Haier in India: Building Presence in a Mass Market Beyond China
For Chinese corporation Haier Inc, the biggest seller of major appliances in the world, entering India as an emerging-market multinational is like having a double-edged sword. Its global presence gives it credibility to offer more sophisticated products that warrant a premium price, but Indian consumers have yet to develop the willingness to embrace its China-made, high-priced products. Seven years into its India business endeavours, sales remained sluggish and market share minimal. The company then undertook a swift change in pricing strategies and overhauled its marketing infrastructure to save its market. The case provides an overview of the situation and lends a discussion of marketing and localisation strategies of emerging-market multinationals in India. It also gives insights into the challenges these multinational corporations face. The case also explores issues of product offerings, brand communication, pricing strategies, market capture and late-comer disadvantages. The comparison between Haier's behaviours in India and other markets also points to the level of localisation/globalisation the company adopts across markets.