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Kamal Nandi, Business Head–EVP, Godrej Appliances

Image: Godrej Appliances

Sustainable Manufacturing “We are committed to cause of sustainability”

Nov 15, 2017

…says Kamal Nandi, Business Head–EVP, Godrej Appliances, in this interaction with Maria Jerin, while discussing the market readiness to accept new technologies in the areas of sustainable products. Excerpts…

What is your view on the current market situation in India? How well is the market ready to accept new technologies in the areas of sustainable products?

In the home appliances industry, consumers actively seek new technologies that are beneficial to them either in performance or convenience and are ready to pay a premium for such features. However, the adoption of new technologies in the area of sustainable products has still not been able to get the desired results when it comes to sales. Sustainability is yet to become a major consideration driver in the minds of consumers when it comes to the buying decision of home appliances. It is a ‘good to have’ feature for which consumers are not ready to pay a premium. Given its criticality for the environment, we however remain committed to the cause of sustainability.

Your company has recently launched GreenCo initiatives for SMEs. What are the benefits of such an initiative for the industry?

The Govt of India’s initiative ‘Zero defect, zero effect’ is in line with the philosophy of sustainable manufacturing. The objective is to find ways to encourage more industries to go green by suggesting greening efforts that are economically viable. We at Godrej Appliances are trying to spread this awareness and are not restricting this thought only to our supply chain but wish to take it across other industry sectors too. Our factories were the first in India to be GreenCo platinum rated and we have been continuously sharing our learnings and experiences and inspiring other industries to join in. Today, more than 100 companies are GreenCo rated. We were the first to take it to our suppliers and today even other SMEs are taking inspiration from our suppliers and joining the journey. SMEs form a large part of the manufacturing sector. This co-operation will thus help our nation too.

What are your company’s recent launches that address the issues impacting environmental and sustainable ecosystem?

Godrej Appliances recently launched one of India’s greenest inverter AC, which also delivers a very high energy efficiency of 5.8 ISEER making it amongst the most efficient ACs in the country. With this ISEER rating, Godrej NXW Inverter AC doesn’t merely meet the 5-star requirements of the current BEE energy rating norms but it is also future-ready and complies with the proposed BEE energy table of 2019. It comes with a unique Green Inverter Technology. This clever combination of Inverter Technology and the Green Balance Technology helps in achieving the highest energy efficiency in the most eco-friendly way using the world’s greenest refrigerant R290, which has zero Ozone Depletion Potential and minimum Global Warming Potential.

How do you strategise your business model so as to improve your market presence across various market segments in India?

While we are continuously improving our offerings in the existing spaces of refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines and microwave ovens through a mix of new products and technologies, as well as processes & manufacturing improvements, we are also expanding our presence across other strategic spaces that complement our business – be it the niche sector of medical refrigerators or the expanding market of chest freezers. However, our core principle of being differentiated & consumer-centric remains to be our underlying philosophy in every segment we choose to operate in. This ensures that we are able to extract a premium by offering value to the customer.

Moving ahead, what are your company’s future plans for the Indian market?

We are upbeat about the forthcoming festive season and expect a growth of 30% during this period backed by launches across the four core categories that we are present in. We will continue our focus on building green and premium energy-efficient products including our recently launched adjacency categories like medical refrigerators and chest freezers. The slur of innovations will continue in the next year with multiple launches in the pipeline.

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