Usha International expects sales of its mainstay sewing machines and cooking appliances segment to grow by up to 25 per cent in 2017-18, driven by expansion of network besides leveraging on e-commerce.
According to a PTI report: The company had a turnover of Rs 2,200 crore in the fiscal ended March 2016. Sewing machine and cooking appliances together contributed around 35-40 per cent.
It is also focusing on the digital medium not only as a sales channel but to use it as an advertising medium and engage with customers.
“We are eyeing a 50 per cent growth for cooking appliances and around 10-12 per cent for sewing machines, so the total of the two would be around 25 per cent,” VP – Marketing, Usha International, Jayati Singh told PTI.
Market leader in the sewing machines segment, Usha International’s revenue jumped to around Rs 550 crore from Rs 150 crore in the last three years.
“Sewing machines and cooking appliances together contribute to roughly 35-40 per cent of the overall revenue for the company,” she said.
Singh told PTI that the company is looking at “expanding the retail and digital touch points for consumers to come and experience the product features” in order to achieve sales growth target.
Stressing on the significance of the online channel, she was quoted by PTI as saying: “We have started looking at e-commerce since last year because we figured that the consumer is everywhere, so we have to be omnipresent. There is no channel today which is irrelevant”.
Singh further said that the company will use e-commerce as the new channel not only for sales, but will also use it as an advertising medium.
On the expansion of retail outlets, she said, without specifying a number, that the focus will be on rural markets.
The company currently has around 1,200 stores across the country. These include 60 company-owned showrooms.
It has already tied up with e-commerce majors Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, among others and is further in talks with Tata Click, Home Shop 18 and Infibeam.
Overall, she told PTI: “The focus is to have a good balance between visibility in metros and the rural areas and we will look at traditional trade, modern trade and e-commerce for distribution.”
The company claims to have a 70 per cent market share in the sewing machines category, while the cooking appliances is in the nascent stage with a five per cent share in India.
While she did not share investment details for the expansion, Singh said Usha International has been focusing on three domains — retail and distribution expansion, promotions and advertising and R&D and manufacturing.