The prolonged and chilly winter has hot up some segments of brown goods sector in the country, especially in the east. The room heater business has witnessed the biggest surge in demand in the last 10 years or so in West Bengal and eastern region while there has been a multi-fold growth across India. Once an unorganized market, the room heater business in India is now ruled by four major organised players — Bajaj Electricals, Orient Electric, Havells India and Usha.
An official of Bajaj Electricals said that in most of the states, the company is experiencing a heavy demand. “There is no stock in most of the eastern states because nobody has anticipated so huge demand,” he added.
According to him, there has been more than 100% growth nationally in the segment. North and east India taken together comprise 80% of the room heater market.
Salil Kappoor, business head (home appliances), Orient Electric, pointed out that there has been a 150% growth in oil-based room heater in India. “In December, there has been a 70% growth in West Bengal, which this year has become a major market. Now there is supply bottleneck in most of the markets,” he added.
According to him, the size of the room heater market in India is Rs 400 crore, while in West Bengal it is worth Rs 30 crore.
Havells has seen growth from not just consumers, but several corporate sectors as well. Rajiv Kenue, senior vice president, Havells India, said, “We are one of the top players in oil-filled radiator and room heaters in India. With sharp a dip in temperature and intense cold waves spreading through North India, we have seen a surge in consumer demand compared to the last year. Delhi-NCR is one of the top-three regions driving demand for oil-filled radiators and room heaters. Most of our stocks of heaters and OFR in retail stores and Havells outlets are on the verge of being sold out. Consumer sentiments have picked up with regard to these purchases.”
Pulkit Baid, director of Great Eastern Retail, one of the leading electronics retailers in east, pointed out that there has been an unprecedented demand for room heaters this year. “What we sell in four months, this year we sold in one month only.
This is a record in 15 years,” he added. Baid also admitted that most of the retailers are running out of stock.―Times of India