At a time when Hindustan Lever and Procter & Gamble are busy trying to oust each other in the pricing game in detergents, Haier, the world’s second largest home appliance brand, launched its detergent-free washing machine.
This break-through technology in washing machines has been globally launched in May and has so far received enthusiastic response in international markets, said T K Banerjee, president & CEO of Haier Appliances (India).
The washing machine works on the principle of membranous chemistry and uses electrolysis and activated water treatment technology for getting the desired results. According to the company, its double-drive technology provides 25 per cent better washing than normal washing machines. The 6 kg capacity machine is priced at Rs 34,990
The $9.2 billion Haier group entered the Indian mart in December 2003 and claims that its operations will break-even this month. It has launched colour televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, microwave ovens, clothes dryers, dishwashers, DVD players and home theatre systems.
Most of its high-end products are imported and sold in the country. Haier sources its direct cool refrigerators from Whirlpool and Voltas and conventional colour televisions from third parties. Haier is now looking at introducing mobile phones in the domestic market in the next couple of months.
After establishing sales and distribution network across the country, it is now planning to set up research & development and design centre in and around New Delhi.
Pranay Dhabhai, director of Haier India, said, “The R&D and design centre would not only test some of the overseas products that will be introduced for the Indian consumers but also work on India-centric products. It would also reduce the lead time involved in introducing more India-centric products which development work presently takes place overseas.”
Haier group has 18 R&D centres in the world and has 13 manufacturing facilities in the world. Next year, it plans to set up plant for producing colour televisions and intends to make India as a production base for exports for Africa and Middle East regions.
The over Rs 22-crore Haier India plans to increase the number of its exclusive Planet Haier showrooms to 20 from the current 5 by the end of March 2005.