SME Times News Bureau | 27 Apr, 2020
Consumer behavior as well as shopping pattern will
have a massive change post COVID-19 crisis, Sunil Agrawal, Director of Vinod
Cookware said, adding that he is optimistic about the Indian industry getting
through this tough phase successfully.
Excerpts of the interview …
Please tell our readers about Vinod Cookware and
its entrepreneurial journey.
Sunil Agrawal: Vinod Cookware, started its Journey in the Year 1962. It’s a family run
business, led by my father and later joined by me and my brother Anil. We
started off, with a small Manufacturing unit in Bhandup, and entered the most
‘cost-conscious’ and ‘non-Quality driven’ market with a premium range of
cookware. Our first product being the very humble Pressure cooker. The
customers those days had a fixed mindset on features, parameters and cost and
were not willing to buy cookware that cost more than other brands’ products. We
faced a lot of challenges, as customers failed to grasp the advantages of
buying Vinod Cookware pressure cookers. However, with no compromise in Quality,
and strong customer relations which evidently led to positive word of Mouth, we
made the shift from an unknown brand to a popular household name. Despite being
a premium brand in a cost-conscious market, Vinod Cookware, today is among Top
5 Cookware Brands in India.
What are the products Vinod Cookware offers? Do you export as well?
Sunil Agrawal: Over the years, Vinod cookware has built a strong image and a trustworthy
connection with home makers. After a decade experience and repertoire of over
400 products spread across five categories, Vinod Cookware’s Pressure Cooker is
the firm’s biggest success story as it has manifested the launch of ‘Sandwich
bottom’ in the history of Indian kitchens. One of the Accepted and well-loved
cookware Brand names, our portfolio includes state-of-the-art cooking
technologies such as non-stick cookware, hard anodised cookware and much more.
Very recently we have announced India’s first SAS cookware which is India’s
first Steel – Aluminium – Steel construction, revolutionizing the age-old
cooking methods. On the other bit, Yes, we do export under the Brand name
How the ongoing lockdown has affected the Indian manufacturing industry?
Sunil Agrawal: Considering the ongoing lockdown, we have halted our Manufacturing and
everything has come to a standstill. It is imperative for us to monitor the
situation closely, analyze the supply chain and optimize the inventory to
sustain consumer demands. We are in continuous touch with both our trade and
service partners as well as our supplier partners so we have a pulse of both
front end and back end. We are also focusing on ensuring collections and
mapping and monitoring cost heads closely. Our work on product development has
not stopped and people are connected digitally on a daily basis so that none of
our long-term plans get affected. We are working in tandem with all relevant
bodies and authorities to ensure that we maintain a good balance between
business continuity and fluid market conditions.
Do you think the government should come out with a stimulus package for the
industry? If so, what are your suggestions?
Sunil Agrawal: The government cannot do much, as the economy was already running slow and the
treasury coffers going empty. It would be great if they honor the honest
taxpaying companies and adjust at least 50% of income tax paid for the year
2019-20. This would be a novel move and not very expensive for the government
How do you see the industry and economy post the COVID-19 crisis?
Sunil Agrawal: It's very unlikely to predict any numbers for the future apart from the
prediction that there is going to be de-growth in the GDP. According to ICRA
report the economy will de-grow by 4.5% and then gradually progress to grow
just by 2% by the end of the fiscal year. Sectors like Travel & tourism,
Hospitality Business, Aviation, all in all the service industry will be hit
hard and it will take time to recover the losses. We strongly feel that the
Consumer behavior as well as shopping pattern, will have a massive change. It’s
a tough situation but we all are in it together and will get through it
together. The economy is going to suffer for a while but is expected to recover
What is your strategy to cope with the situation after the crisis? Is your
Sunil Agrawal: We plan to re-open the manufacturing units, in sync with Government
Guidelines,with over10% percent of the staff and not more than 3 people in one
unit. Each of our units be it warehouse, service center etc. will adhere to
strict safety guidelines. We have already installed sanitization machines &
built semi - sanitization tunnels for the working staff. Along with that, masks
& Gloves shall be mandatory and social distancing norms will be strictly
maintained. Our workforce has been intact. Like always, our employee well-being
is always the priority.