Rajiv Kenue , COO , Kenstar

“The water heaters industry, which is composed of organized and unorganized players, has not only showcased escalating growth levels, but also constant innovation in the products offered by numerous brands.”

The comfort of home appliances has played a major part of our lives for decades. One of the appliances, whose demand has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, is the water heater. Especially, the higher and mid-priced water heaters have shown a surging popularity in FY 2016–2017. The water heaters industry, which is composed of organized and unorganized players, has not only showcased escalating growth levels, but also constant innovation in the products offered by numerous brands.

Today, the demand for water heaters does not stop only for domestic homeowners and residential purposes. It has unprecedented demands in industrial and commercial sectors too. Research says that the Indian water heaters industry is expected to surpass USD 450 million by 2020. The key factors behind this staggering growth are increasing disposable incomes, game-changing government initiatives, growing awareness among consumers, and continuous innovation through ground-breaking technologies.

While electric water heaters have been dominating the market, there is a sleeping giant that has lately woken up – solar water heaters. These heaters have taken up a tremendous pace in the market as well as in our lives too. With people changing their mind sets and shifting from electric to solar water heaters as per the surging environmental awareness, the industry will only see an upswing in the solar water heater category in the coming years. The benefits of these heaters are humongous, both in terms of eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. Other technology innovations that are soon expected to hit the market are tank less water heaters and air energy water heaters.

Amid such inventions and innovations, a lot of foreign companies are entering the Indian market with matchless water heaters. Giving a tough competition to the local players, these come pre-fitted with WiFi-enabled water heating systems controlled by smartphones. All you need to do is install an application and you are ready to go. However, the question that remains here is – when will these top-notch products be available to the end consumer at an affordable price?

Another bottleneck that India faces is the availability of Chinese solar water heaters at such a low price. In India, the same product from a local player costs much higher than from a product imported from China. However, GST has brought huge relief to the Indian players by keeping the renewable energy devices including solar water heaters at the lowest tax slab.

In addition, with central and state government’s increasing priority toward solar power, it seems that the solar water heaters market in India has a lot of potential to tap and opportunities to come out with. It has given rise to a large number of employment opportunities to huge masses in the country. Initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna and Surya Mitras tenth Batch training program, have provided a lot of people with better employment opportunities, driving them toward a better future.

The current water heaters market reflects that India is only going to take good charge of this emerging opportunity. With the deluge of more players in the market, it seems that the Indian water heaters industry will achieve great heights in the future. Amassing bigger opportunities and benefiting the end consumer, water heaters are set to take the Indian market by storm. Only those who can adapt to the latest technology and consumer trends will be able to augment their businesses in India with skyrocketing sales and winning million hearts. Today, the competition is tough, tomorrow it will be tougher, and a day after, we will be witnessing battles between domestic and international players. So, let us wait and watch, who can be the trendsetter in tomorrow’s India.