Requiem for a Mixer-Grinder

Aditya Dev Sood eulogizes the Sumeet Mixer-Grinder:

The earliest versions of the Sumeet look somehow basic, with each individual form expressing its own functionality, the whole never coming together in a kind of visual-aesthetic package. Middle-class Indian families in the ’70s and ’80s weren’t buying Sumeets for their aesthetic appeal, but rather for their diverse functionalities and engineering resilience: whether you were grinding wet or dry masalas, making dough, or doing anything else aggressive with your food, the Sumeet would power on, cheerfully applying itself to your food ingredients…

But just as the Sumeet was becoming a case study at schools of business worldwide, it all came apart. The liberalisation of the Indian economy allowed players like Philips to enter in a new way, and they eventually recognized that they would have to stop upgrading their own products to try to compete with the Sumeet, and rather needed to reverse-engineer the Sumeet. The prosaically named HR1651 from Philips does everything a Sumeet can, but it does it more ergonomically, and with some light visual-aesthetic flourishes, of the kind that buyers in a consumer-goods store naturally gravitate towards.

Sunday Guardian – The perfect Indian domestic appliance, copycatted to death

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