Image used for representational purpose only
BENGALURU: The first bigticket purchase Jayanagar couple Sandhya and Aman Makhija made after lockdown relaxation was a dishwasher. Many other families also rushed to buy or enquire about the appliance after two months of no domestic help and daily squabbles over who should do the plates, an annoyance that spawned several memes.
From being viewed a superfluous fixture of fancy kitchens, the dishwasher is quickly becoming an essential appliance, with even middle-class households measuring kitchen space to find a spot. According to store managers and dealers TOI contacted, the demand has jumped by 70-80% in the past few weeks. Basic models start at Rs 20,000-22,000, whereas some popular brands are priced in the range of Rs 35,000-60,000.
“The dishwasher is the new washing machine for families,” said Aman, a businessman, briefly recounting the period when washing machines started entering Indian households.
Sandhya said nothing irritated her more during lockdown than cleaning the day’s dishes. “Standing in the same spot for nearly an hour and scrubbing the pans made me and my husband furious. We decided we would buy a dishwasher the day stores reopened,” she said.
Aman was worried it would take too much room. “But I am happy we got it; the convenience outweighs minor issues like space,” he said. “During lockdown, we took turns to do most house chores. Sandhya often did the dishes and it was hurting her back. I took over for a few days and immediately realised why everyone complains about it,” Aman said.
Soumya R, a homemaker who lives in an apartment complex near Rajajinagar, bought a dishwasher, a vacuum cleaner and a fridge within a week of lockdown relaxation. “Our complex is still not allowing domestic helpers. I desperately needed a dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner,” she said.
At least six other people in her complex have bought a dishwasher in the past two weeks. “An elderly neighbour thought the machine won’t do a good job. I gave her a demo and she was convinced. For many weeks, she used paper plates to avoid washing plates,” Soumya said.
Sachin Chopra of Pankaj Electronics in Hanumantnagar said consumer interest in dishwashers had shot up. “There’s been over 70% increase in demand,” he said.
Pai International Electronics in Jayanagar used to get five orders for dishwashers a week. It now sells five to six units a day, according to store manager Kumara B. Demand is higher than available stocks. “We are really surprised,” Kumara said.