vestar from Eltech Appliances, Onida, Lloyd, Siemens, and Bosch also have presence in this segment. 

Dixon is one of the largest ODM players in India. The vendor’s positioning is a one-stop solution from design to development to new model launches continuously. The other large OE vendor for washing machines is Noble.

While the urban consumer is upgrading the semi-automatic model with a fully automatic one, the rural consumer is also looking at it as a must have home appliance. Indigenous, regional players have turned their focus toward rural areas as urban markets are dominated by the multinationals. The consumer is spoilt for choice as there is no shortage of products and the market is flooded with numerous brands, at various price points, presenting a huge variety of models to choose from.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has put washing machines under the voluntary scheme of its energy star rating program. BEE’s schedule for star rating of washing machines specifies 317 wash cycles a year for the calculation of annual energy consumption of domestic washing machines. Further, for the specified sample of soiled clothing, the schedule states that three wash cycles are needed for satisfactory soil removal from the cloth. For cold wash cycles, the water temperature is maintained at 27±1°C. For all tests, except the energy-consumption test, the water temperature is maintained at 48±2°C for semi-automatic and top-loading fully automatic washing machines. For front-loading fully automatic washing machines, the corresponding temperature is maintained at 50±2°C. 

Global Scenario

Washing_Machine

The global washing machines market is expected to reach USD 42.16 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research. With the industry for smart appliances expected to take off in the coming years, washing machines account for a majority of the global smart homes appliances market, and washers and dryers have a combined 30 percent share of the global market. The fully automatic washing machines industry is expected to be the fastest-growing segment owing to the growing shortage of time for household chores. The demand for washing a large volume of load is providing traction to the growth of the washing machines having capacity of over 8 kg. The residential sector is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 5 percent owing to the transition from semi-automatic to fully automatic washing machines. Emphasis on R&D is a major strategy adopted by the key players to generate financial profits and address the environmental and social issues through technologies and products.

The Asia-Pacific region has a strong presence of consumer appliances manufacturers, especially in countries, such as Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan. This has resulted in availability of such advanced appliances at relatively affordable rates and has subsequently propelled the demand in this region. North American countries such as Canada and the US are experiencing an upsurge in replacement activities for their semi-automatic models, fueling the demand in this region. In addition, these appliances in the US are manufactured to more energy- and water-efficient norms, in line with the Federal standards and are certified by the more strict Energy Star standards. European nations are largely focused on creating a sustainable environment and are stressing on using eco-friendly and energy-efficient products. Such advanced and low-power-consuming machines are experiencing high demand in this region. MEA is also witnessing strong growing demand, especially from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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Macroeconomic factors such as digitization, urbanization, changing consumer buying patterns, and demand in emerging economies are augmenting revenue growth. The introduction of next-generation washing machines, utilizing technology for the efficient use of electricity and water, is expected to have a positive impact on the demand for these products. The increase in disposable income and decline in the average selling price is expected to propel the demand for residential washing machines. Introduction of smart connected products is attracting consumers and enabling them to replace their existing products. However, high cost of smart washing machines and government regulations could pose a challenge to the industry growth. Increased needs for differentiated products and services have led to an upsurge in investments for R&D activities. The energy labels and energy-efficiency policies have enabled manufacturers to focus on the development of energy-efficient products.

Technology Update

Washing_Machine

Continuous product innovations have led to the development of advanced washing machines that increase comfort levels and convenience for users. Companies are coming up with advanced, innovative features. Introduction of smart washing machines has led to a major increase in demand. Wi-Fi is being extensively used in smart washing machines, while near-field communication is also being explored to establish radio communication with smartphones and to bring them in proximity. Smart technology is enticing a portion of the customer base to replace their old machines with smart connected counterparts. Smart washing machines have gradually started penetrating into the market. Leading players have incorporated several sophisticated technologies in their washing machines in a bid to differentiate their products from competition and consolidate their customer base. The push by regulatory and government authorities to adopt smart devices is also contributing to overall growth.

