It is destination RP Road for electronic goods and home appliances this Deepavali, like the previous many decades. Despite the mega malls and stand alone stores in other areas of the city such as Chikkadpally, Somajiguda and Begumpet, there is a rush of shoppers coming all the way from Kukatpally, Malkajgiri and other far-flung areas. Washing machines, DVD players, LED panels and LCD televisions plus DTH connections for a special festival price are lined up across the innumerable stores that line the busy Patny junction-Bible House street.
Swan Soni Appliances is one of the oldest stores here and goes back to 1957. It sold radios, cassette tape recorders and black and white television sets then. “Radio bandh hoke zamana ho gaya, abhi MP3 players bikte hain” says Padam Chand Jain, proprietor Swan Soni Appliances. Outside on the road are tempo auto drivers and helpers packing refrigerators with auto defrost and energy saving USPs, 3D and plasma TVs and the works.
No maintenance overheads
“This is a very old electronics goods and home appliances market and is growing bigger by the day. All the brands and latest models are available. Unlike malls and super stores, there are no maintenance overheads as shop owners with few helpers manage the stores. There are many stores so people can look around before buying. People keep aside the festival bonus they receive for buying electronic goods during Deepavali and there is an appliance here to fit all family budgets,” says Bhupender Jain, who runs Digital Raj and Raj Electronics with his brother Dharmender Jain.
Shopkeepers go out of their way to scout for the ‘mera wala red’ refrigerator or a fancy colour for the washing machine seen in a commercial, apart from the discount that comes on the products. “With many stores around, the rates are competitive and in fact less than dealer rates. We run on 2-5 per cent profit margins around the year that are slashed to 1 per cent during Deepavali to give the customers a special price,” says Mr.Padam Chand.
“We don’t give freebies or gifts like in big showrooms. It is the massive discount on offer that is liked by consumers,” says a salesperson at Dignity Electronics. Also, company discounts and offers such as Videocon ‘Diwali Dhamaka’ vouchers, Samsung 3D Blu Ray player and so on from leading brands are passed on to the consumers, adds Mr. Bhupender.