Covid has sparked demand for dishwashers: BSH Household MD

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on June 19, 2020

Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt Ltd

Awareness on hygiene sparking enquiries and bookings, says Neeraj Bahl

Among home appliances, dishwashers have been low in the priority list among Indian consumers. However, the Covid outbreak has helped pep up the demand for it, said Neeraj Bahl, MD and CEO, BSH Household Appliances Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd, an arm of Germany's Bosch Group.

“We have started receiving a lot of enquiries and bookings for dishwashers,” he told BusinessLine.

The Covid outbreak has made consumers more aware of the need to maintain a certain level of hygiene and cleanliness. Dishwashers wash dishes and utensils both quickly and hygienically. Dishwashers not only use water at 70 degree Celsius ensuring 99 per cent germ-free utensils but also use up to 85 per cent less water than hand-washing.

BSH currently has a 60 per cent market share. “We have seen 20 per cent growth so far compared to 2019. Additionally, we have grown around 2X over this month last year,” Bahl aid without giving absolute numbers.

There is also demand for mass premium products like washing machines, refrigerators, dryers, microwaves and mixer grinders. “In May, with a 30 per cent operational market we were able to meet our revised targets,” he said.

Festival season

“However, we are optimistic with the festival season coming up. We are expecting more of online shopping this year as compared to customers coming to stores physically, keeping in mind the current scenario. We need to plan a bigger festive season but all of this depends on how the sentiment shifts once the lockdown is lifted completely,” Bahl said.

On production, Bahl said, the company has a revised the plan for the year. “No one had anticipated the Covid situation but we have enough stock across categories that will help us survive without any production for the next 3-4 months. Production is coming back to normal with 40 per cent workforce. Given the inventory pile-up, it is in line with current demand.”

On the planned expansion at the Sriperumbudur plant near Chennai, Bahl said there was some delay due to the lockdown situation and restriction on travel. The pre-Covid plan was to finish work and launch by the end of the first quarter of 2021, but that might get pushed further due to the current scenario, he added.

Published on June 19, 2020

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