The Indian water purifier market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21% between 2016 and 2021. Of the three segments namely RO-based, UV-based, and gravity-based water purifiers, the RO-based segment is expected to remain dominant during the forecast period. The western part of the country emerges as the largest market due to high demand for UV and gravity-based water purifiers. Although the northern region has a penetration as low as 1%, it is likely to turn into the fastest growing market during 2016-2021 because of rising awareness. Key players in the market include Kent RO, Eureka Forbes, Ion Exchange, Hindustan Unilever, and TATA Chemical.
“Kent, which holds the largest share (40%) of the RO water purifier market, is expecting a turnover of INR 10bn by 2016-17”
Why have water purifiers become so prominent in India?
Water purifiers are no more just electronic consumer durables that are used only by upper-class Indians. They have become the ‘must-have’ appliances for everybody. Water-borne diseases killing children below the age of 5 is one of the biggest problems the country faces. As a result of growing industrialisation and unethical disposal of wastes into rivers and seas, borewell waters as well as water supplied by tankers have high levels of TDS and hazardous chemicals.
However, with rising health-consciousness among young and educated Indians, demand for water purifiers has soared. Through advertisements and other promotional mediums, companies, medical and educational institutes are trying to convince price-sensitive Indian consumers to buy modern water purifiers. Boiling water, which is a common practice in several Indian households, is actually not enough to remove chemicals and cysts present in the water. Also, the quality of water differs from region to region.
Another factor contributing to the growth of this market is the participation of government. Government initiatives like the National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Programme aim to spread awareness about water-borne diseases whilst working towards improving the water quality. Furthermore, Indian states are utilising 20% of the allocated funds of the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) to carry out water purification activities.
Demand for low cost, innovative water purifiers:
Every individual, be rich or poor, has the right to drink safe and healthy water. Understanding this, water purifier companies are developing effective products at affordable prices. Targeting the low-income groups in India, Tata group created Swach water purifier which uses processed rice husk ash, fused with nano-silver particles, for water purification. In 2014, Eureka Forbes introduced a sipper-like mobile water purifier, which kills 99% of harmful bacteria.
Hence, it is clear that water purifiers are the very need of Indian consumers now and companies need to invent more effective purifiers to treat the 17 types of water conditions.