With an eye on high-end consumers, India's water purifier market leader Eureka Forbes has forged a 50:50 joint venture with UK-based Waterlogic to develop premium water purification products and solutions. The companies will invest $10 million (Rs. 54 crore) over 5 years to bring their products into the market.
The joint venture involves a Dehra Dun plant that will have a capacity of three million units per annum. It will also promote the premium range of products under the Aquaguard World Series umbrella in India as well as in Western markets.
The $84.9-million sales Waterlogic, which is currently present in 40 countries, has a fully-owned manufacturing plant in China catering only to institutional customers.
Waterlogic has been exploring the Indian market for the past two years. “We are strong on technology and have developed Firewall, the first water purification system that will be launched in India, under the JV,” said Jeremy Ben David, group CEO, Waterlogic.
“However, Eureka Forbes with its 8,000 direct sales people and 1,100 service centres brought in strengths we did not have in India.”
Of the Rs. 1,500-crore water purifier market in India, at least Rs. 500 crore will be accounted for by high-end water purification products over the next five years, industry experts say.
“We at Eureka Forbes were looking around globally for water purification systems for the top-end of the market,” said Suresh Goklaney, executive vice chairman, Eureka Forbes, and chairman, Aquamall, the Indian company’s manufacturing entity with which Waterlogic has signed the JV. “Waterlogic, with its cutting edge technology expertise, suited us for partnering with.”
In India, the target will be top-end consumers. “There is a growing class of aspirational, affluent consumers in India, looking for high-end water purification products - cold and hot purified water out of the tap, for example - that fit in with their lifestyles. These consumers have travelled globally and are looking for a luxury range of products at par with the global best,” said Marzin Shroff, CEO, direct sales and senior vice-president, marketing, Eureka Forbes.