The overall perception about portable gensets is that they are expensive. To counter this, Honda has come out with a genset priced at Rs 14,350, HSPP vice-president and director RS Bidesi told FE.
While a genset produces power from fuel (usually diesel), a power inverter uses a battery which accumulates charge when a household has electricity and discharges the electricity when there is a power failure.
HSPP has been developing strategic insights into the inverter market which is causing a huge power deficit, said Mr Bidesi. With the launch of Handy Genset at a low price, consumers have access to alternative sources of power according to their needs, he added.
The general perception of genset and inverter is that while the former is noisy, fuel-consuming, expensive and built for industrial purposes, the latter is usually silent, efficient and built specifically to suit households. HSPPs new products all run on kerosene and have documentation asserting that they are aligned with quality and pollution norms.
Gensets produce sine waves, which are not harmful to household appliances, whereas inverters produce a quasi wave which can disrupt appliances. Moreover inverters can only run for about 2-3 hours, added Mr Bidesi.
Earlier this year, HSPP launched the Honda GenX. More recently, it launched the Handy Genset, a lightweight offering specially designed for long hours of service and low maintenance demands.
From its ad budget of Rs 5 crore, Rs 1 crore will be spent to advertise the product in states worst affected by power failuresUttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand. The company had a turnover of Rs 180 crore in 2002-03.
The inverter industry is monopolised by the unorganised sector which takes up 70 per cent of overall sales. Electrical component manufacturers usually assemble and supply unbranded inverters at their dealerships. Zero overhead costs and shaky after-sales service of the unorganised sector heralded the entry of branded inverters by companies like SAR Silicon (Luminous), Usha Zentra and Microtek. Prices of inverters vary from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000.