Prior to liberalisation, the Consumer Durables sector in India was restricted to a handful of domestic players like Godrej, Allwyn, Kelvinator and Voltas. Together, they controlled nearly 90% of the market. They were first superceded by players like BPL and Videocon in the early 1990s, who invested in brand-building and in enhancing distribution and service channels. Then, with liberalization, came a spate of foreign players from LG Electronics and Sony.
Both rising living standards, especially in urban India, and easy access to consumer finance have fuelled the demand for consumer durables in the country. Also, the entry of a large number of foreign players means the consumer is no longer starved for choice. But this has also resulted in an over-supply situation in recent times as growth levels have tapered off.
The major players in the consumer durables industry, operating in different sectors such as air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators & television include: Blue Star Ltd.,
Mirc Electronics Ltd., Whirlpool of India Ltd., Philips (India) Ltd., BPL Ltd., Sony Corporation Ltd., Samsung India Ltd., LG Electronics India Ltd., Videocon International Ltd., Kelvinator, Godrej, Thomson Ltd. & Daewoo Ltd.
But, the major players in terms of refrigerators alone, are LG Electronics, Whirlpool of India ltd, Samsung India Ltd., Godrej, Kelvinator and Videocon.
In the case of refrigerators, a chunk of the sales are still in the direct cool segment as against the frost-free one, But replacement buyers tend to go for technologically improved models. Hence, sales of frost-free refrigerators have grown.
The consumer durables segment has benefited from the growth in high-income households, with higher purchasing power. However, this has been skewed more towards urban households rather than rural segments. While the good news is that high-income households will continue to increase, it will still...