The battle in the fast growing water purifier market seems to be hotting up with Havells India Ltd, the leading fast moving electrical goods (FMEG) company and the newest entrant in the category, aggressively positioning its brand against the existing market leader Eureka Forbes from the stable of Shapoorji Pallonji Group and other top players like Kent, Pureit, Live Pure. Interestingly, Tata Swach has also joined the bandwagon. Quite significantly, the top two players, between themselves, control as much as 80 per cent of the organised sector market.
Significantly, the water purifier market in India is estimated to be nearly Rs 6000 crore at present and is growing at 15-20 per cent CAGR. Interestingly, of this, as much as 35 per cent comes of the unorganized sector players. The overall market is expanding significantly, thanks to aggressive awareness and ad campaigns by all the leading players and unorganized sector players are also taking advantage of the growth of the overall market and are growing, said Shashank Shrivastav, vice president and BU head-water purifiers, Havells India Ltd.
“The market penetration level in this category is still very low- under 1 per cent. And therefore the potential to grow is very high. We rolled out our water purifiers in December, 2017 and so far sold 35,000 units, notching up a sales revenue of nearly Rs 100 crore in the first year of operation. We have set a target of reaching the Rs 500 crore mark within three years, capturing 10 per cent market share. And that’s not a tall order. Mind you that first time users still account for 65 per cent-70 per cent of the market, with 30 per cent-35 per cent coming from replacement sales,” said Shrivastav. Interestingly, the company is yet to crack institutional sales and hopes to get into institutional sales over the next two-three months. And once institutional sales (B2B sales) picks up, that will add significantly to the topline in value terms.
All the leading branded water purifier players harp on the attributes of their products in terms of the process they follow and the degree of purification, that their products offer. Havells, on its parts, has come up with a communication message that gives an indirect hint at how consumers often get duped with the promises of offering RO Purifier.
Havells’ adage: “Paani Se Panga Mat Lo” comes with a tagline: “Jab aap aam RO Purifier ka paani peetein hai, toh aap paani se panga letein hain, kyunki, yeh aapke paani ko acidic bana saktey hain (when you drink water from any other RO Purifier, you are getting into an issue- you are taking a fight with your water, because this can make your water acidic).”
Shrivastav claimed that Havells water purifier, which comes in seven variants- ‘XXX UTC One’, ‘Digitouch’, ‘Digiplus’, ‘UTS’, ‘Max’, ‘Pro’ and ‘UV Plus’, is India’s first water purifier with pH balance and natural mineral fortification capability.
“In our case, utmost thrust is laid on innovation and R&D. As much as 2-2.5 per cent of our total annual revenue (turnover) is spent on R&D. And as much as 95 per cent is manufacturers indigenously and in-house at our 12 manufacturing facilities spread across seven locations in the country. These 12 facilities together have a capacity of manufacturing 5 lakh units per annum,” he said, adding that Havells water purifiers are available across all major states, except J&K and north eastern states. He said that the company will utilise its existing sales and distribution network and has also created a dedicated after-sales service mechanism. Besides, all service technicians have been carefully trained for the in-house developed technology and would offer service in every part of the country. Customers would also be able to reach through the toll-free helpline of Havells, he said.