Bosch, the German Conglomerate has big plans for India. With a complete range of products straddling 3 huge brand names, Bosch demonstrates its desire to satisfy discerning Indian consumers, across demographics. We spoke to Mr. Neeraj Bahl - MD & CEO, BSH Household Appliances, India and asked him more about the company's plans in India.
1. Bosch has been a big name in India since time immemorial. What was the real motivation to bring in these appliances recently?
BSH stepped in the Indian market in the year 2010 with the brand Siemens. At that time, our major focus was on premium built-in and freestanding products like washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators. In 2011, we launched Bosch, with a similar range of mass-premium products. In the beginning of 2015, Siemens sold its shares to Bosch and we are now a 100% Bosch-owned company.
After studying the Indian market closely, we launched our washing machines that were manufactured in our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Chennai, followed by many locally manufactured products like dishwashers and refrigerators as well as cooking appliances like hob, hood, ovens and microwaves. Recently, we have fortified our presence in the small appliance category with the launch of our mixer grinder and other kitchen appliances including hand blenders, slow juicers, hand mixers, etc.
In the past nine years, BSH has experienced huge success in India and today we are experiencing about 35 - 40% year-on-year growth in the country. I think that the constant support from our customers has kept us motivated throughout our journey. Also, growing prospects for household appliance market with elevating living standards across towns in the country has encouraged us to introduce new appliances to our customers and tap into the aspiring buyer base. We aim to keep this momentum going and introduce more offerings fit for the Indian consumer by localising offerings and innovating products fit for the evolving social class.
2. How does a brand that is strongly associated with the auto industry in India make its presence felt in the appliance industry? Is this the reason behind the 3-brand strategy? What distinct roles do each of these brands play in the overall communication?
Given the growth opportunities in the country, in 2018, BSH introduced its triple brand strategy in India to target different audiences via its three brands - Bosch, Siemens and Gaggenau, and became the first triple brand player in India. After witnessing the success of our premium brands under Bosch and Siemens in India over the past couple of years, we are confident that BSH Household Appliances will redefine the luxury kitchen category with Gaggenau.
Bosch's core philosophy is to harness useful progress to create a better quality of life. Values that typify Bosch domestic appliances and make them unique are quality, technological competence, and responsibility. It is an India-for-India product and developed with local insights.
Siemens home appliances is synonymous with German ingenuity, world-class technological innovation and luxury. It combines the latest technology with improved functionality that results in innovative products and solutions that benefits customers.
Gaggenau is the world's first and leading brand of luxury built-in appliances in India. The brand has gained a global recognition for its ongoing commitment to providing extraordinary excellence in the kitchen. During their entire lifespan, Gaggenau appliances maintain their consistent appearance, which is based on the highest standards of German design and materials of premium quality. Gaggenau was ranked as the 6th most luxurious brand in the German Luxury Rankings by Manager Magazin and is among the world's top 10 luxury kitchen appliance brand.
BSH started off with in-built appliances and then showcased various products individually. What was the strategy behind this approach?
Back then, our major focus was on built-in appliances and washing machines with the premium brand - Siemens. However, after closely studying the Indian market, we launched Bosch appliances across categories and targeted the mass premium market. With Bosch, we entered the washing machine, dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher categories as well as cooking appliances like hob, hood, ovens and microwaves. Recently, we have fortified our presence in the small appliance category with the launch of mixer grinder and other kitchen appliances including hand blenders, slow juicers, hand mixers, etc. and have developed India-specific appliances based on local insights. Our strategy was to localise our products, especially for the Indian market, and innovate them to cater to our evolving customers.