“A jump from 25 to 45 has happened just in about more than a year. So, that is the change, which is happening, and that is why I feel that the PLI has been a game changer, specifically in the air conditioners industry,” Sharma, who also heads the Electronics Manufacturing Committee of industry body Ficci, told PTI.
Investments in heat exchangers, compressors and other components, which are part of the PLI scheme for air-conditioners have started coming. All applicants have invested in physical structures.
“This has happened in a record period of just about 18 months,” he added.
In November 2021, the government selected 42 companies under the PLI Scheme for white goods, of which 26 companies invested Rs 3,898 crore for air-conditioner components, and 16 firms invested Rs 716 crore for LED component manufacturing.
The PLI scheme for the sector was announced in a short span of time, which happened because the industry came together to make the proposal with a “reasonable consensus”. “The response of the government was also unprecedented, which was reasonably fast. The industry responded back with equally with fast speed,” he said, adding that today, the total bill of material of the air-conditioner produced in India has nearly doubled to 45 per cent in just 18 months. According to a report, the India room air-conditioner market is growing with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent and is likely to reach USD 5 billion by 2027-28.
Pansonic, also a player in the segment, is expanding its portfolio and introducing energy-efficient models with smart technologies.
“Responsibility of Panasonic is also to consistently aligned with this huge opportunity, which is getting created,” Sharma said, adding, “So, the world is in motion, and we need to be faster in motion than that”.
According to Sharma, digital convergence in India happening rapidly led by the young generation, which is quick to adopt new technologies, and this trend will stay.
Last month, Panasonic introduced India’s first matter-enabled room air-conditioners (RACs), powered by its IoT platform Miraie. A matter-enabled device can be set up in a matter of few seconds, connecting it to your network, smart speakers, ACs and other components.
Besides, Panasonic, banking on the country’s long-term potential, is looking beyond its consumer appliances and wire and wiring device (Anchor) business.
It is also exploring opportunities in the supply chain, where it provides smart factory solutions, industrial devices and energy business.
Over the energy business, Sharma said the company would focus on the supply side and would work with the partner providing key technologies.