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Blue Star plans to double share in the RAC market

At the crux of Blue Star's interest in the room AC segment is the booming demand from households and corporate consumers

 The packaged air-conditioning major Blue Star Limited plans to double its share of the room air-conditioner market over the next one year. To that end the company has chalked out a strategy which will help it make the most of the fast-growing room air-conditioning (RAC) market in India.

Says General Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing, Blue Star Limited, B.Thiagarajan, "The room and the split air-conditioner market in India is looking up, we have achieved a 30 percent growth in this segment through an improved distribution system last year. We expect to improve our market share of the segment further this summer".

Blue Star Limited - mainly an engineering skills company, with substantial presence in ducted and central air-conditioners - plans to increase its market share in the room air-conditioners (RAC) segment to eight percent over the next one year. The company also intends to increase its share of the split AC segment to 12 percent from the current 10 percent. This will be achieved with the help of widening its product range, supported with a brand new product-led advertising campaign and market building initiatives at the dealer end, says Thiagarajan.

This month, Blue Star will add two brand new models to its RAC product range comprising four models currently. The company is also planning to launch one high wall-cordless split AC model around the same time.

A four ad print campaign launched in April has already been generating excitement around the company's product in the southern and western markets where they have been released so far. The campaign will be released nationally in a phased manner over the next few months, says sources.

Research indicated that where Blue Star is a trusted name thanks primarily to its brand equity in the packaged and commercial AC market, it lacks a contemporary image. The ad campaign hence aims at helping the company shed a few years to acquire a younger and trendy image that a Carrier has.

Besides the product-led campaign which draws heavily on the Blue Star equity, the company has also launched tactical campaigns at the local levels. These include a series of dealer, co-operative ads announcing a five year warranty on the products and a zero percent finance scheme made available on the products.

The company has also been working on its 200 dealer strong network across the country. The thrust is on expanding into areas where the brand is not available currently.

The company plans to add 50 more dealers to its network by the end of this year. Blue Star is helping its dealers in training and recruiting efficient sales people.

At the crux of Blue Star's recent interest in the RAC segment is the booming demand from the fast growing household and corporate consumers. Comprising windows and mini splits, the total RAC market which grew at 28 percent last year is expected to grow by 30 percent this year. Owing to the presence of a host of organised players, viz. the homegrown Voltas and multinationals such as Hitachi and Carrier Aircon, the share of the organised sector has grown to around 77 percent from 30 percent seven years ago.

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