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Sales surge adds to Diwali cheer

BS Corporate Bureau | October 28, 2003 08:13 IST

On Dhanteras, a day before Diwali when people buy valuables, an industrialist walked into Satya Prakash Bagla's showroom in the Capital and booked himself a Bentley, which comes for at least Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million), a souped-up version can cost up to Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million).

Bagla couldn't have asked for more. Since he opened his Bentley showroom at the beginning of the festival season in October, this was his seventh customer.

Businessmen like Bagla have had a lot to cheer about this season. While consumer electronics companies have reported a 10-15 per cent jump in sales over last year's festive season, preliminary estimates suggest that motorcycle sales climbed 20 per cent.

The wealth effect

 

Growth over
last festival
season

Consumer electronics

10-15 %

Colour televisions

20%

Motorcycles

20%

Retail footfalls

25%

Shopping malls and retail outlets saw a 25 per cent rise in footfalls, while cellular operators saw a 300 per cent rise in SMS traffic.

Said Videocon International Chairman V N Dhoot: "Diwali sales have been very good. We sold about 260,000 colour televisions in October. The rural market has done well showing a 20 per cent growth over last year."

"If we compare this year's Diwali with the last, LG will have a more than 100 per cent volume growth in colour televisions. We are totally sold out. In the case of flat televisions, we have not been able to meet the demand," said an elated Chandramani Singh, national head (consumer electronics), LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd.

The Consumer Electronics and Television Manufacturers' Association expects October sales to cross one million.

Other items have done well, too. LG is expecting an overall value growth of 53 per cent and a volume growth of 65 per cent over last year's Diwali.

"We have run out of stock," says Rajesh Puri, vice-president (marketing and sales), Electrolux Kelvinator Ltd.

He expects sales, especially of frost-free refrigerators, to go up further in November as rural households will get their full harvest income and the marriage season will set in.

Hero Honda Vice-President (Marketing) Atul Sobti said he was confident of selling 200,000 motorcycles in October 2003, compared with 165,000 in October 2002 and 157,000 in September 2003.

"Surprisingly and fortunately, most of the sales came from urban markets, especially in north and west India. This means we can expect bumper sales again in November, this time from the rural markets," he said.

Added Pradeep Seth, executive president of Ansal Properties and Industries Ltd, which runs Ansal Plaza in the Capital: "Sales have surged and footfalls have increased 50 per cent. This year, the jewellery stores have registered high sales with more than 100 per cent growth."

Footfalls went up to 25,000 around Diwali from 18,000-20,000 earlier at the Centrestage mall in Noida.

Cellular operators Bharti and Hutch saw a four-fold surge in SMS traffic. While daily SMS traffic on Bharti's Airtel surged from 800,000 to 3.6 million around Diwali, Hutch's traffic jumped from one million to four million.

The goddess of wealth has finally turned her benevolent smile on Indian businessmen, it seems.

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