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Mukesh Ambani's Reliance to Challenge Market Giants with Diverse Durables Range

Reliance Ventures into Consumer Durables: A New Era of Home Appliances and Electronics

24 May 2024

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Neelesh Bachani

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1.      Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries is expanding into the consumer durables segment, with plans to launch a variety of small appliances like irons and fans, and larger white goods and electronics such as refrigerators and televisions. Initially, these products will be manufactured under contract, with plans for in-house production once sufficient volumes are achieved.


2.      The company has soft-launched Wyzr-branded coolers on Flipkart and plans to introduce more products like food processors and electric kettles. Reliance aims to sell these products through all channels, including its own Reliance Digital stores and other retail formats. To accelerate growth, it is considering acquiring regional players with strong brand recall.


3.      Entering the consumer durables market puts Reliance in direct competition with established Indian and global brands. Analysts suggest that significant market impact will require strategic acquisitions, similar to Reliance's successes in apparel and pharmacy. Despite strong retail revenues, building brand loyalty in the fast-moving consumer goods sector remains a challenge for Reliance.

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries is set to enter the consumer durables segment. Over the coming months, the company plans to launch a diverse range of small appliances such as irons and fans, as well as white goods and consumer electronics like refrigerators and televisions. Initially, these items will be manufactured under contract. However, once Reliance achieves sufficient production volumes, it intends to start manufacturing these products independently. The company has reportedly partnered with several industry players who currently manufacture products for other companies as well.

 

Reliance has already soft-launched a range of coolers under the Wyzr brand, which are now available on Flipkart. Sources indicate that additional product categories, including food processors and electric kettles, will soon be introduced under the same brand. The strategy involves selling these products across all available channels, including Reliance's outlets such as Reliance Digital, along with other retail formats. To facilitate rapid expansion, Reliance is also considering acquisitions, specifically targeting regional players with strong brand recall.

 

Despite its ambitious plans, Reliance Industries has not responded to an email seeking clarification on its consumer durables strategy. Entering the consumer durables space will place Reliance in competition with well-established Indian and global brands. Analysts highlight that it will not be easy for Reliance to dislodge these competitors, who benefit from strong brand loyalty and a reputation for reliable performance

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Market experts suggest that merely launching its brands may not significantly impact the market unless Reliance acquires a major player, as it has successfully done in the apparel, pharmacy, and furniture sectors. However, they believe Reliance could effectively compete with cheaper Chinese brands. Reliance Retail Ventures, leading the consumer durables initiative, has quickly ascended to become India's top retailer, with revenues exceeding ₹3 lakh crore in FY24. This success has been driven by strategic acquisitions and partnerships with prominent domestic and international brands.

 

While Reliance has gained some traction with its brands in the apparel and footwear segments, it has not achieved similar success in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Experts note that building strong brands in the FMCG space typically requires years of effort and consistency. This presents an additional challenge for Reliance as it seeks to establish itself in the consumer durables market.

 

Overall, Reliance Industries' foray into consumer durables represents a significant expansion of its retail ambitions. With plans to manufacture a wide range of products and explore strategic acquisitions, Reliance aims to leverage its extensive retail network and industry partnerships to become a formidable player in the market. However, the company will need to navigate strong competition and build its brand reputation to achieve long-term success in this new venture.

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