- Vijay Enterprises is a Gurugram based water purifier showroom
- It deals in AO Smith, Havells, Livpure and Kent water purifiers
- The store feels that local water purifiers are the biggest competition
Anil, Owner, Vijay Enterprises (VE) Water Purifier Showroom, Gurugram, in a recent conversation with EFY Group shed light on the water purifiers business in India. He feels that local water purifiers are the biggest competition to branded water purifiers in Gurugram.
“We have a simple approach towards business and accordingly we encourage potential buyers for a demo first. We go to their homes and check the TDS levels in the water. If TDS levels are above 500, then only we suggest RO based water purifiers, otherwise, we suggest people to go for regular water-purifiers. These are either gravity-based or sediment based,” said Anil.
Here are more interesting excerpts around water purifier business in Gurugram, Haryana and competition between the online and offline sales channel
ACE- When did you start this business? What prompted you to start this business?
VE – We started this business in October’2010 with products from a single brand. I choose this business as the pollution levels in water are increasing day by day. People, in Gurugram, are aware about the problem and a lot of them have started switching to water purifiers. I thought of this as a perfect business opportunity.
I was a gall bladder stone patient in 2010. The doctor that I used to visit for the treatment made me realize the importance of water we consume. I wanted to pass that information to others and stepping into water purifiers business was the best way to do it.
ACE- What’s your vision for your business and India’s ACE industry?
VE – Our vision for this business focusses around service and its easy availability. We want to build never-ending relations with our consumers. This business depends heavily on post-sales services. Our aim is to make Vijay Enterprises one-stop solution for all the water purifier needs of people of Gurugram.
India’s ACE industry is growing at a very fast pace. In fact, water purifier’s business has grown rapidly during the last ten years. Earlier, there were two to three brands in India but now there are around 20 to 25. As a matter of fact, the types of water purifiers available here have increased too.
ACE- How are you educating your consumers about water purifiers? How do you suggest water purifier to consumers?
VE – We have a simple approach towards business and accordingly we encourage potential buyers for a demo first. We go to their homes and check the TDS levels in the water. If TDS levels are above 500, then only we suggest RO based water purifiers, otherwise, we suggest people to go for regular water-purifiers. These are either gravity-based or sediment based.
ACE- What are your expansion plans in the near future?
VE – We want to run this business perfectly. Currently, we have two stores that cater to an area of around 40 KMs in Gurugram. We are thinking of adding one more store to cover more area. The biggest reason behind the expansion in the water purifier business is the growing awareness about water purifiers here. People understand that water pollution is dangerous and water purifiers are a good solution for that.
ACE- How’s your business doing in this FY? There’s a lot of news of growth from the ACE sector—are you witnessing it too, in your business?
VE – The business is in a mixed state currently. It keeps going up and down constantly. If I had to answer it in one word, I would say the business is going good. However, as the number of water purifier retailers increase in the city, we might face more competition.
ACE- Any product segments or brands that are affecting your business positively or negatively?
VE – Currently we are dealing in Kent, AO Smith, and Havells water purifiers. Our top-selling brand is Kent. Earlier, there was a tough competition between Kent and Eureka Forbes. The demand for Kent is more in the market now. Local brands are a big challenge in the water purification industry as their pricing is very competitive.
ACE – Any new strategy implemented by your team in this FY that’s resulting in growth?
VE – Yes, we have implemented a new strategy. This strategy if for selected products only. With the purchase of every premium model of water purifier, we offer free products like iron or a pre-filter device. This offer clicked and we got better conversion in overall sales. Consumers always prefer a free pre-filter (Sediment Filter) with water purifiers because that needs to changed within two to three months.
One more thing we worked on is quick service. We generally provide installation services on the order day. However, most of our competitors do that in 48 hours.
ACE – What’s your strategy for products that get discontinued or obsolete? How do you avoid losses on them?
VE – We need to be careful at the time of purchasing in bulk quantities from the company. We plan our purchases according to the existing stock, and according to the upcoming product lineup. Incase the inventory gets stuck in the warehouse then the loss is completely mine. We then have to liquidate that stock in lower margins. Many times we have to give away freebies as well.
ACE- Do you indulge in B2B (institutional) sales also? If yes, how much of that is it, a percentage of your overall revenue?
VE – Yes, we are involved in B2B business. This business usually contributes around 10 to 15 per cent of our total business. However, we only focus on the B2C business.
ACE – How are you handling the challenges created by Online portals like Amazon and Flipkart?
VE – Almost everyone is facing challenges from online sales channels in India. We are able to manage the challenge by reducing our margins. Our service and display experience is also a big advantage. People want to touch and feel water purifiers before they make a purchase.
Moreover, we provide installation services on the same day we receive an order. That is not possible through online channels.
ACE – Are you accepting digital payments from customers through Debit Cards, Credit Cards, PayTM, etc? Are you seeing an increase in the same?
VE – Yes, We accept almost all modes of digital payments and now we have 60 to 70 per cent of the total transaction through the same medium. However digital payments cost us around 1.5 per cent of our margins but that has to be a bore if you want to survive in today’s market.