The festive season, especially Diwali, in India has always meant spurring consumption in the market. But this year is especially a critical time for the consumer durables and appliances industries that contribute about 25-30% to the year’s turnover because of the economic slowdown.
A slump in demand with the slowdown in economy has made this Diwali very crucial for the business community, which sees some hope after the recent tax cuts and other initiatives announced by the government that boosted the stock markets, albeit temporarily.
Consumers generally tend to spend more during Diwali, boosting industrial activity and investments. But this year, the companies are a little sceptical as spending has been a low.
BestMediaInfo.com talked to brands across industries to know what exactly they expect this Diwali.
Saisangeeta Israni, GM, Marketing, Spykar Lifestyles, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcements point towards a good start, which will lift the sagging sentiments of the business community. This overall will hopefully set a tone for a cheerful and brighter festive season, Israni said.
Ravi Saxena, MD, Wonderchef Home Appliances, said, “Global factors like the US-China trade war, Brexit, US FED outlook, and of late the drone strikes on Aramco continue to act as destabilising factors. The real strength in the economy would not come from short-term government interventions but through a sustained cycle of investment, growth and job creation.”
Rishi Sharma, AVP and Head Digital Marketing of Liva, said this Diwali would witness a shift in the buying pattern and how young India buys. “My sense is that traditional retail might take a hit but e-commerce will see a boom. People will make conscious purchases,” he said.
With most of the brands running lucrative offers coupled with easy EMI options to either get rid of the inventory or attract sales, things do not seem to be completely bleak.
Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, BSH Home Appliances, shared how the brand is introducing cashback and EMI schemes, expecting positive sales in the festive season. “The festive season is a very critical time for the consumer durable and appliances industry. Major durable firms contribute about 25-30% to the year’s turnover. Despite the slowdown, we will offer right price and value proposition to customers rather than going for heavy discounting. We will, however, continue to be thoughtful about our inventory, but we do not perceive this as an issue.”
Shalimar Paints is in the process of ramping up its operations and working across various levels to gain a larger market share. Minal Srivastava, Vice-President, Growth, Strategy and Marketing, Shalimar Paints, hopes for a positive balance sheet this season.
BK Rao, Sr Category Head, Marketing at Parle Products, said the slowness in overall demand might not change in Diwali. With major companies making no profits at all, this would lead to a slowdown in gifting as well, Rao said.