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Market

The air-conditioning industry could not possibly


hope for a better ready-made market than
India. The climate and economy have combined
in near-perfect harmony to drive up demand: a
mostly sweltering tropical ambience, robust
GDP growth, massive new expenditure on
infrastructure and increasing disposable incomes
among a swelling middle-class have given the air-
conditioning industry formidable opportunities
for growth and consolidation. It is estimated that
up till at least 2015, the market will grow at a
compounded annual growth rate of 21%. Riding
on the back of poor market penetration, pegged
currently at 3%, the industry is expected to
achieve in the next five years what it has scaled
in the last 50 (Source: internal estimates).
The air-conditioning industry comprises two
segments central air-conditioning and room
air-conditioners. In 2009/10, the estimated total
market size was Rs. 10,750 crore (US$ 2.40
billion) split almost equally down the middle,
with the former billing about Rs. 5250 crore
(US$ 1.17 billion) and the room air-conditioning
business, the balance Rs. 5500 crore (US$ 1.22
billion). In addition, commercial refrigeration is
critical to the growth of the cold chain storage
and transportation business which caters to
perishable commodities such as dairy and
marine products and fruits and vegetables.
In this exciting market of great opportunity,
Blue Star is India's largest central air-conditioning
and commercial refrigeration company. It has
an annual turnover of over Rs. 2500 crore
(US$ 560 million), a network of 29 offices, five
manufacturing facilities and a motivated work
force of 2600 people.
Achievements
Blue Star is an iconic company that has grown
from a modest Rs. 1 crore (now US$ 222,000)
in 1960 to more than Rs. 2500 crore (US$ 560
million) in 2010 effectively doubling its
turnover every four years. Sustaining this growth
rate even through economic down turns has
been a noteworthy triumph.
As a market leader, Blue Star has steadily
enhanced its capabilities beyond cooling. It has
entered new territories like plumbing and
electrical contracting in order to offer integrated
solutions to customers.
The brand, not surprisingly, is a preferred
partner for most of India's blue chip
organisations like Infosys, Future Group, the
Aditya Birla Group, HCL Technologies, HSBC,
Wipro, Reliance, Airtel, Hindustan Unilever,
Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Intelenet, Caf
Coffee Day, IBM, DLF, Glaxo, Raymond, PVR
Cinemas, Vodafone, Pizza Hut and McDonalds.
The company has been associated with
several prestigious and complex projects. It has
air-conditioned airports including Aurangabad,
Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Mangalore, Nagpur,
Jaipur, Amritsar, Madurai, Dehradun, Raipur and
Pune. It is also in the process of air-conditioning
the international airport at Mumbai. Its cooling
systems operate in
underground stations of
Delhi Metro, the Parliament
House, Rashtrapati Bhavan,
South Block, the All India
Institute of Medical Sciences
(AIIMS) and the Bombay
Stock Exchange.
History
Blue Star Limited came into
being in 1943, founded by
the late Mohan T Advani. It
was a modest three-man
operation, engaged in
reconditioning of
refrigerators and air-conditioners. The 1940s
was an extraordinary period. With other
imperatives taking precedence, the growth of
Blue Star is a fine study in determination, intent
and integrity. But so powerful was the motive
that in a climate inclement for business, Blue
Star flourished. It formed partnerships with
internationally recognised companies and began
manufacturing water coolers, bottle coolers and
ice candy machines in Mumbai. It also began
systems design and execution of central air-
conditioning projects. In the 1950s the company
forayed into the professional electronics
business in partnership with Honeywell.
In the decade that followed Blue Star central
air-conditioning bagged huge orders from the
Birla Integral Coach Factory, Chennai and Metal
Box, Calcutta. By the end of the decade, Blue
Star had set its sights on taking the next big
leap. In 1969, as a first step, it went public. This
infusion was a critical take-off point. The air-
conditioning for all the three skyscrapers
planned for Mumbai's commercial hub at
Nariman point Oberoi Towers, Air India and
Express Towers were bagged by the company.
As the orders continued from companies
like Raymond, Reliance, VSNL, Garware, to name
a few Blue Star signed up a partnership with
Hewlett Packard and began offering their
products and services in the country. In the
mid-1970s, the company ventured overseas,
aggressively targeting the Middle East market by
setting up a joint venture with Al Shirawi in
Dubai. Multi million dollar air-conditioning
projects were executed in Syria, Iraq and
Saudi Arabia.
In the 1980s, Blue Star formed joint ventures
with Yokogawa, Hewlett Packard and Motorola.
26 BUSINESS SUPERBRANDS
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It also introduced Copeland in India and began
manufacturing centrifugal and reciprocating
chillers in technical collaboration with York.
From then on, there was no looking back.
Now the undisputed market king, Blue Star
braced to conquer new market segments such
as the IT software industry of which it captured
a 60% share.
Product
Blue Star offers a comprehensive range of air-
conditioning products, which include centrifugal
chillers, screw chillers, scroll chillers, air handling
units, fan coil units, packaged air-conditioners,
ducted splits and variable refrigerant flow (VRF)
systems. These are in addition to split- window-
vertical- and cassette room air-conditioners. The
company also offers specialised equipment
for telecom, precision control and process
applications.
