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Haier India’s Future Vision: Insights from NS Satish on Innovation and Localization

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Haier Appliances India celebrates two decades of transformative innovation in the Indian market, maintaining its position as the No.1 global major appliances brand for 15 consecutive years. With a commitment to ‘Make in India’ and ‘Made for India’, Haier India unveils a diverse range of pioneering products, from OLED & QLED TVs to Super Heavy-Duty Air Conditioners. Underpinning its evolution is a new brand vision encapsulated in the slogan, “More Creation, More Possibilities,” reflecting its dedication to fostering growth and innovation. Emphasizing local manufacturing expansion, Haier India reinforces its commitment to the Indian market while continuing its journey from category leader to an ecosystem brand.

In an exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to interact with Mr. NS Satish, President of Haier Appliances India, who shared insights on Haier’s plans and focus for the Indian market.

Haier has completed two decades in India. Could you elaborate on the key insights gained during this journey, particularly concerning the unique behaviors of Indian consumers compared to other regions?

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Over the past 20 years, we’ve gained invaluable insights into the distinct consumption habits of Indian consumers. Unlike other regions, where freezer sections in refrigerators might be prioritized, Indian consumers lean towards larger refrigerator compartments. Initially, we faced challenges in aligning our products with these preferences. However, we swiftly adapted to the evolving consumer landscape, witnessing a shift from value to feature consciousness. With increasing access to information, consumers are now more aware and research-driven. This shift has minimized the influence of dealers, making consumer-brand engagement paramount. Consequently, we’ve intensified our focus on customer engagement, transforming each customer into a brand ambassador through exemplary service. Moreover, our organizational culture, akin to a startup, fosters passion and innovation among employees, ensuring product excellence. Equally vital is our commitment to the welfare of our trade partners, ensuring transparency and fair margins. This holistic approach, centered on product quality, employee empowerment, and partner satisfaction, has been instrumental in our remarkable growth trajectory, with a 25% CAGR over the last seven years.

How is Haier adapting to the dynamic behavior of consumers and leveraging emerging technologies to meet evolving needs?

Firstly, as a globally present company with brands like General Electric, Fisher and Paykel, Candy, and Aqua under our umbrella, we have a distinct technology advantage. Secondly, Haier has been rated as the number one ecosystem brand for the past five years, signifying our expertise in connected products. Our range includes Wi-Fi-enabled refrigerators and air conditioners, IoT-enabled washing machines, and even connected LED devices. This interconnected ecosystem allows for centralized control through devices like TVs, enabling seamless management of appliances from smartphones or televisions. We’re continually developing futuristic solutions to enhance customer convenience, particularly with the impending 5G penetration. Our goal is to create a connected ecosystem that makes our customers’ lives more comfortable and convenient.

How is Haier advancing the Make in India initiative and transitioning towards greater domestic manufacturing?

Our journey began with a small plant in Pune, and we’ve since expanded our manufacturing capacity to 9 million units. We’re deeply committed to localization, appreciating the government’s Make in India initiative. Localization ensures quality, cost-efficiency, and overall operational efficiency. With dedicated teams in every product category, our focus for the next two years is on localization. For instance, we successfully localized glass door refrigerators, a previously unavailable technology in India, by collaborating with local suppliers. Our future projects aim to further enhance localization efforts, focusing on both in-house manufacturing and collaboration with local suppliers for components currently imported. This strategic approach, coupled with investments in R&D, ensures consistent quality and drives our localization efforts forward.

What are your plans for 2024, including new product launches?

In 2023, we achieved a revenue of INR 7000 Crore. Looking ahead to 2024, our target is INR 8500 Crore. We have exciting plans for product innovation across all categories. For instance, in refrigerators, we’re introducing the VOUGE series, offering customization options for consumers. Additionally, we’re launching Insta-Jackets, allowing customers to personalize their appliances. Our air conditioner range includes industry-leading models like the 1.5 Ton 5 Star and 1.6 Ton variants, boasting top-notch quality and technology. Across all product categories, we’re committed to bringing innovative solutions to the market.

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