Indian homes call in machines to beat Covid impact in 2020

Meenakshi, a resident of Noida, had always been averse to use of too much gadgets and machines at her house, until Covid-19 knocked at the doors, and then came the lockdown.

Her world revolved around her art works. While the daycare centre took care of her toddler whenever she went went out to give lectures, her maids managed the household, from cleaning to cooking.

The lockdown changed her household forever, and also her attitude towards machines in general. She is definitely not alone who had to do online classes, take care of the baby and also do all the domestic chores on her own amid the restriction on movement that came in a bid to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

The changes came abruptly and people across the country had to take dramatic decisions. Those who never though of owning a dishwasher or a vacuum cleaner were now vying for one.

Those who thought on their feet were lucky to get hold of one quickly, but others had to wait for months as the supply dried up due to the sudden spike in demand.

“With the onset of the pandemic, the dishwasher category has already seen an upward trend with users realising the varied benefits of the product,” Neeraj Bahl, Managing Director and CEO, BSH Home Appliances, had told IANS.

“It is safe to say that the sales of dishwashers have finally taken off in India making them the low-key heroes of the lockdown,” he said.

According to an estimate by kitchen appliances manufacturer Franke Faber India, the dishwasher category in India has been growing in the region of 300-400 per cent from March onwards.

And it is not just dishwashers that found place in Indian homes. Mechanised cleaning became part of daily life for many, giving rise to demand growths for robot vacuum cleaners.

And surprisingly, the demands for these machines were not limited only to metro cities. India’s tier-3, tier-2 cities too shopped online to acquire all the they could to make life a bit easier in the absence of help from others.

“During the pandemic, we have recorded increasing traction from tier-2 and tier-3 towns like Kuthuparamba, Agra, Ludhiana, Vellore, Kochi, Vijayawada, and Vizag, for our robotic vacuum cleaners,” Rajeev Karwal, Founder Chairman, Milagrow Robots, said in a statement.

The company recently launched an affordable range of floor cleaning and sanitising robotic vacuum cleaners.

Sensing greater demand for such products, even smartphone maker Xiaomi launched Mi Robot Vacuum Mop-P in India to offer an advanced and smart solution for all house cleaning needs.

Featuring two-in-one sweeping and mopping functionalities, smart app control, and quad-core Cortex-A7 processor, Mi Robot Vacuum-Mop P is a thoughtfully designed product created for Indian homes, the company said.

Adding to the mechanisation of Indian homes during 2020 were smart home speakers, hearables, wearables and all types of fitness trackers that promised to help people stay fit as gyms remained closed for months.

And by the time the challenging summer bade goodbye and people started feeling a chill in the air, many city dwellers also started feeling the need of air purifiers as a thick blanket of pollution enveloped the skies above them.

To address both the needs of winter and pollution, global technology company Dyson launched its Pure Hot+Cool Cryptomic air purifier that also comes with a heater.

Sharp FP-J80, AirOk Vistar 550i, Philips AC2887 and Honeywell HAC25M1201W are some other air purifiers that found favours with consumers in India.

With a pre-Covid normalisation far from sight, the growing mechanisation of Indian homes is set to continue for the coming months, or perhaps, for years.

But only time will tell if it will genuinely offload some of the work burdens women in Indian households traditionally bear. There is no harm in hoping as the New Year rings in.