Voltas, a Tata Group enterprise, is planning to re-enter the field of discretionary goods to tap the rising opportunities in this field. In the past few years, consumer spending in the discretionary space has remained flexible and the spending pattern has changed. This has led many consumer goods manufacturers to foray into different market segments. Voltas has traditionally operated in the field of air conditioners and water coolers. Its move to re-enter the consumer durable space is a way to cut down the company’s dependence upon its chief markets.
Pradeep Bakshi, President and CEO of Tata Group’s unitary air conditioner division stated that both, the parent company as well as Voltas, are currently working on market segments that the companies can enter. He stated that the companies were looking at the categories and brand extensions that were meaningful for the companies in electronics, appliance and consumer durables.
There has been a continued sluggishness in the spending pattern of consumers over the past few years. The idea about what is discretionary and what is a must buy has largely changed over time - purchase of a new air conditioner ranks much below that purchasing a new, rather costlier, smartphone.
Despite the tough times for most consumer goods varieties seen in the past few years, Voltas has been able to garner decent growth in its categories in the past years.
Voltas’ possible venture into more consumer goods’ sections would bring back to the market a set of some old brands that the company once entered into the field of washing machines, furniture, and refrigerators through a brand called Allwyn. Voltas exited the refrigerators business in 1988-1989. Even back then, the condition of the consumer goods space was so bad that the company was asked to vacate the space entirely.