Yozo Ito, Director and Business Head-Air Conditioners, Mitsubishi Electric India

India is going through revolutionary changes as AC is no longer considered a luxury but a necessity. It is becoming an item for comfort which adds value to living standards for households. Some of the key factors that have led to spike in demand for ACs are rise in residential construction activity, growing number of building renovation and remodeling projects, increasing demand for split ACs and mini-splits, expansion of middle-class population, and rise in disposable incomes, popularity of energy-efficient air conditioning systems, etc. Till some years ago, there were white goods companies that had been struggling in the already saturated urban markets. It was during those times that we began to understand that their marketing wisdom often keeps underestimating the importance of affordability in India’s non-metro and Tier-II cities. Inclusion of growth through economic Digital India is a multi-pronged effort that would bring the optical fiber network to villages, create new electronics manufacturing facilities, and promote e-governance. It has achieved notable results, with over 2 lakh kilometer of fiber optic cables connecting 100,000 panchayats. This can be a big boost to Internet access, enabling millions of people in semi-urban and rural India to reach markets and acquire knowledge.

Such proactive and intensive policy development and actions are defining features of this government, and have gone a long way toward imparting new growth impulses to the economy despite two consecutive years of drought and a moderate global growth environment. A holistic approach to addressing issues is apparent – for example, Make in India outlined policies in areas such as infrastructure development, intellectual property rights, and skill development in tandem.

Improved power situation, better awareness, and deeper penetration into upcountry towns have given a further impetus to the rapid growth of the AC industry in India. One of the latest highlights of the Indian market for ACs is the initiatives taken by government organizations like Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to regularize, set standards to minimize power consumption, and make products more energy efficient. Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER) rating for all unitary-type ACs, addition of inverter room ACs, and bringing all single-phase (up to 

3 ton) ACs under the common scheme are some of the measures taken by BEE, which will bring the best of technologies and global products to Indian households. Currently, the Ministry for Environment (Forest and Climate Change) too is playing an important role in regularizing various factors toward a greener future, where use of eco-friendly refrigerants is being emphasized. Owing to all these factors, the air conditioning industry showed remarkable growth, particularly in the premium segment. This has resulted in taking the AC market penetration from 5 percent up to 8 percent. The air conditioning market in FY2016 ended in an overall growth of more than 

15 percent with inverter technology-based ACs experiencing an increase in demand. Inverter technology is considered to be the future of air conditioning system. It is expected that inverter-based ACs would be increasing their market share and by 2020, only inverter-based ACs may dominate the Indian market.

In India, companies like Mitsubishi Electric have been working on the principle of giving only the best of the products that have been designed and developed keeping in mind the extreme weather conditions in the country. Mitsubishi Electric recently introduced a 5-Star inverter room AC (0.8 TR to 2.2 TR) with dual barrier coating (DBC) enhancing the product’s life cycle. It also launched its commercial range with inverter technology. Similarly, Mitsubishi Electric’s city multi-VRF has set various benchmarks in the industry with its superior quality of products and deliverables at high ambient and peak load. A product can be categorized as efficient once its hardware (mechanical) and software (electronic components) match in delivering the best outcome with least failures. Efficiency, technology, and least failure rate are the driving factors while comparing and rating a product from the consumer’s perspective. It is these factors that have helped products of companies like Mitsubishi Electric in being efficient, effective, and becoming the preferred choice for consumers in the premium product category.

Mitsubishi Electric is also known to give a great regard to green initiatives. Its corporate statement Changes for the Better signifies the goal and stance to continually innovate for the better and contribute toward the global concept of energy saving through its diversified products including room ACs, package ACs, cassette ACs, city multi-VRF, jet towel hand dryers, and air curtains.