Features such as auto optimal wash, smart control, eco-check, smart diagnosis, smart nudges, automatic detergent dispensing, power wash system, and steam care functions have been launched. Many models are also incorporating self-cleaning elements. These features often use soaking and high-speed spinning to clean them without the use of chemicals. Sixth sense is one among the innovative technologies used in washing machines. The capabilities of the machine acquire a whole new dimension with the help of this technology, which will induce a common sense into the system and thus help it in becoming more user friendly. The built-in sensors measure the load, spin speed, and water temperature, and the automatic controls regulate various inputs. Another similar technology used in washing machines is fuzzy logic. This technology makes the machines completely automatic. The technologies limit human intervention and thus the monitors and sensors determine different inputs automatically. This helps in reducing wastage. Speed is of essence. Programs with quicker cycles but running similar efficiency are being added. Considering consumer’s busy lifestyle many appliance makers are introducing speedy cycles/quick programs. The segment is living the twin-drum age – be it twin washers or washer and dryer below one another.

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The latest technologies also help in reducing the usage of materials such as detergents and softeners. The quality of water used is also monitored. The hardness of water is determined. The exact time required for washing and drying the clothes is determined by the sixth-sense technology. This helps the users to time themselves properly and indulge in multiple activities. Consumers are getting options to add clothing mid-cycle, lower energy usage, optimize wash cycles, and control cycles remotely. Some sensors help in determining the quality of detergents and the perfect water temperature according to the texture of clothes loaded in the machine for washing. Air refresh technology is also among the most popular technologies used in the washing machines. This technology initiates the induction of fresh air into these machines and heating the air too. Washing and drying of clothes is done with the help of this air and steam. The sole aim of these technologies is to make washing machines more user friendly. Features in washing machines such as auto optimal wash, smart control, eco-check, smart diagnosis, and smart nudges have been introduced by some brands.

Strong Distribution Channels

Vendors are emphasizing on developing holistic distribution channels to cater to all types of customers. Investments in supply chain management strategies along with enhancement in product assortments have been noted in recent times.

Players are also launching informative and interactive websites to enhance customer reach. These websites provide expert advice on the use of products along with product promotions.

Before purchasing products, most consumers now prefer researching about product features and conduct a thorough price comparison. Another advantage of online shopping is the opportunity to voice opinions about products while gaining an opportunity to read customer reviews in order to make informed decisions prior to the purchase.

Outlook

Increasing disposable incomes and easy financing options have led to shortened replacement cycles, whereas rising influence of modern lifestyle has perceived washing machines as utility items rather than luxury goods. The rural consumer is also excited about this product and the brands are making inroads into semi-urban and rural areas. With a 10 percent penetration, this household appliance is expected to see growth in the vicinity of 10–15 percent every year.

Sunil Vachani

Dixon is one of the largest ODM players in India with the installed capacity of 75,000 washing machines per month and is manufacturing larger capacities from 6.2 kg to 9 kg. The company has transformed itself from prescriptive EMS to ODM and has developed a cost-efficient model with contemporary designs, molds, and supply chain expertise. One of its major strengths includes its own tool room, design capability, R&D, within-house plastic molding infrastructure, ranging from machines having capacity from 80 tons to 2200 tons. With top Indian and foreign MNCs as our prestigious customers, the vendor’s positioning is a one-stop solution from design to development to new model launches continuously.

Sunil Vachani
Chairman and Managing Director,
Dixon Technologies (India) Private Limited

Gaurav Minocha
Industry Speak
Evolving Trends for Washing Machines in 2017

On sales trends

Panasonic India witnessed 19 percent sales growth in FY16-17 for the washing machine segment. Model-wise, we observed 78 percent growth for front-load, 16 percent for top-load, and 18 percent in semi-automatic washing machines. In 4 years’ time of manufacturing the product, we have achieved more than 5 percent market share and are aiming to achieve 10 percent market share in the FY 2017-18. 

On market trends 

The consumer durables industry is valued at `65,000 crore and is growing by 10.1 percent. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent from FY 2015 to 2020. Currently, the washing machines segment is growing at 20 percent. In India, washing machines market has immense potential and opportunity for greater penetration in the urban, semi-urban, and rural population. Demand for washing machine goes up during monsoon, when Tier-II and Tier-III areas contribute almost 40 percent to the total washing machine sales. This segment is expected to grow in the coming years. Fully-automatic washing machines are growing more than 20 percent while semi-automatic are growing more than 15 percent. 

