HYDERABAD: Even as major home appliances manufactures do their best in order to attract traction to tap the air cooler market now that the summer is here, there are huge third-party manufacturers basking in the unorganised sector making the most of the summer season. Known for selling thick iron cast frame with high decibels emanating through the powerful motors placed in it, the air coolers, also called as desert coolers, available for different room sizes, are a popular choice among many denizens.
However, many third-party manufacturers do not comply with the safety regulations as accorded by International Organisation for Standardisation or Indian Standards Institute. Many of these products are sold in two varieties, the ones which have ISI mark and the others which don’t. But, Shaik Mastan, a salesman of the lighting store in Troop Bazar observes that “even if we distinguish these products, they all undergo similar kind of quality control tests which are too less when compared to the branded ones.”
“If the electric tester shows that there is current passing through it, then there is loose wiring and the faulty wiring should be repaired,” Mastan said. But, the sellers also caution the buyers that the cooler should not be moved while on as the risk of the tank breaking is high; to oil the pump motor frequently; to not use the machine during the rainy season, and to keep it dry when not in use.
“There are a certain number of products which are mandated to have compulsory certification and few which can have voluntary certification under the BIS ambit. The assembled air coolers need not have,” said GS Reddy, a retired BIS scientist and an expert in electrical manufacturing certification. “More than the sellers, it is the consumers who run the risk of electrical shocks while buying such faulty products,” Reddy said. Ranging from `1,500 to `4,000, the seasonal desert coolers, a tad different to the ones sold by established companies, has many players selling assembled coolers every year starting through the pre-summer and summer season. “Compared to the branded companies, our market reach is 50-60 per cent across the country. The main reason for it is that the costs which we incur to build a product are 30-40 per cent less than what the companies market their products in the showrooms,” said Md Saleem, representative and salesman of IK Enterprises.
The economical air coolers sold to have ‘high powered motors’ have marginally increased because of GST, say shop owners. “The manufacturers have increased the price and, now, sell at a higher price when compared to previous years. The wiring, motor, submersible pump, knobs, switches and all such items fall under the GST ambit. The varying taxes has made to sell these products at `200 to `300 more than the previous years,” said Mohammed Saadullah, proprietor of Baba Electricals.