The recently inaugurated Greenfield plant of A.O. Smith India Water Heating, showcases a totally integrated production line to produce water heating systems for residential and commercial projects. Located on 76,000 square feet near Bangalore, this is a state of the art plant of the US water heating systems major in India, reports P. P. Basistha.
Constructed with pre-engineered building steel technology, the factory builds houses both for the raw materials manufacturing unit and assembly unit. The building posses raw material storage area for stocking the steel coil material to manufacture the water heating systems. The steel coil is procured by A.O Smith from JSW Steel. According to A.O Smith plant officials, glass coating is the most significant part of the production process. Glass coating prevents corrosion of the inner and outer surface of the heaters.
The new plant will be instrumental for promoting A.O Smith's water heating systems in India. "We are looking forward to increase our commercial projects sales. The new plant establishment is well likely to contribute to our sales in the commercial projects sector" said Mr. Tamal Chaudhuri, National Sales & Marketing Director, A.O. Smith India. He said, "sales in India, in the first two years have exceeded our expectations, the only limitation has been lack of our local manufacturing operation. With the opening of the new plant, we would be able to expand rapidly to meet the customers demand in the commercial sector through our high quality water heating solutions." A.O. Smith entered into the Indian water heating market in 2008.
"We would offer turnkey solutions and will provide requisite training to our channel partners and dealers for proper installation and operation of our heater in the commercial projects sector" said Mr. Chaudhuri.
"Our channel partners would collaborate with the project consultants and contractors involved in executing EPC projects" informed Mr. Chaudhuri. A.O Smith has four channel partners across the country. It plans to expand its network of channel partners with growth in sales.
Dealer Aided ExpansionTo promote its sales to the commercial projects sector, A.O. Smith would look into the support of its dealership network. The company has entered into a tie up with Jaquar Mercentile to promote the sales of its water heaters through its sanitaryware channel sales network. Jaquar has a network of 2,200 dealers across the country. The company has also entered into a marketing tie up with Metro Cash & Carry, Bharti-Walmart, Reliance and Carrefour to promote its water heaters. For providing necessary inventory and after sales support to the dealers, the motherware house of the company would be linked to the dealers through adequate logistics.
According to Mr. Chaudhuri, the company is planing to start a project of 76 cities in the long run comprising of both tier-1 and tier-2 cities. A.O Smith has presence in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Goa and others cities.
A.O Smith's commercial electric water heater comes with a storage capacity of 190, 300 and 450 litres. It has condensing gas and solar water heaters bearing a capacity of 370 litres. The domestic water heaters are available in a capacity range of 10-15-25 litres. The Indian water heating market is estimated to be about 1.6 million units with growth of 10-12% per annum.