On technology trends

New and innovative technologies in washing machines are making their way in the Indian market. Along with the emphasis on design, energy efficiency, and technology, manufacturers are offering products facilitating a better and smarter life. 

At Panasonic, we focus on technologies that are useful for energy and water savings, without compromising on quality of wash. We have launched ECONAVI technology, which detects the wash load and water temperature to determine the optimum operation time required to clean the clothes. We have also launched 13 models of fully automatic top-loading washing machine series FoamPremia with latest features, such as advanced technology, user-friendly convenience, and enhanced performance. Earlier this year, the company launched StainMaster model, a product developed for the Indian market. With its Curry Mode feature, it provides an option to remove stains, which are common in Indian market such as tea, coffee, lipstick, wine, and oil.

Gaurav Minocha
Head-Home Appliances,
Panasonic India

Eric Braganza
Industry Speak
World of Opportunities for Innovation

Washing machine is an essential appliance for almost every household. It is something which is omnipresent in any modern contemporary household. Washing appliances are used both in commercial well as residential sector. However, the residential washing machines market in India is expected to witness strong growth in the coming years. Though the penetration rate of washing machine as a product in India is still low as compared to other developed countries, even then looking at the changing trends, advanced technologies, and evolving consumer behavior, this sector is expected to grow at a positive rate. 

The growth and demand for washing machines in the country has majorly increased due to urbanization, spread of digital tools, and ever-continuous changing trends, diverse interests, and evolving preferences of people in India. Additionally, there are a few other factors, which fuel the growth of washing machine market in India, such as growing middle class, increasing household incomes, and initiatives taken by the government toward rural household development, etc. 

The choice amongst a fully automatic or a semi-automatic one, a top-load or a front-load is fundamentally made by the consumer taking into consideration his specific need and requirement such as noiseless and low vibration. Machines equipped with two washing drums to cater to different washing needs of a family and an added advantage of the DD (direct drive) motor that helps user to save power consumption. A joint family will usually prefer a machine with larger washing capacity. With evolving consumer trends, there are latest technologies observed in the market, which are smart washing machines – these are machines enabled with Internet facility to manage and control from any remote location, and machines with self-cleaning technology for enhanced washing experience.

Looking at these developments taking place, innovative home appliances will continue to become popular in India. And as time advances, people are expected to be more adaptive, paving way for a whole new world of opportunities for manufacturers to innovate and introduce new products and make life easier and convenient than ever before.

Eric Braganza
President,
Haier Appliances India

Rakesh Sial
Industry Speak
Design and Innovation Hold the Key

FY 16-17 was a good year for washing machines. It witnessed growth of 16 percent over FY 15-16. One of the key segments propelling this growth is the 6.5 kg and above fully automatic top-load washing machines, which registered a growth of 38 percent over the previous year. This segment enjoys a wide range of products available across different brands and price points. It is also a core segment for modern trade and online channels, which gives it an additional push, specifically in the urban markets. 

In semi-automatic washing machines, the 7.5 kg and above segment saw an aggressive growth of 36 percent. This growth was primarily due to larger capacities being available at affordable prices vis-à-vis fully automatic machines, which have always been the key value proposition for semi-automatic customers. 

The market is increasingly showing signs of acceptance for front-load washing machines as well. So overall the washing machine market has shown positive signs all around.

Along with the continuous focus on technology for effective and efficient cleaning, convenience and ease of use are other key factors which impact consumers’ buying decisions. It was also the space for innovation in washing machines across segments. Just like smartphones, consumers want their machines to feature a well-designed user interface with a plug-and-play feel. As a result, the market witnessed a multitude of new products being introduced. Products with uncomplicated control panels for quick and automatic operations, features which allow the user to perform a pre-wash on the machine itself, if they desire, wash lids that act as removable wash trays, storage areas within the machine for frequently used wash accessories, and many such features designed around greater convenience for the user.

