he white appliances market was one of the worst-hit segments during the lockdowns and shutdowns in the country. With jobs either gone or salaries truncated, people turned away from electronic products. There was no demand in the market. However, with the situation gradually coming back to normal, the sector is limping back to normalcy. Raj Electronics, a household name in the state, put together an aggressive action plan to weather the vagaries of the pandemic. Prakash Kumar Biswal, Managing Partner, Raj Electronics, gives his take on the ills being faced by the sector in general and his ideas for growth. Excerpts of an interview with Orissa POST…
How do you find the electronics retailing market?
There is a change in customer behaviour now as compared to that during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. Now, we are getting more customers. However, the middleclass people are facing certain crisis with regard to their income. As a result, the sale of low-end products is at the bottom. The sale of high-end products is going on as usual. The market has witnessed an upward trend since the festival season. With the improvement in the market condition, the sale of low-end products will see an upward trend.
There were reports that electronics products would be dearer. What is your view on this?
A rise in the cost of raw materials is forcing companies to raise prices of electronics goods. It is expected that the prices of electronics goods will go up by 7 to 8 per cent. Shortage of manpower is also pushing the cost of production upward. The customers should buy the products before they become dearer.
How has the pandemic affected the market?
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the market very hard. The pandemic situation has pushed us back by a decade. All sectors of the economy have suffered. Unemployment, low income and reduction in salaries are affecting the demand.
What is your take on customer relations?
We are maintaining good relations with our customers. I personally try to solve the issues of customers. We had introduced certain measures to keep good relation with customers soon after easing the lockdown and the shutdown norms. A total of 17 showrooms have been opened for the customers. We have also introduced an online payment system.
Do you have any special offer for the customers?
Customers can avail offers given by the companies. Our showrooms are also giving some offers. Now, customers can get easy finance up to 10 per cent cashback and benefits of zero interest and zero down payments. They can avail the services of finance companies like Bajaj Finance, HDFC, IDFC and HDB.