Cooling is hot business for this company. A change of business philosophy coupled with growing demand for its products have generated a fortune for the shareholders of this company over the last 10 years. A quick analysis of companies in the BSE 500 group in the last 10 years shows that shares of Symphony have surged a massive 43,000% – from Rs 3.64 on November 20, 2007 to around Rs 1,567 levels now, according to ACE Equity data.
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Established with a portfolio comprising one air cooler model, Symphony was able to match large multi-product competitors such as Crompton Greaves, Usha and Polar in the air-cooler category by the 1990s. It then decided to diversify into air conditioners (ACs), washing machines and other durables, which failed to attract consumers.
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Post-2005, Symphony restructured its philosophy into ‘One Product–Many Markets’ and scaled up its international presence. In 2009, it acquired IMPCO (North America) and had begun offering central air cooling solutions in India by 2011.
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The domestic air cooler market, analysts say is largely fragmented with unorganised players accounting for about 70% of volume and 63% value share. The branded air cooler industry is highly concentrated with the top 5 players accounting for over 90% market share with Symphony being the leading player in the space (50% share by value).
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“Of the 246.4 million households in India, mere ~28 million own air coolers, implying paltry 11% penetration. This entails humungous growth potential. We envisage penetration to increase to 25% by 2026 due to warmer temperatures, increase in the middle class and formalisation of the economy. Moreover, of all the consumer durable sectors, air coolers have one of the highest growth potential due to higher proportion of the unorganised segment,” says Amit Mahawar of Edelweiss Research in a recent co-authored report on the company with Darshika Khemka and Ashutosh Mehta.
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