Whirlpool India is trying out a new concept in the Indian market-small dryers. Branded SmartDry, the product is undergoing a test-launch in Bangalore since mid-October. Whirlpool hopes to create a new category and expand its franchise from washing machines to the full range of fabricare solutions.
An innovative product, designed to suit Indian needs, it is priced at Rs 4,000, can dry six-seven clothes at a time and can be be folded neatly onto the wall after use.
The product offers smart drying solutions and is specially handy for drying clothes in a jiffy or in situations demanding quick solutions like attending a party or drying a uniform at short notice.
Ruling out the possibility of the product cannabalising its fully automatic washing machines market, Whirlpool said that the product offers 100 per cent drying so there will be no overlap with the washing machines, which leave clothes semi-dry.
SmartDry was conceptualised after initial in-house research had revealed that quick drying was a critical area and current solutions didn't address that need adequately. The product has been tested with consumers on parameters of robustness, safety, usability and appeal and is now in the stage of in-market testing.
The company will essentially target the urban market and A-class outlets. The initial response in Bangalore has been encouraging, with 60 pieces sold so far.
The small dryer is a product specially designed for the Indian market. It is not present in the brand's global portfolio. The mainstay of SmartDry's marketing drive will be demonstrations, within stores and in ladies clubs in a bid to reach out to its niche audience. Advertising will be limited to print.