The economists have been speculating the reasons for poor showing by the white goods sector. Some have blamed it on recession and some on reforms. It is neither. The real cause is some where else. The market is overcrowded with so many brands that buyers cannot make up their mind. The sales people too are not making the task easier.
Last week for instance I went around shopping for a good color TV and realized how difficult it is to make a choice.
I walked into an Onida showroom and was looking at the latest model when the manager stepped beside me. “This is a beautiful set, the one which is the hottest. The sound and the picture quality is A1. You may not know but even the Sony TV Chairman has installed one of these in his bedroom to watch Salman Khan’s ‘Dus Ka Dum’ show every week-end.”
“Now that you mention I’ll have a look at Sony TV before making a choice.” I said.
“Please go ahead” he said. “But do you know Rajans?” “No” I said “Why do you ask me?”
“I am just returning after visiting Rajans in the hospital. Such a fine family! God forbid anything happening to them. They have so much to live for!”
“Why, what happened to them?”
“They were watching Asia Cup match between India and Sri Lanka last night on Sony when the picture tube burst all of a sudden. Up went the flames and reduced everything to ashes. If it could happen to Rajans it could happen to anyone.”
“Are you saying it is risky to have a Sony TV in the house?”
“No not all. All that I am saying is unless you have a fire alarm system or a fire brigade station near by it would be asking for trouble if you go for Sony.”
I left the shop and went over to the Videocon showroom. I told the attendant that I had seen a beautiful Onida model but thought I’d look at Videocon before finalizing the purchase.
“That’s good thinking” he said cheerfully. “Onida’s latest model is of course quite a stunner. But I suppose they didn’t tell you the full story?”
“What do you mean?” I said.
“Eyes start watering after 15 minutes of watching. Only two days back a healthy lad of 25 lost his vision watching a Konkani play on Onida.”
“I never knew Onida is that bad?”
“Nothing wrong with the TV as such. It is just that the picture is so hazy and shaky that the human eyes find the strain a bit too much.”
I thanked him and went over to Sony TV showroom.
The Sony TV manager was brutally frank “When it comes to color TV Videocon is the best. The color and contrast are simply out of the world. But then color and contrast are not everything in the world. One has to look at the safety angle too.”
“You mean Videocon TV is a health hazard?”
“You see the problem with Videocon is that the picture keeps turning around constantly forcing the viewers to go into various yoga postures to keep track of the story line. The result is, large incidence of spondylitis among the Videocon viewers.”
When I came back the wife asked “Did you buy anything?”
I said that I am undecided on which brand to buy but I am sure that we need to buy a good medical insurance before we buy any TV.