It’s raining competition in water purifiers market

The water purifier market is set to witness fierce co­mpetition with one more br­and entering the fray. Asian Paints on Tuesday announc­ed the launch of a low-cost model, while long-time market leader Eureka Forbes announced its plan to la­unch a new product line.

The estimated Rs 1,200 crore plus water purifier market, said to be growing at approximately 20 per cent annually, has seen an upsurge in interest level am­ong big corporate groups. The Tatas entered the fray late last year. Hindustan Unilever and Kent are the other big players in the market dominated by Eureka Forbes’ Aquaguard.

Hitech Plast & Clear Pla­stics, an Asian Paints ass­ociate firm, announced the la­unch of an instant purifier, a 650 ml personal water bottle. Priced at Rs 250 in urban markets and Rs 100 in the rural areas, the product, the firm claimed, has a capacity to purify 800-1,000 litres of water in one year.

“We have just started rolling out the product with Reliance Value Format and Religare Wellness. They sh­ould be available in a wee­k's time. At the same time, we are looking at additional se­lling channels like the Ind­ian Naval Canteen Servic­es,” Ashok Goel, MD, Hitec­hPlast & Clear Plastic said.

Eureka Forbes is also in the process of launching a low-cost product soon. Ma­rzin Shroff, COO, direct sal­es, Eureka Forbes, said, “I do not think that Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,500 is a low price ba­nd as many people in the bottom of the pyramid mi­ght not be able to afford ev­en this price. We are pre­sently working on a product to provide safe drinking water to all Indians and expect to launch it in a few months. It would be the lowest pro­duct in terms of cost of per li­tre of water and would cha­nge the market dynamics." The medium- to high-end water purifiers are pri­ced in the Rs 7,990 to Rs 19,990 range. The entry-level price range is Rs 999 to Rs 2,050.

Kent RO Systems last month launched an entry-level RO purifier, ‘Kent Gold Optima’, priced at Rs 1,250. Tata Chemicals launched ‘Swach’ at Rs 999. HUL, which forayed into the market with ‘Pureit’.

Brand strategist Harish Bijoor said, “Water purifiers started at the top of the pyr­amid but soon the market got saturated and the companies moved to the middle and lower end.”

Sabaleel Nandi, head, water purifier business, Tata Chemicals, said, "The penetration of water purifier is only 6 per cent in urban India and 1 per cent in rural India. Being the lowest pric­ed product, Tata Swach, which has been launched only in rural Maharashtra, would be targeting the lower end of the population.

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