Samsung seeks to consolidate leadership in India; eyes refrigerator market

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul | Photo: Reuters

South Korean consumer electronics major Samsung is betting on India's small towns and rural areas to consolidate its position as the leader in the country's refrigerator market, a senior company official said on Wednesday.

The company, which on Wednesday introduced its 2020 refrigerator line up for India, including one that can prepare curd, is banking on innovations and hiked capacity in entry level refrigerators to increase its overall market share to 35 per cent this year from 33.9 per cent last year.

"We find that there is a lot of opportunity to be present in the addressable market (in India) with low penetration (of refrigerators) in tier III and tier IV (markets)," Samsung India Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business, Raju Pullan told PTI.

The overall penetration of refrigerators in India is 33 per cent and frost free penetration will be at about 18-20 per cent, he added.

In its 2020 line up, Samsung has introduced five-star rated direct cool single door refrigerator with new 2020 energy norms with capacity increased to 198 litres from 192 litres earlier. The line up is priced between Rs 17,990 to Rs 45,990.

"For the first time ever Samsung's launch (in India) is in frost free and also in direct cool refrigerators with innovations and capacity. That's what consumers there want. The first thing that a consumer in tier II, III and IV wants is the capacity," he said.

Convenience, storage space and energy efficiency are the key features consumers look for in a refrigerator and Samsung's 2020 range addresses all these needs, he said, adding that the new range of refrigerators would further strengthen its market leadership.

"We want to expand the market. Therefore we find a very large scope because of the very low penetration to drive this segment of products," Pullan said.

Claiming that Samsung became the number one in overall refrigerator market in India in the second half of last year, he said, "Our intent this year is to consolidate and take a dominant leadership position in the refrigerator category."

As per industry estimates, the Indian refrigerator market is valued at around Rs 21,000 crore with LG, Whirlpool, Godrej and Haier the other players in the top five.

"Our objective (for 2020) is that from the current 33.9 per cent market share, with these new launches we move up to 35 per cent," Pullan said, adding that the company is looking at 32 per cent market share in direct cool segment from 28 per cent at present.

In frost free, he said Samsung is targeting 45 per cent market share, up from 42.6 per cent currently, while the target in side-by-side segment is 50 per cent, up from 48.3 per cent at present, he said.



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