Voltas India Ltd. has launched a 65-L, direct-cool refrigerator that is specially designed to cater to rural needs - it can store heavy utensils, has tough insulation, and has built-in stabilizers to cope with high-voltage fluctuations. Best of all, it comes at the low price of Rs 5,000 ($108).
issue: September 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine
New Delhi Report
Refrigerators In Rural India
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The price barrier is what prevents refrigerators from becoming a household item in rural India.
Voltas has been a OEM supplier of refrigerators to LG Electronics India Ltd., but ever since LG set up its own manufacturing facility in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, Voltas' sales to LG declined from 500,000 refrigerators to 250,000 units. It also supplies 250,000 refrigerators to Samsung.
Voltas currently has the manufacturing capabilities to produce 500,000 refrigerators. It is now targeting a sales volume of 1 million refrigerators and is planning to expand its facility in Hyderabad.
With its rural refrigerators - which are being sold initially in south India and in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh - Voltas is hoping to cater to rural consumers and the price-conscious consumers in urban markets.
This report is filed by Adite Chatterjee, New Delhi correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine.