Godrej Appliances, a division of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd, is aiming for a larger share of the microwave market, the fastest growing among durables owing to a low base, with the launch of a new product, a steam microwave.
Mr Kamal Nandi, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Godrej Appliances, unveiling the product here, said the new technology used helps cook faster, reduces fat and protects nutrients. Targeted at the premium end of the microwaves market, the steam microwave is priced at Rs 14,990.
The Rs 700-crore microwave market is segmented as solo (which has only a microwave function), grill and convection. The fastest growing, with an 86 per cent growth rate, he said, was the grill segment as consumers have become health conscious about cooking with less oil. The new offering from Godrej would only reinforce lifestyle choices by health conscious consumers, Mr Nandi added. Convection microwave models are priced in the Rs 12,000-Rs 15,000 bracket and Godrej's new product will be at the top-end as well.
Mr Nandi said that owing to the microwave segment's low base, it has emerged as the fastest growing durable in the industry with a growth rate of 70 per cent. From annual sales of two lakh units in 2003-04, sales this year of microwaves will touch 7.5 lakh and expected to hit one million by next year.
In contrast, DVDs are growing at about 40 per cent and air-conditioners at 25 per cent annually, albeit on a larger base.
Godrej, which launched microwaves six months ago, claims a 5 per cent market share. With the steam microwave, Mr Nandi expects Godrej can double its share in the competitive market, which LG leads with a 30 per cent share. Tamil Nadu, he said, is a good market for microwaves and is the fastest growing for this category. The TN market contributes 20 per cent of the market for the industry, mirrored too for Godrej in its own market portfolio.
With Rs 1,000 crore in sales, Godrej Appliances, which markets air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and DVDs, apart from microwaves, is the largest division of the Rs 2,500-crore Godrej and Boyce.