Boosted by a 30-per cent increase in sales during the June quarter, Whirlpool India has decided to increase its investment in product development, marketing, sales and service infrastructure by 10-15 per cent this fiscal.
Having revised upward its revenue growth projection from 15 per cent to more than 20 per cent for the year, the Indian arm of the US-based Whirlpool Corp plans to invest around Rs300 crore in India over the next three years.
Talking to reporters in Kolkata on Thursday, Whirlpool of India vice-president (corporate affairs and strategy) Shantanu Dasgupta said the company wants to ensure that it can ''drive growth in an improving market''.
For this, it is using the forthcoming festive season (September-November) as a test case.
''We hope to garner around Rs450 crore of cumulative revenue in this period. We hope to achieve 40 per cent growth rate in the ensuing quarter,'' he said.
''For the past one year, our focus was on cost-control and maximising margins. We lowered our marketing investment and there was a total freeze on recruitment. The strategy no doubt worked for us. We generated a Rs100 crore cash surplus in the first quarter of this year, improved our profit and cleared our debt. Now is the time to change our strategy to drive both revenue and profit,'' Dasgupta said.
The company is betting on refrigerators, washing machines, water purifiers and built-in kitchen segments for growth in its market share. ''We are aspiring to lead the Indian market in these product segments. Currently, we are either number two or three, though we lead in 'direct-cool' refrigerators,'' he said.
Whirlpool India has a 22 per share in refrigerators, 15 per cent in washing machines, 8 per cent in microwave ovens, and 4 per cent in ACs. ''We will roll out a new line of refrigerators, microwave ovens and washing machines. We will also foray into side-by-side and three-door refrigerator segments,'' Dasgupta said.