HYDERABAD: With the mercury rising day by day, there is a section of people who wish for a long and harsh summer in the city. Though the early summer seems promising to them, they are concerned about the dipping night temperatures. Yes, it is now the trading season for dealers and marketers of air-coolers and air-conditioners in the city. The budget proposal to hike service and excise taxes hasn’t perturbed the traders. After all, the hike will push the prices of air-coolers by just `200-300 and air-conditioners by `500. However, they have other concerns. Shopkeepers like Amit Jain near Abids say the season has not set in fully by which he means the sales are below average. On any normal summer day, he sells 20-30 air-coolers each of which cost anything between `3,000 and `10,000. “I am selling only 2-5 air-coolers these days. The summer is still catching up. We are yet to reach our average sales,” said Jain.
Showroom owners and big time dealers too agree with Amit Jain. A number of them are praying for a rain-free summer. “It rained on and off during the last summer because of which it was not as hot as we had expected. This year, we are hopeful of a summer free from showers,” said Sanjai Pasaari of Pasari Electronics near Mozam Jahi Market. Asked about the off season sales and profit, he said, “during the off season, we sell only 10% of what we sell during summer. However, there is demand for some other electronic appliances during that period which is why the business does not get affected”. Prasari’s sell 20-30 air-coolers and about 5-10 air-conditioners these days. He said though there was great demand for air-coolers, the market has turned very competitive with easy accessibility of local and unbranded products at cheap prices.
The market is wide open with all varieties of customers and sellers. There are buyers for air-coolers that cost over `10,000 and also for those cheap unbranded ones that come for `1,000-1,500, says Amit Jain. Rental services for air-coolers and other appliances, though in demand earlier, are now out of market, according to Pasaari. “Now, air-coolers are sold on the pavements at prices what used to be charged as the rent. Some customers do not look for superior quality but utility for the couple of months of summer,” said Pasaari.
Admitting that air-coolers are no longer taken on rent, a city dealer in rental air-conditioners B Krishna Rao said, “the demand for air-conditioners had increased in the first week of March itself, and is further going to increase during the summer”. He rents split air-conditioners for `3,500 to `4,000 a month and charges `4,500-5,000 per month for window mounted air-conditioners.
Also available in the local markets is a Hyderabadi version of the ‘Nagpur desert cooler’, which had gained popularity over the last couple of years. MN Raza, who is one among the 300 plus shopkeepers in Troop bazar in the city who sell air-coolers and similar home appliances, says customers these days prefer everything economical.
Raza sells around 10-12 air-coolers in retail and 50-60 in wholesale on an average. The available models at his shop range from 1.5 ft tall 30 litre coolers for `2,000 to all customized and order-based 24 ft tall air coolers for function halls at `30,000.