The company’s room air conditioners are available at 5,000 outlets in 575 locations in various formats.
Air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration major Blue Star on Wednesday said the company is putting in place new strategies to achieve 15% market share in the air-conditioning segment by the end of FY 2024.
To achieve the target, Blue Star, which currently has a 12.5% market share, is planning to penetrate further, deeper across the country by doubling its outlets from the current 5,000, enhancing its share of trade in e-commerce from current 5% to 25%, and rolling out innovative products across all price points.
Besides, as part of the growth strategy, the company has roped in Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli as brand ambassador and planned a big bang marketing campaign for the next 14 months, which includes the ensuing festival season.
B Thiagarajan, MD, Blue Star, told FE that in order to achieve the target of 15% market share, the company needs to adopt a different ball game, given the competition in the market place.
“It is becoming a complex game, and we need different strategies altogether. So far, we had resisted the need for having a celebrity to endorse our brands. But having chalked out new growth plans, we have now hired Virat Kohli,” he said.
Explaining the plan about how he is going to garner the targeted market share, Thiagarajan said that company’s products should reach everyone and every geography should get access to its products.
“You need to reach out to every nook and corner of the country and address every customer category and geography. The company, already a strong player in the south, will be giving increased focus on the north region,” he said. The company, which boasts of being the manufacturer of premium products, has now products across all price points.
He said that despite slowdown in the economy, the company has done well in the summer and Onam seasons and hoping to replicate the same in the Diwali sales season too. “My view is that while the air conditioning industry is likely to grow by 10% to 12%, our growth will be between 15% to 17%, during the current fiscal, ” he said. The company had clocked a sales turnover of `5,200 crore during FY19.
Blue Star had forayed into residential segment of air conditioning in 2011. With the penetration of room airconditioners as low as 5% to 6%, the room AC market continues to offer abundant opportunities for the company, he said. The company’s room air conditioners are available at 5,000 outlets in 575 locations in various formats. Currently, Blue Star has 200 exclusive brand stores in the country and plans are there to increase it to 250 stores by the end of FY20.
On the proposed new unit in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, he said that the plant is likely to be commissioned by FY22: “We operate at 80% of installed capacity and that would be sufficient till next year. The new plant at Sri City could be ready by FY22. The capital expenditure and production plans for the unit remains the same. The company had plans to set up plants at Sri City and Jammu at a combined investment of `210 crore. However, the company shelved the plans for Jammu plant,” he said.
On Virat Kohli’s appointment, Thiagarajan said the company has rolled out new festive campaign, conceptualised by FCB Interface, which unveils Kohli’s association with Blue Star’s room air conditioners. The new TV commercial highlights the company’s new range of room air conditioners which can deliver up to 30% extra cooling when needed. Since cricket has a mass appeal and Kohli’s skills are unmatched in the game, this campaign is apt for the company, he said.