Interaction with Pallavi Singh, Vice President, SPPL, a brand licensee of White-Westinghouse

White-Westinghouse, an American home appliance brand with a rich legacy in the industry has been in the Indian market for quite some time with its mass premium yet affordable product line. With licensee, SPPL, manufacturing washing machines that follow global standards, White-Westinghouse has managed to establish itself in the semi-automatic and fully automatic washing machine segments, acquiring a 1-2% market share. As it plans to introduce more SKUs, the brand aims to capture over 3% of the washing machine market share in India over the next two years.

For those who don’t know about SPPL, it is a 35-year-old manufacturing firm based out of Noida and is already a brand licensee of the following brands: White Westinghouse, White-Westinghouse before adding ‘Westinghouse’ by Westinghouse Electric Corporation under its umbrella of brands, Kodak, Thomson and Blaupunkt. SPPL has also become the first company in India to ally with Google to manufacture Android TVs in India.

In this article, we will discuss the success story of White-Westinghouse in India and the factors that have contributed to its growth that we got to know while having an interaction with Ms. Pallavi Singh, the Vice President of Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL).

Pallavi is a qualified Charted Accountant since 2012 and before joining SPPL in 2015, she worked with KPMG as a tax and regulatory consultant. Upon joining SPPL, she developed the e-commerce market for the company from scratch, now she heads the e-commerce and after-sales division successfully as of date.

Ms. Pallavi Singh the Vice President of Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd SPPL
Ms. Pallavi Singh, the Vice President of Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL)

She also launched Kodak HD LED TVs online in August 2016 and has been developing the brand online since then. The brand has won multiple awards for its products and digital content. She has also helped in launching the brand ‘Thomson’ along with their strategic partner, Flipkart in April 2019 which has been a successful venture and has brought a lot of traction for SPPL in the online world.

Both brands are now among the top 5 affordable selling brands in the e-commerce space in India. Kodak TVs is the only affordable category brand available across all Large Format Retailers and has been steadily increasing its market share in the offline space as well. Pallavi and her team are now targeting a turnover of 500-1000 crore in the next 5 years.

She has been awarded She-preneur to watch out in 2020 by Entrepreneur India magazine along with other entrepreneurs in various fields. She believes that the Indian e-commerce market space is expanding and given the millennial approach toward buying products online, there is still a lot of untapped revenue that can come
from rural areas once the digital outreach is extended.

Since the pandemic, there is a greater Super Plastronics Pvt. Ltd. acceptability of buying products online, we see an escalated reach of products across India. As a part of a well-established manufacturing concern, she strongly believes in the concept of value for money and quality, which should trickle down to the end consumer, and has helped in making this possible by being one of the first companies to launch locally manufactured Android TVs in India. In her time, she likes to read and travel.

1. What motivated the company to enter the Indian market?

White-Westinghouse is one of the most recalled brands in the appliance market. It has a legacy of more than 100 years. White-Westinghouse has done tremendous innovations in the field of appliances, since India is one of the growing markets in the world and penetration of appliances is low, the scope for business in the Indian market is high. Hence the brand decided to enter the market.

2. How does the company plan to differentiate its products from other established brands in the Indian market?

We aim to provide affordable yet premium products which are at par concerning technology with some of the category leaders of the industry.

3. How does the company intend to maintain the affordability of its products while expanding its market share?

We are in the process of setting up a completely backward integrated manufacturing unit for washing machines which will give us the ability to introduce new features in the category while maintaining the affordability quotient.

4. Can you speak to any specific strategies the company plans to implement to capture a 3% market share in the washing machine category?

As stated above we aim to provide the best of products at affordable prices as well as follow a cost-effective marketing approach which will help us in expanding our market share.

5. How important is sustainability to the company’s brand and products?

Sustainability is very important to us and we would like to see the same coming through our products as well. Most of our machines run on economic modes which enable water saving and power saving as compared to peers.

6. Can you describe any recent innovations or developments in the company’s product line?

We have recently set up manufacturing, assembly lines, and molding machines for washing machines alone. This is a substantial development for our firm, as earlier all machines were being imported or manufactured by local partners.

7. How does the company stay up to date on changing consumer needs and preferences in the Indian market?

We have our own set of service engineers as well as tie-ups with the most prominent service companies in the country along with our customer support. This helps us in getting real-time feedback from consumers regarding the products and how we improve our products based on consumer preferences.

8. How does the company ensure the quality and reliability of its products while maintaining affordability?

To reiterate the above, we aim to provide the best quality in our products without burning holes in our customer’s pockets. Therefore, we have tried to set up our plant for greater cost optimization.

9. How does the company plan to expand its distribution network and increase brand awareness in the Indian market?

We plan to expand our network by tapping into local dealers and distributors slowly and steadily along with trying to retail in LFRs. We intend to undertake offline and online brand marketing to increase the awareness of the brand.

10. Any potential challenges the company may face in achieving its goals for market share in the Indian washing machine category?

The biggest challenge right now is the global slowdown which is now trickling down to the Indian market, therefore there can be a hit on the growth of consumer goods which may cause interruptions to our projected growth for the current financial year.