Washing machines focused on better stain removal were also in the spotlight last year, be it an inventive module designed solely for stain removal or wash-drums featuring in-built water spouts, all key players in the washing machines market launched products tackling the issue of stain removal.

Finally, aesthetics was a key technological trend observed as well. While aesthetics and looks do not sound very technological, clever space management and ergonomics are a science in itself. Products showcasing these aesthetic attributes as well as facelifts for existing portfolios also made their way on to the shop-floor, especially by the end of FY 15-16.

Rakesh Sial
Product Group Head-Washing Machine Category,
Godrej Appliances

Vivek Saran
Industry Speak
Improving Quality of Life

Onida is aiming to capture 6 percent market share in the washing machines category in FY 2017-18. The company has strengthened its product portfolio and is launching an array of new models. Currently, the Industry size is 5 million units and is expected to grow at 10–12 percent this year. The new range of washing machines will be in the front-load, top-load, semi-automatic functions, and washers. The brand is slated to launch over 15 models in super premium, premium, and economy ranges. In the super premium range, the CECED (European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers)-certified high-capacity front-load washing machines will offer features such as lowest noise levels and touch panel display that is unique in the category. The motor of this machine is directly attached to the drum without a pulley or a belt, which enhances washing performance and ensures lowest noise levels and vibration. This machine is not just durable but also highly energy efficient. The primary needs of consumers, when it comes to a washing machine, are a good-quality wash, durability, and low noise levels. In the overall wash function types, the front-load washing machines have a louder spin cycle than top loaders; therefore, machines with lower dBA are preferred for a better user experience. With the launch of this product, we are addressing the specific issue of higher pitch during wash and spin cycles and are making an attempt to improve consumers’ quality of life in a meaningful way.

Vivek Saran
Head Sales,
Mirc Electronics Ltd.

Anurag Sharma
Industry Speak
Semi-Automatic Still Holds Lion’s Share

Penetration of washing machines is around 9 percent in India and is expected to increase in the coming years, with increased sales from rural India. 70 percent of the segment comprises of the semi-automatic washing machines, and the industry is expecting to have increased demand of this segment from rural consumption. The share of fully automatic machines is increasing with every passing year. The demand for washing machines as a category is yet to reach significant levels. The Indian consumers are fast shifting toward fully automatic from semi-automatic ones as numerous leading brands are presenting a huge variety with innovative technologies. Leading players have incorporated several sophisticated technologies in their washing machines in a bid to differentiate their products from their competitors’ and make their customer base even stronger. In the era of modern technologies, models like Wi-Fi-enabled and operated from a smartphone application, and programmed to text or email, are high on the consumer wish list. Akai has plans to bring washing machines in all categories – semi-automatic, fully automatic, and front loading. Akai will soon be present with a dynamic range.

Anurag Sharma
Director,
Akai India

AN Sehgal
Industry Speak
Washing Machine– Now a Necessity

Over the years, washing machine has become a necessity because of awareness, affordable income, and desire for ease of living. Single-tub semi-automatic machine is low priced compared to twin-tub. Single-tub washing machines are the preferred option of the lower strata of the middle-income group households.

Twin-tub washing machines are in high demand both in urban and rural households in the middle-income groups due to affordable prices and for better features and utilization. Fully automatic ones are more popular amongst upper-income urban households as they are able to afford the higher price and recurring running expenses, and maintenance cost. However, this segment is also finding popularity and penetration in the elite in rural areas. Ratio of sales between semi-automatics and fully automatics is 65:35, but percentage of growth of fully automatic is likely to increase in future at a CAGR 20 percent.

With increase in demand and production, many new players are entering the market. Technology improvements would continue based on future requirements of customers and environment. Mandatory provision of adopting standardization and star rating likely to be enforced would accelerate efforts toward improving product quality. 

We, at T-Series, are present in single/twin-tub semi-automatic washing machines segment and our sales are growing at 15–20 percent annually. Quality and alluring prices, backed by effective and efficient after-sales service, is the motto of our company.

AN Sehgal
Director,
Super Cassettes Industries Pvt. Ltd.