Summer is here but AC, fridge locked in godown; consumer durables manufacturers eye huge losses

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Updated: Apr 21, 2020 4:55 PM

The estimated revenue loss to the TV, fridge, and washing machine makers will be up to Rs 5,000 crores, especially due to a spike in demand for fridges and ACs in summer.

TV, fridge, washing machine, consumer durables, lockdown, coronavirus, covid-19With the remote working and families staying indoors, the demand for TVs, phones, and laptops are also high.

The summer has come and so is the need for refrigerators and air conditioners, but the nationwide lockdown is keeping the buyers away from sellers, stacking the products in the godown. The much-needed lockdown has also resulted in the loss of the consumer durables market. “The TV industry alone saw a loss of up to Rs 2,000 crore in the first 14 days of April,” Avneet Singh Marwah, Director and CEO, Super Plastronics, told Samrat Sharma of Financial Express Online in an interview. The estimated revenue loss to the TV, fridge, and washing machine makers will be up to Rs 5,000 crores, especially as the demand for fridges and ACs increase in summers, he added. Here are the excerpts of the interview: 

1) How is the consumer durable segment coping up with the current business disruption?

The TV industry alone saw a loss of Rs 1700-2000 crore from April 1-14. We support the decision of the government, but at the same time, it is important to initiate some sale of electronics as they have become “essential” for consumers with the extended lockdown. E-commerce platforms are effective and safe to sell items. 

2) What is the intensity of loss to businesses with products like TV, fridge, washing machine in recent months?

The estimated revenue loss to the TV, fridge, and washing machine makers will be nearly Rs 4,000-5,000 crores, especially as summer approaches, the demand for fridges and ACs increase. With the remote working and families staying indoors, the demand for TVs, phones, and laptops are also high. Hence, the losses are exponential.

3) How do you see the way ahead for this industry?

I anticipate that when the lockdown is lifted, there will be a resurgence. This is also the first time that the content viewership has seen a record high, leading to a huge increase in demand for smart TVs. As e-commerce channels are the safest, online sales are expected to increase.  

4) How much did the relief measures announced by the government help?

The government has been cognizant of the slump expected in the industry and has announced some relief packages but I feel that the government should release some more stimulus packages. We understand the gravity of the situation but the government must try and break the cycle by lifting some restrictions. If operations resume under strict guidelines, we can help the economy come out of the slump and ensure regular income for all. 

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