Prashant Dhar
The country's water heater industry is thriving and riding high on a continual demand that's backed by the growing consumer preference for hot-water and concerns for energy efficiency. Moreover, with the introduction of attached bathrooms, the water heater has got a direct link with the interior of any home or apartment. Accordingly besides efficiency feature, the aesthetics part of this relatively hot gadget has started gaining attention among the new homeowners. Players in this segment are continuously adding new products in their portfolio thereby expanding their offers without any delay. In the run for the newest technology and design, Syed E. Hasan caught up with Mr Prashant Dhar, General Manager-Marketing at Racold (Ariston) Thermo Ltd. He introduced us to the company's new offering and their features along with the company's presence in the market.

What are your latest offerings and their USPs?
Velis Installed
Racold Thermo has recently launched Velis, the slimmest storage electrical water heater in India. With only 27 cms depth, Velis is not only the slimmest but also boasts of extremely beautiful metalized exteriors, never seen before in the industry. It's truly, the 'Size Zero' of water heaters! Velis along with the recently launched Eterno Swift and Altro2 Plus range is specifically customized for the sanitary channel.

Velis is super sleek Italian-inspired design. It is a perfect amalgamation of compactness, beauty, luxury and aesthetically appealing design. It has dual tank and dual heating elements that help make the product suitable to different types of bathing requirements. It has many cutting edge technology features like the smart 'Eco' feature that helps in heating water optimally with minimum use of energy.

Racold Thermo
Eterno Swift has a premium design with metallic finish and heats the water 33% faster than the conventional water heaters available in the market. Altro 2 Plus, with its unique design, comes with a regulator, which help users to regulate the water temperature as per requirement.

Racold is a market leader in electrical water heaters in India with a strong share across these channels. With this new range offering, Racold aims to further strengthen its presence in the sanitary channel.

Which is/are your top selling model(s) (with capacity)?
In our range, Eterno 2 and ALtro 2 are the most popular brands for Racold. The highest selling capacities are 15 Liters and 25 Liters in Storage water heaters.

What is the current trend? And where do you see this trend taking a shift in near future?
Racold Water Heaters
Bathrooms have undergone a remarkable change in the last few years. With changing lifestyle preferences, consumers want the water heater too, which are aesthetically appealing in order to match the smart interior of their bathrooms. Apart from the aesthetics, consumers are also looking for convenience. So, features like remote controls, timers, digital displays, and energy saving attributes are going to be the trend in future.

As of now, what is the contribution from institutional sales in the company's total revenue? How important is the role of specifiers (architects & designers) for this?
Institutional sales contribute to 15-20% of our business. Specifiers do play an important role and we have a team to service them. However, considering the growing importance of the projects business, we do have plans to strengthen our team and provide more focused products targeted at this segment.