Innovation & Technology Take Over The 'Traditional' Home Appliances Industry Like Never Before

Gunjan Srivastava, MD & CEO, BSH Household AppliancesHaving worked for Sennheiser Electronics India, Philips Electronics India, Gillette & many other reputed firms, Gunjan currently is responsible for running the business of BSH Household Appliances in India

From cooking to entertaining guests, the kitchen has become a space that serves multiple purposes. This transformation of kitchens from simple pots & pans to automated cooking was possible due to advanced technology and numerous innovations in the household appliances sector. Albeit, the pace of change differed from society to society, while washing machines, mixer grinders, dishwashers, and dryers have became an indispensable part of European & American kitchens, the trend arrived in urban Indian households decades later. Over the years, the common demand that has driven this change in the consumer mindset is the proposition of convenience and time reduction on daily household chores.

The strong change in technology has had a high impact not just on Indian households, but also on the marketing strategies of companies. Many have started investing in `Make in India' products as India-specific innovation is booming. In a nutshell, the trends forecast for the coming year include innovation of products that connect with consumer interests. New-age consumers are constantly looking for a relatable environment whether it involves socializing or purchasing a household appliance that suits their personality, the mounting need to resonate with the products one uses has accelerated the demand for personalized appliances that complement the overall theme of the house, as well as suit the utilitarian requirements of the house hold.
In the past decade, there has been an increase in spending pattern of urban Indians. This has caused an inclination towards premium & luxury products. Deriving from this insight, many companies have adopted strategies to offer consumers across all walks of life a product that well defines their personality and lifestyle.

common demand that has driven this change in the consumer mindset is the proposition of convenience and time reduction on daily household chores

As technology has taken a massive leap with fully integrated, built-in and automated kitchens, the next big thing that will drive preferences of consumers is `What is in it for me' quotient of products. Smarter homes are set to become smarter with consumer centricity at the heart of the industry. Digitization and regionalization of appliances will be the key driver of consumers' buying decisions. In doing so, companies will strongly focus on consumers' needs and aim to offer a solution for each pain point. This philosophy will drive success and serve consumers in the Indian market.

Ever since the entry of BSH Household Appliances in 2010, the market and consumers have changed considerably. Apart from technology and innovation, a growing upper middle class, aspirational millennials, rising working population and the evolving consumer lifestyle will be responsible to boost the home appliances industry in India. With a huge focus on the needs of every Indian consumer, Bosch introduced an India-specific mixer grinder with `stone pounding technology' and dishwashers with the `kadhai' feature.

Siemens has also reinvented the way household chores are done by offering consumers `Siemens Home Connect' - an app innovated to manage Wi-Fi enabled appliances from wherever the consumer is located. This integrated app helps to keep appliances in sync with the consumers' needs. Cooking, baking, washing clothes and many other household chores are now taken care of by giving appliances simple instructions. This revolutionary innovation in the kitchen appliances space has reduced the work load by more than half the time and has increased the comfort level of consumers through connectivity.

Premiumization of products to meet the specific needs of consumers has come a long way and will continue to grow in the years to come, as companies plan on keeping-up with exceptional innovations and best-in-class technologies that fulfil every consumer needs. Thus, 2019 may see a lot of innovative changes in the kitchen appliances space, as well as diversification of brands to suit the requirement of every Indian household.