Cleaning robots making inroads into smaller towns

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on November 07, 2020

Demand for such tech-gadgets had started to pick up

Cleaning robots, which was once considered a luxury by the household has started to make waves, not just in urban cities but in smaller towns as well.

“The spurt in demand for such tech-gadgets had started to pick up soon after the announcement of lockdown, as maids were not permitted in apartments and societies. This forced the households to look for gadgets that could dust, mop and clean their homes without human intervention and much of an effort,” observed Rajeev Karwal, founder-Chairman, Milagrow Robots, adding “the floor cleaning robot is completely independent; the user can schedule, zoom and see the progress on his mobile.”

The company’s product range includes 20 different types of robot such as robot for cleaning of floor, window, wall, swimming pool, lawn mowing, air-conditioner duct-cleaning and so on.

The company has seen its business grow 450 per cent during the first half of the current fiscal as compared to the last. “Our business peaked in October; we witnessed a 1000 per cent jump compared to last year. We expect this tide to continue. However, the real test could be in December,” Karwal told Business Line.

“The rising adoption of floor cleaning robots has made us look back, think of the times when people thought twice before buying a washing machine. It has today become a common utility tool in every home. Cleaning robot could soon become an indispensible gadget in every home.”

“Nearly 40 per cent of the demand is from tier II and III towns at present as compared to 5 per cent in April- May,” he added.

Pulak Sathish Kumar, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Puresight Systems (official distributor of iRobot in India) said that the demand for iRobot products increased three fold since April.

iRobot markets 2 models of its product – vacuum robot and a mopping device. The latter, which was introduced in June in India has been a huge hit, says Kumar.

Both Kumar and Karwal admit that users would need some training and orientation in putting such gadgets to use unlike a smart TV or washing machine

To a query on pricing, Karwal said that the price of robotic cleaners have dropped by 30 – 35 per cent in the last six months. “The middle class do not generally look for advanced features; less hardware component means lesser cost, higher volumes (because of rising demand) have enabled us to rework our price.”

But Kumar said that the US-based company iRobot had left the price levels unchanged. “The daily sales curve is growing though,” he added.

Meanwhile, robotic cleaner brands seem to have expanded the omni-channel approach this festive season to attract small town shoppers.

Published on November 07, 2020

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