The Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Industry began its real journey towards self sufficiency only in the late fifties starting with only a few assembly units. The Industry, in just four decades of post-independence, growth achieved some notable milestones. Pre independence the country's needs were met by imports as a large number of Domestic Refrigerators & Air-conditioners used to be brought into the country by persons of Indian origin returning back or on a visit who used to bring the appliances along with their personal effects in terms of the government policies in vogue.

Interestingly the real spurt in indigenization came only with the foreign exchange crisis in late fifties when the Air conditioning & Refrigeration Industry in India started producing Appliances such as Air-conditioners, Refrigerators, Water Coolers, Bottle Coolers, Deep Freezers, Compressors, and other Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Equipments, Components and Controls following this.

Today after nearly six decades of phased indigenization the size of the Indian Market for airconditioning and refrigeration has grown in leaps and bounds as revealed by the following figures:

FY 2008 ~ 09 Rs/cr
AC&R industry market size 14,200 (US$ 3.0 B)
Airconditioning systems 11,000
Commercial refrigeration 2,000
AC&R servicing 1,200

Air conditioning Systems:
• Room Air-conditioners : 5,100
• Central Plants : 3,200
• Duct/package : 1,800
• VRF systems : 400
• Precision/Telecom : 500

Air conditioning Systems
• Growth during last 5 years : over 20%

Present penetration level is barely 3%
• Expected growth during medium term (3~5 years) : 15~20%

Segment-wise growth rate trend:
• Room air-conditioners : 20%
• VRF systems : 40%
• Chillers : 10%
• Ducted/package : 10%
• Others (precision/telecom) : 25~30%

Commercial Refrigeration Sector
• Growth during last 5 years : ~10%
• Expected growth during medium term (3~5 years) : 10~12%

Segment-wise growth rate trend :
• Water Dispensers : 20%
• Storage Water Coolers : 05%
• Display/storage equipment : 15%

The year 2008-2009 was a remarkably good year for the Indian Economy with a GDP growth of over 8.5% with superb future prospects for consumer durables demand. No wonder the air conditioning and refrigeration industry had also recorded a fabulous growth with unprecedented increase in sales turnover and volumes of locally manufactured goods.

In India the Rotary compressors dominate the market with 85% share. The industry achieved phenomenal growth in spite of many hurdles and heavy burden of taxation and VAT etc. imposed by the state and central governments.
In the tenure of its existence, the Association has earned some notable achievements to its credit as follows:
It has in the past been representing to the Government against the difficulties relating to excise, customs, imports etc. and has taken active interest in getting these redressed from the authorities.
It is due to the vigorous efforts made by the Association that Government has been reducing the excise, and customs duties on Air conditioning and Refrigeration Equipments, Appliances and components and parts.
It has helped in manufacturing equipments and component that were never produced in the country before.
By a forceful plea, it got Industrial Refrigeration included among 59 Priority Industries.
It has opened avenues for the development of export of the Industry's products and helped in the finalization of various standards of Air conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment and Appliances under the aegis of Bureau of Indian Standards.
It has got sanction of monetary assistance and other subsidies for export of this industry's products.
It was largely due to the efforts of the Association that the Ministry of Industrial Development & Company Affairs decided to set up a panel for Air conditioning & Refrigeration Industry, which was instrumental in rendering useful service to its cause.
The Association has been successful in convincing the Government that Air conditioning & Refrigeration is a necessity and plays a vital role in the national economy. This has resulted in providing substantial excise relief to the Industry.
Starting from a humble beginning, the Association has developed into a well coordinated and disciplined organization to link organically this capital-intensive sector of the economy with other branches of Engineering Industries, the Government and growing number of constituents.
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