Whirlpool of India expects a fundamental shift in the relationship between consumers and appliances as people spend more time at home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that the consumer durables industry is expected to witness sustained growth over the next few years.
The ‘work from anywhere’ culture is expected to be the ‘new norm’ in the post-pandemic world, the company said there will be a greater emphasis on making the home comfortable and productive, leading to a focus on the role of home appliances to enable the same.
Acknowledging that home appliances have moved from a passive space to an active one, Whirlpool of India Managing Director Vishal Bhola wrote in his address to shareholders in the company’s annual report for 2020-21, “They are no longer seen as luxuries or discretionary spend but as basic necessities to ensure the safety and comfort of the family.”
The company’s management in its discussion and analysis in the annual report pointed out that the pandemic has “reset the relationship between the consumers and home appliances”.
It further said, “With the ‘work from anywhere’ culture expected to be the new norm in the post-pandemic world, there will be a greater emphasis on making the home comfortable and productive, leading to a focus on the role of home appliances to enable the same.”
“With some of the lowest appliance penetration even amongst emerging markets of the world, the Indian market is expected to grow rapidly,” it added.
However, on the outlook for the immediate future, Bhola said, “2021-22 will continue to be a test for many companies with an uncertain environment posing unforeseen challenges.”
Reiterating that the risk and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow at an accelerating rate, the company said, “The full economic fallouts are difficult to assess as the country is still dealing with the second wave of COVID-19.”