Crompton has had a legacy 90 years old and counting in India. The top electrical consumer durables company has dominated the domestic fans business with a current market share of 27 percent. It has also acquired Butterfly, a kitchen and small domestic appliances brand, in March, 2022, and pledges to democratize energy efficiency now.
In line with a complete transition to energy-efficient fans from January 1 2023, the brand shared its plans to scale up production of fans for every budget that go easy on electricity bills and reduce carbon emission. The conference was attended by Mathew Job, CEO & Executive Director - Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd., Sachin Phartiyal, VP - Fans, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd., and Pragya Bijalwan, CMO, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals Ltd.
Crompton and the Evolving Fans Market
Fans have upgraded as a product vertical beyond the basic utility of air. Responding to evolving consumer preferences, Crompton India launched the country’s first anti-dust fans in 2016. One of the most common concerns with ceiling fans is voltage slumps and the resultant fluctuation in performance. Solving that pain point is Crompton’s V-sense fans solve that issue of voltage fluctuation with stable performance. Jobs discussed the significance of BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency), which provides guidelines and energy ratings, and the BEE star label that rates appliances based on their ability to reduce operating cost by being energy efficient.
There are 300+ SKUs in fans alone by Crompton, said Job as he explained the revenue growth and vertical diversification over time. “Ceiling fans contribute to 15 percent of India’s electricity bill. Shifting from a normal fan to a 1-star fan helps actually reduces energy consumption from 75W to 50W for each fan. With a 33 percent lower energy consumption, you save Rs 850 per year. Combining that with the national use of fans to the tune of 60 crores, we save energy equal to 4 nuclear power plants, also equivalent to planting 110 crore trees,” he added.
Air conditioners are still used by a miniscule population, for limited durations topping the limit to 10 hours a day for the most affluent users. However, almost every pucca house in India has a ceiling fan installed and are used for about 14-16 hours a day. The higher the service value, obtained by dividing the air delivery by power consumption, indicates the energy efficiency of fans today. A decade before, there were high entry barriers for one-star ceiling fans, but now with an affordable range around Rs1400, Crompton has democratized energy efficiency.
On Décor and Latest innovations
Ceiling fans have adapted to the fast-changing preferences in decking up residential spaces. Acing that aspect is Crompton’s SilentPro range of fans bagging the IF Design Award 2021 for its exceptional design. “Consumers are looking for a range of utilities in décor. The fans should look good, be durable, and make less noise. New-age consumers are also looking for fans to be operated by voice-enabled devices such as Alexa,” said Phartiyal.
Even in an entry-level Crompton fan, the minimum air delivery is an impressive 210 cmm. From designing the motor to adjusting that with the blades influence air delivery, which improves with premium fans because of their superior blade design, angles and capacitors.
Crompton has steadily upped the game of innovation. They have launched products that enhance the illumination of a room with controllable, in-built LED lights, a range of mood lighting and underlighting. They have created an IoT layer along with the My Crompton app. Even the BLDC fans in the regulator range are also responsive to voltage drops.
Consumers are looking for fluidic designs and Crompton’s Orra and Silent PRO ranges satisfy that demand well. There is strong demand for finesse and colours such as blue and wood veneer finishes which were unheard of before. “Our Majolica Blue fans are doing really well. People are shifting to plastic blades where you can use water transfer technology and use UV coating of high gloss colours such as coffee brown. With water transfer, you put a sticker that takes the shape of the blade seamlessly. As fans expand from mere functionality, we see customers get very selective of the colours. Some of our economy fans also carry a good colour range,” Phartiyal added.
Influencing the Target Audience Digitally
In a digital-savvy era, a lot of brand discovery happens online for ceiling fans as well. Although Crompton is present in across 60 percent of the national market, the brand, according to Jobs, gets only 35 percent of its purchase happening in pureplay offline. “That’s because the prospect researches on design, utilities, price points etc online and then come to the shop for the touch and feel. We thus see that a huge part of the sale is because of discovery via e-commerce. In the near future, it may so happen that we will facilitate the touch-and-feel experience at-home for better impact,” stated Jobs.
Emphasizing on the importance of omnichannel presence, Bijalwan cited an Amazon study, which suggests that by 40% of the consumers develop an understanding of a product that they want to buy. “By the time they reach the shop, they already have the top three brands in mind to buy their products from. Thus, a brand such as Crompton has to also influence the target audience besides creating energy efficient products,” she maintained.
Talking about their brand architecture for different products and their respective customer bases, Phartiyal mentioned the aggressive steps towards website redesign, Google ads, searches, and visibility on e-shopping sites such as Amazon and Flipkart over the last five years. To entice consumers, Crompton created crisp videos for social media, and are working on different ad films for budget-conscious and premium consumers. “This is going to be a 360-degree campaign where we do Out-of-Home, newspaper, and TV advertising. We have also taken up a retail transformation project which helps our retail partners deck up their stores through product displays and thus, provide a similarly wholesome experience to users who discovered us online. Besides, educational videos for retail partners, sales team with PoS materials, physical and e-catalogues are benefiting our trade customers, end-consumers, and employees,” said Phartiyal.
India remains to be the largest market for Crompton, and ceiling fans remain to be a very Indian category. Of late, North American markets are also showing interest in Crompton fans, considering the latest geopolitical scenario. “They have faith in Indian manufacturing abilities and have also visited our plants. So, although the export share is around 4 percent, international markets are taking note of Crompton’s offerings,” Phartiyal signed off.