Pune: It’s been a hot March and a cruel April so far and mid-week temperatures are expected to touch 40 degrees celsius.
In such times, whirring fans offer little relief and troubled citizens are looking at cooler ways to beat the heat by renting coolers and air conditioners.
Techie Rujuta Tiwari of Baner said, “Pune is experiencing a very hot summer, this year. We spend most of our time in the office and an air conditioner is not needed at home. But, with so much construction and few trees, the air is hot even till 8pm. I have never used a cooler or an air conditioner in Pune and but, this year, I felt I wanted one for sound sleep.”
“The service was not available earlier. But people have realised they can avoid the maintenance costs and storage issues a cooler would necessitate. From mid-March this year, we are being bombarded with enquiries for renting coolers and air conditioners and especially the last two weekends, we got almost a 1,000 calls per day,” Sanjay Jadhav, chief executive officer of Krishna Services, an appliance rental shop, said.
“Within 20 days, all our stock was rented out and this year, the demand was way more than we had expected. We have had to buy new stock this time. We have rented out 80-85 coolers and around 70 air conditioners and around 25 refrigerators,” said Jadhav. He had the foresight to sense a demand for coolers on rent five years ago, and is all smiles now, as renting is getting bigger.
In times when a new cooler costs about Rs 10,000, renting makes sense as it warrants a deposit of around Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,500, a per month rental of Rs 400-Rs 800 and Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 for air conditioners. The bother of repairs and maintenance costs is taken care of by the rental firm.
Utkarsh Mehrotra from Rentpitara, a city-based startup, began in 2013, but the demand in 2016 is like nothing they have seen before.