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Microwave makers bake a growth strategy

business Updated: Mar 04, 2010 22:27 IST
Rachit Vats

The microwave oven market, which at present is very small at 1.4 million units, is expected to grow by 30 per cent in India this year.

Despite the low penetration at 0.5 per cent, consumer electronics majors expect the pie to grow further and are increasing their ad spends.

South Korea’s Samsung is betting on microwaves and expects to capture 30 per cent market share — up from its

17 per cent share.

“The market is small but promising. Our core target group would be single young people, urban women and newly married or working couples. In a first for the microwave category, we will focus equally on both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) activities to create product awareness,” said Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India.

Till a year ago, 80 per cent of Samsung India’s marketing spends were devoted to ATL activities. This year, though, the BTL focus is much enhanced. The company will conduct cooking classes in various cities, hosted by its new product brand ambassador Sanjeev Kapoor.

At present, all companies import microwave ovens as the market is not too big. As such while other consumer electronics products may see a price rise, the microwave segment will remain unaffected. Samsung, like other companies, is betting big on price as a draw factor.

LG, the market leader with a 43 per cent market share of the microwave oven market in India, sees tier-I and -II cities driving growth at present. The company has a high ad spend marked for this category and expects to raise it further. Explains Rajeev Jain, business head – appliances, LG India, “The penetration is still low but we see growth coming in fast from urban families. With more awareness, the sales too will increase.”