Satish N.S. is President at Haier Appliances India Pvt. Ltd. A seasoned business leader with more than 25 years of experience, Satish is heading the company’s India operations which include sales and marketing, manufacturing, and all other support functions of the company. Satish is a Sloan fellow – at MIT school of Management, a Mechanical Engineer with an MBA in Marketing.
An industry expert, Satish is seen as a visionary with a keen understanding of the consumer durables sector in India. A true leader at heart, what sets him apart is his deep understanding of changing customer needs and his wealth of experience in delivering solutions across markets. His relentless pursuit of success with teamwork at the core has made him one of the strongest pillars at Haier. In the past, Satish has held several leadership positions with some of the leading companies like Onida, Samsung, Panasonic, and Videocon.
BRIEF23 by Satish NS – Haier Appliances India
2022 defined: As the Indian consumer durables sector soared to Rs 1 trillion in 2022, the demand for air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions saw a sharp rise. Urban and rural customers alike were eager to take advantage of the technological advancements and reduced prices associated with these products.
With a focus on expansion in the smart appliances market, we witnessed how the consumer durables sector in India grew from 15-18% in the 2022 financial year, led by a 10-13% increase in volumes, and demand driven by both urban and rural segments.
In terms of product segments, Air conditioners (AC) have been the key growth driver for the industry along with consumers opting for higher-capacity refrigerators and washing machines (mainly fully automatic). Demand for television has also been on the higher side with the new offerings and consequent significant reduction in prices.
On track, ahead of, or trailing the pack?: Haier’s infrastructure expansion in India paved the path for a prosperous 2022. We received several honors, including being named the No. 1 Global Major Appliances Brand by Euromonitor for the 14th consecutive year.
In terms of sales volume, Haier is also the world’s leading brand in refrigeration appliances, in-home laundry appliances, wine coolers, and freezers. In addition, Haier was honored with the ‘Most Energy Efficient Appliance’ award by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) – Ministry of Power, Government of India at the National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) – 2022 for adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing and delivery methods to ensure minimal impact on our surroundings and planet.
With the increased operation of its manufacturing plants in Pune and Noida, we anticipate a 40% growth in 2023. Moreover, with the onset of the summer season, we are expecting an increased demand for air-conditioners.
Lessons learnt: On a professional front, we are seeing a visible shift in our marketing strategy. Earlier, we were heavy on advertisements on television and print, which was right to build brand awareness and reach the mass. Now, we are focusing on a target audience — 60 percent digital media and 40 percent traditional media. Earlier, it was 80 percent traditional and 20 percent digital media.
On the individual level, the biggest lesson has been to keep up with the changing dynamics. It is important to keep oneself updated with the ever-evolving smart home scenarios, solutions, and technologies. This helps in exploring new avenues which enable customers to see and experience products making the journey for the customer memorable. Customer satisfaction lies at the ethos of our growth trajectory, at Haier hence we are focused on being future-ready with our product innovations and offerings.
Who/What inspired me: The customer-inspired innovation is the biggest inspiration for a brand as it is a key roadmap for brand growth. When a brand starts thinking for customers and their needs, it automatically converts to development for the company.
Looking ahead: The consumer durable industry is dynamic, and consumer behaviour changes according to varied factors. There has been a change in consumer purchasing habits since more physical businesses now provide an evolved shopping experience. Up to 50 percent of consumers research about the products online before making a purchase.
People are looking for products with plenty of features and good energy efficiency. Younger customers are well-informed and have a clear sense of what they want. Moreover, consumers are willing to spend more for products with superior quality and service.
There is a surge in the use of credit cards since consumers are now more comfortable using Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) as a tool to purchase better quality items that they may not be able to afford otherwise.
This has also allowed consumers to take advantage of discounts and other offers that are often available when using these payment methods. Additionally, while traditional household appliances have continued to be popular, consumers are increasingly turning to new enablers like smart air conditioners, dishwashers, and robot vacuum cleaners.
Advice: Building relationships with customers is one piece of advice I would give both to new professionals and to myself. Consumer experience, in my opinion, is the newest and next competitive battleground. Since they represent the brand, we must provide for their needs.
We need to maintain client engagement in the current increasingly digitized, rapidly innovating market. The most effective approach for it is an omnichannel marketing strategy that enables us to reach consumers with the appropriate message at the appropriate time, wherever they are. It’s important to get new customers, but the goal should also be to keep them coming back for more.
One big learning/realization: I have always been impressed by cultural integration, this is a great way to bring together brilliant minds who can in turn collaborate and create marvelous work. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the Rendanheyi Model, pioneered by the Haier Corporation.
This is an innovative way of organizing a multinational firm, self-management, and ensuring a strongly entrepreneurial atmosphere is fostered. Today, we are a dynamic team at Haier and the best part of my day is collaborating at the office, brainstorming new ideas, discussing the way forward, churning out innovative methods to deliver the best to our customers, and grow together as a team.
The quote or thought that’ll inspire me in 2023: I was faced with this statement by Lee Iacocca, “We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems”, and since then it has left an indelible mark on me. It has been steering my approach to leadership and how I am shaping as a professional. To have the ability to recognize an opportunity to innovate, grow, and inspire amidst challenging situations.