Air cooler brands bank on new tech, competitive pricing to beat the unorganised market

The last couple of days have provided a little relief from the scorching heat in the North due to rains, but the temperatures are set to soar again. Come summers and here is a rush to get various electronic products to beat the heat. Air coolers is a category that sees tremendous traction during the summer months. As per industry reports, the Indian air cooler market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% during 2022-27. While the uncertainties of Covid-19 had hit the industry, but now the outlook is very positive, especially with the pent-up demand in this category, which is highly price driven and the next best alternative to an expensive air-conditioner.

The price advantage offered by air coolers is an attractive proposition, along with relatively low running and maintenance cost. For decades, people have been going for locally manufactured air coolers that have a simplistic mechanism – a metal body with a powerful pump, fan and lining of khus-khus. It has been middle class and the lower income groups’ saviour from the scorching heat.

Growth of the rural economy and increased penetration of electricity, new technology, rising disposable incomes and a more robust and improved distribution network is also helping brands make deeper inroads in the Tier 2, 3 and rural markets.

For long, the unorganised sector has been dominating the air coolers category. But now, branded players such as Symphony, Orient, Bajaj and Havell have started to see greater traction, with modern technology, sleeker looks, more design options and great value for money. Last year, Godrej Appliances forayed into the air-cooler category.

Highlighting the market potential of air coolers, Ravindra Singh Negi, President – Electrical Consumer Durables, Havells India, pointed out that they are ideal for tropical regions and perform better in the areas influenced by hot and dry climate. “The biggest advantage with air coolers is that you save power as it reduces the electricity bills. Besides that, air coolers offer minimal capital and operating cost, easy maintenance and eco-friendly cooling with cleaner, healthier and breathable air. With summer temperatures rising, we foresee an uptick in demand for air coolers,” he added.

Negi further said, “Havells’ innovative air coolers are loaded with best in-class features and are unbeatable when it comes safety, portability and convenience. Our unique premium range of Freddo, Fresco and Brina-Plus air cooler series are equipped with Breatheezee Technology, which reduces PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles to 85%, by capturing dust particles as small as PM 2.5 into the micro dust filter nets. The specially processed anti-bacterial, anti-erosion, and anti-deformation honeycomb pads have good hydrophilic properties to absorb remaining dust particles and cleanse air thoroughly.”

Saurabh Baishakhia, President - Appliances, Usha International, said “This summer season has been very good in terms of sell-out. Summer temperatures are already breaching the 45-degree mark in many places and with issued forecasts of heat waves and an extended summer in May, we have our supply and distribution in place.”

Continuing further, he pointed out that during the past few years, the cooling appliances segment has witnessed rapid innovation with the advent of new designs and better technologies. “We at Usha have been consistently working towards new product innovations. In fact, our range of coolers boasts of state-of-the-art features such as EcoCool Honeycomb pads, remote and touch-control panels, auto tank fill with float valve technology, auto drain, humidity control, anti-bacterial tank, auto-clean reminder function, intelligent low-water alarm, and ice chambers – all of which enhance the performance and help keep to the heat away. This summer, we have launched a new range of Desert Coolers and Personal Coolers, developed based on our consumer research and insights,” Baishakhia added.

Speaking about Usha’s marketing strategy, he said that the focus has been on consumer insights and innovation. “In order to make out offer compelling, we have deployed a robust 360-degree marketing campaign across all touchpoints,” he added.

Amit Jain, Product Group Head – Air Coolers, Godrej Appliances, too, said that this summer is witnessing a pent-up demand for air coolers, with temperatures soaring and the easing of pandemic-related restrictions across various states in India.

Jain was confident of seeing a robust growth for the air coolers segment throughout the summer season. “With people across the spectrum looking for solutions to tackle the heat, the affordable buying price and lower operating and maintenance cost of air coolers in comparison to ACs is aiding the double-digit growth of air coolers. Within the air coolers category, we are extending marketing support at a local level via a mix of media vehicles ranging from digital, print, OOH and BTL activations aimed at our targeted audience. The use of celebrity brand ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana in the brand messaging is expected to aid visibility and recall further. Air coolers are more efficient in dry regions across north, north-west, central and east India, and within these zones, the category garners high sales volumes across the large spread of Tier 2 and 3 towns.”

Emphasising on the innovation front, Jain added that Godrej Air Coolers with Inverter Technology delivers superior cooling and greater energy efficiency. The brand was the first to introduce Inverter Technology, hitherto associated with ACs, into Air Coolers to drive power savings and efficiency.


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