Started in 1943, Blue Star is India's largest central air-conditioning and commercial refrigeration company, with a 30 per cent market share. It has three business segments: electro-mechanical products and packaged air conditioning systems, cooling products, and professional electronics and industrial systems. It has over 2,000 dealers.
A Tata Group company, Voltas operates in two broad divisions: Electro-Mechanical Projects and Services, bringing in 50 per cent of the revenues, and Unitary Cooling Products division, which sells Voltas' room ACs, accounting for 39 per cent of the revenues. Voltas has a volume market share of 20 per cent (FY14) with a network of 6,500 plus dealers.
Blue Star and Voltas are the two major players in the air-conditioning segment besides Hitachi. While Blue Star is the preferred vendor for institutional clients, Voltas is the preferred name for retail clients. However, Voltas has superior margins to Blue Star's because of the segment it operates in. Voltas has a higher scale of operation mainly due to overseas operations in the Middle East, whereas Blue Star mainly operates in the domestic market.