Voltas to bring in more low-priced products

The Rs500-crore cooling appliances division of Voltas Limited is banking heavily on its low price strategy in air-conditioners and refrigerators to grab greater market share. In the coming months the company is likely to launch a slew of products targeted at the mass market.

With its premium image usurped by players like LG, Samsung and Hitachi, Voltas has been targeting its air-conditioners and refrigerators at the popular segment since last year. A few months ago it broke the price barrier in air conditioners (ACs) and launched window ACs priced below Rs10,000. Last year it launched refrigerators priced below Rs5,000 mainly targeted at the semi urban and rural markets.

The company says that the launch of 0.6-tonne and 0.8-tonne ACs priced below Rs10,000 helped increased brand awareness of Voltas' products and triggered demand of other products as well.

In the April-July period this year, after Voltas launched its sub one-tonne ACs, sales grew by 40 per cent. The company is now targeting sales of 2,00,000 units this year, out of which 10 per cent will be in the sub one-tonne segment.

The company also plans to come out with new products, including a refrigerator targeted at commercial establishments in rural areas. The USP of the product is its ability to run without electricity. Besides this, it is planning to launch new tower-type 1.5 ton ACs priced at Rs30,000. At present, the tower-type ACs offered by other brands are priced much higher.

Voltas will import some of these products from China where it has identified suppliers and has also set up an office. The company plans to double its turnover to Rs1,000 crore from its cooling appliance division in the next two years and also mark its global presence with aggressive exports.

The AC market is led by LG with 23-per cent market share followed by Voltas with an 11-per cent share.