Cap on LPG cylinders heats up induction stove sales

 The confusion over the Know Your Customer (KYC) forms and the fear of shelling out huge amounts of money to buy LPG cylinders at exorbitant prices is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the retailers of induction stoves.

Six months ago, induction stoves were categorised as a slow moving item. But now, the induction stove and its accompanying paraphernalia are on the bestsellers list, bringing cheer to shopkeepers looking for good earnings.

According to several appliance store owners in Panaji, the demand for these induction stoves has boomed especially from September onwards when news of less LPG cylinders for each family became public. Further, the fact that companies are also capitalising on it by advertising heavily and offering attractive schemes has also helped.

Consequently, the store owners are selling at least two-three stoves per day along with several flat-bottomed vessels that have to be used on the range. As such, there is a 50 per cent increase in demand in recent days, while income from the sale of induction stoves is the highest compared to other kitchen appliances. Further, besides induction stove, the second fast selling appliance is the induction cooker, which is available in varying ranges like regular pressure cookers.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times,’ Mr Shrikrishna Pokle, proprietor of Pokle store in Panaji, said, "Demand for induction stoves and the entire range is big these days as people perceive it as the best alternative to cooking gas." In a day, he said "at least 10 buyers drop in to ask about them with three leaving only after buying." Mr Pokle continued, "After some hours, another seven customers enter the store asking for more induction cookers."

It is a similar trend everywhere in the Panaji market, with a salesperson in Gift Corner, Panaji, pointing out that the induction stoves are hugely popular and hot on everybody’s wish list with several consumers "enquiring on the best brand or reliability" and at least "30 per cent of the enquiries are translating into sales."

Induction cookers although currently popular, have been around for the last two years in Goa. They work on electricity and are said to be more economical that heaters and kerosene stoves, which anyway cannot be used because of kerosene shortage.

Explaining the craze for the induction stoves, shopkeepers say that it takes just five minutes to heat water compared to a conventional heater that takes at least 30 minutes. Moreover, the power consumption is less, bringing relief from high electric bill on account of power tariff hike. Contrary to the perception, the price of the induction stove has not increased as manufacturers want to increase its popularity. Thus, induction stoves in the market belonging to atleast seven to eight known brands are available for Rs 3,500 – Rs 4,795 (inclusive of accompanying vessels.) "The stoves and cookers could very well be on the gifting list of companies," said Mr Pokle. He, for one, has got his first bulk order of 14 pieces from the local office of a pharmaceutical company. [NT]