Blue Star products distinguish themselves
with energy-efficient technology and a host
of distinctive features that are backed by
robust research and development, a strong
understanding of design, superior manufacturing
and excellent project execution capabilities.
The company also manufactures and markets
a comprehensive range of water coolers,
bottled water dispensers, deep freezers, cold
storages, bottle coolers and ice cube machines
that cater to the industrial, commercial and
hospitality industries.
Recent Developments
While Blue Star continued to grow rapidly in its
chosen domain it also recognised the value of
diversification and the acquisition of skills
synchronous with its core business. It was easy
to see that increasingly companies were seeking
from their air-conditioning vendors expertise in
electrical, plumbing and fire fighting
systems. The environment was ripe
for consolidation and Blue
Star launched itself
into acquiring
these skills.
In 2008,
the company
ventured into
the electrical
contracting
business,
offering
customers
mechanical
electrical and plumbing (MEP) services.
From a logistical and technological
perspective, this move was facilitated
by the company's acquisition of
Bangalore-based Naseer Electricals
Private Limited.
Blue Star's new business has since
grown from strength to strength and
has received a universally favourable
customer response. In 2010, encouraged by the
Naseer Electricals acquisition, the company
strengthened its electro-mechanical projects
business through the strategic acquisition
of D S Gupta Construction Private
Limited, the largest independent
plumbing and fire fighting contracting
company in India. This move fortified
Blue Star's position, placing it
amongst the country's most
powerful companies in the
MEP field.
Promotion
Blue Star has developed a
carefully researched positioning
strategy. Its positioning statement
is the result of a study that
showed decision-makers seeking
peace of mind, preferred vendors
competent in executing complex
assignments. Given this insight, Blue Star
zeroed in on the term 'expert.' The proposition
that flowed from here Experts in Cooling
became a strong corporate differentiator and
positioned Blue Star several notches ahead of
competitors.
This positioning worked equally well in the
residential air-conditioning market where
consumers appeared to believe that office
cooling was superior to home cooling. Since
Blue Star had established superiority in the
office cooling segment, the proposition of
bringing home an 'expert' blended in seamlessly
and gave the brand a positioning property that
straddled both segments of business.
Blue Star's promotion activities include mass
media advertising and field marketing. The
advertising budget goes primarily to television,
print, hoardings and the internet. The company's
TV ads are placed on news and niche channels.
In print, mainline dailies are the preference.
The markets targeted include metros and
mini metros.
Field marketing activities see the company
investing substantially in customer meets,
sponsorships of events organised by CII and
other trade associations, participation in
exhibitions and other on-ground events.
Both the mass media and
field marketing activities
are aligned to the
brand value
proposition to
ensure an
integrated
360-degree brand
communication.
Brand Values
The company's projected
vision is to ensure that all
its employees work in
tandem to make Blue Star the preferred
engineering and solutions provider in the
country. Top-of-mind brand personality traits
projected through all communication avenues
stress the company's leadership
role emanating from confidence,
experience, expertise,
reassurance and intelligence.
More than all this, it
is a warm, accessible and caring
brand which is simultaneously
responsive because of its insight
and sensitivity to customer
concerns. In today's rapidly
changing world Blue Star
remains modern and youthful,
embraces transformation in the
best spirit of growth, reliability
and commitment.
Ultimately, Blue Star's brand
personality revolves around
being a friend, an expert with
contemporary solutions and a partner-in-
progress who understands customer needs.
The company's commitment to provide a
world-class customer experience apart from
remaining an organisation that is a pleasure to
do business with is unflagging. It also ensures
high standards of corporate governance and is
dedicated to being a good corporate citizen.
www.bluestarindia.com
27 BUSINESS SUPERBRANDS
Blue Star is one of only 50 listed Indian
companies which are more than 60 years old
Up to a third of all corporate or commercial
buildings in the country are air-conditioned by
Blue Star
In India, Blue Star maintains air-conditioning
equipment rated at 2 million tonnes of
refrigeration (TR)
Blue Star has been in the professional
electronics and industrial systems business for
more than five decades selling medical
equipment, data communication equipment,
testing machines, analytical instruments,
industrial products and projects and testing and
measuring instruments
Giant international business houses such as
Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Yokogawa and
Honeywell were first introduced to India by
Blue Star
Blue Star was amongst the twenty Indian
companies to be featured in Forbes Asia's 200
Best Under a Billion list in 2008
The company has been graded by the Bureau
of Energy Efficiency (BEE) at the highest level,
amongst energy service companies
Blue Star offers complete consultancy for
Green Building Certification
Blue Star has alliances with the world's most
renowned technology leaders: Rheem
Manufacturing Company, USA; Hitachi Medical
Corporation, Japan; Eaton-Williams, UK; Jeol,
Japan; Carel, Italy; Danfoss, Denmark; Bitzer,
Germany; Emerson, USA and Packo of Belgium
Things you didnt know about
Blue Star
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