With the overall air quality in various parts, particularly Delhi NCR, in the country fluctuating between 'very poor' and 'severe' categories, air purifier makers are logging as much as 50 per cent rise in sale numbers and expecting the momentum to gain more traction during winters.
The air purifier segment, which was earlier limited to select pockets of top metro cities, is firming its foothold in smaller cities, and online channels are emerging as a key facilitator to meet the consumer demand in such places.
Though air purifier as a segment is very small but it has increased in size over the last three years, and the vertical is expected to grow by another 50 per cent in 2020.
"The onset of winters, smog situation in various parts of the country and the current concerns around air normally raise the alarm around deteriorating air quality and indoor air pollution. An air purifier makes the most sense now, owing to the alarming levels of increasing air pollution in major cities around the country," Eureka Forbes Managing Director and CEO Marzin R Shroff said.
Kent RO Systems chairman and managing director Mahesh Gupta said the company has already seen a 50 per cent spike in sales this season as compared to last year and is expecting this momentum to continue till the end of winters.
Air purifier sales peak only when consumers see pollution rising to a dangerous level, he said adding that increased media coverage of poor air quality has led to consumer awareness, thereby resulting in more sales.
"We have seen that in the past four years, there has been a sudden surge in air purifiers demand during the smog situation in Delhi. The onset of winter only further deteriorates the air quality and acts as a catalyst to push the sales for air purifiers," said Gupta.
Now a basic air purifier that simply cleans the air with the touch of a few buttons is coming packed with features such as real-time, wifi-enabled control systems.
Now companies have IoT enabled room air purifiers with multi-layers of purification filters and can be controlled from the comfort of a smartphone.
Air purifier manufacturer Dyson said that air purifiers come in various shapes and sizes, remove different kinds of air pollutants in homes, come with an array of specifications, and offer different features.
"Selecting the right kind of air purifier, tested for real homes, can help in creating a healthy home environment indoors, said a Dyson spokesperson.
Earlier, the sale of air purifier was just restricted to the metro cities, however, now makers are also getting demand from small cities and towns.
"Air purifiers are no longer a luxury but have become a necessity as per the alarming increase in the nation's air pollution levels," Eureka Forbes' Shroff said.
According to Kent RO Systems' Gupta, earlier 70 per cent sale of air purifier Kent used to do in Delhi NCR, however this year it has seen a surge in demand from other cities also.
"Air purifier segment is not just restricted to the Delhi-NCR region, but there is a demand from neighbouring states and cities including Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar as also from various regions of Haryana," he said.
EY Partner and National Leader, Consumer Products and Retail, Pinakiranjan Mishra said air quality in India is rapidly deteriorating, especially in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and other metros.
"The demand for air purifiers in India is expected to grow rapidly due to continuous air quality deterioration, growing knowledge of air purifiers, coupled with rising health consciousness among consumers. At the same time, increasing awareness of the effects of indoor pollution is creating demand in the residential and institutional sectors for air purifiers," he said.
Expressing similar views, AirOK Technologies Founder and CEO Deekshith Vara Prasad said: "This season has indeed been a phenomenal one for us for four reasons. The foremost factor is that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the sensitivity of people to the menace of air pollution. People no longer think twice before buying an air purifier as it has become a necessity now."
The current market size of the domestic air purifier segment is estimated to be around Rs 200 crore annually, with several companies including Eureka Forbes, Dyson, Kent, Sharp, Panasonic, Philips etc competing, as it is a sunrise segment.
According to TechSci Research report, market for air purifiers in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 40 per cent during 2015-20.
The category has increased in size over the last three years, and in 2020, and it is expected to grow by another 50 per cent.
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