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Updated: November 26, 2010 16:43 IST

Out of the sink, into the machine hold

R. Ramabhadran Pillai
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One-touch wash: A dishwasher displayed at a showroom in Kozhikode.
Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup One-touch wash: A dishwasher displayed at a showroom in Kozhikode.

Dishwashers take over a kitchen chore. R. Ramabhadran Pillai checks them out.

The very thought of cleaning utensils robs cooking of its charm. However, help is at hand with the coming of electronic dishwashers.

An appliance that washes cookware and removes stubborn stains is bound to occupy a place in the kitchens and the hearts of homemakers. It assumes a bigger role now, as getting domestic helps has become difficult.

The simple operation of the machine is reason enough for the discerning customer to yearn for one. The modern dishwashers are capable of flushing out food particles through pressurised water-spraying.

The machine cleans mugs, cups, pans and cutlery. There are models that have sensors to detect the level of dirt to perform the most suitable level of cleaning. High-temperature rinsing and steam-cleaning are among the features. There are also machines that facilitate automatic operation in the “fill it and forget it” mode.

Several people have started buying dishwashers now. The response in Kerala is good, says P. Rajkumar, branch head, Kerala, IFB Appliances, one of the prominent players in the market.

Touch and feel

The company has adopted a strategy of making live presentations at the houses of prospective customers. The appliance is left at the customer's house for a day or two for a hands-on experience. The practice was started in Kochi and Kozhikode a year ago. The machines have been on display in showrooms in Kerala for over four years.

The market is growing at 30-40 per cent, Mr. Rajkumar says. His company is selling 100 domestic dishwashers in the State a month.

The industrial dishwashers, catering to the needs of hotels and large establishments, do not figure in the account.

The domestic dishwasher will appeal to those for whom maintaining hygiene in homes is a priority. Removing dirt as soon as it is generated can become a way of life. A clean home, devoid of filth in any form, reflects the attitude of the occupants. This apart, the lower water consumption is a major attraction. The dishwasher consumes only three-fourth of the water used in manual cleaning, he says.

The company's machines are specially designed for the Indian consumer, he says. There are trays for the big utensils and additional provisions to remove all the dirt accrued in the course of cooking. The manufacturer provides a special detergent and salt for use in the machine to give optimum results.

The dishwasher is an appliance categorised in the premium segment, says Mathew George, sales manager (Kerala), LG Electronics India Private Ltd. The company is selling only one model, which is imported, in Kerala. Awareness of dishwashers is low at present, he says, hoping for a volume build-up in the days ahead.

That, of course, is an indication of the market. Though there are a number of manufacturers in the domestic appliances market, catering to a variety of needs, only a few have ventured into the dishwasher segment. Whirlpool, another popular brand in the appliances market, makes the product for the worldwide market, but it is not selling it in the domestic market at present, says Rajasekharan, area sales manager. Nevertheless, the product can storm the market, as customers will be on the lookout for appliances that provide them more comfort and an improved lifestyle.

Keywords: dishwashers

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