The 6th edition of Indian Kitchen CongressTM held at the Leela Ambience Gurgaon witnessed the amalgamation of manufacturers, e-tailers, start-ups, retailers, franchisees, component suppliers, designers, investors and HNIs. For two days, over 350 industry and design professionals and entrepreneurs shared experiences, learnt more about developments in the industry, and of course engaged in business networking. The two-day annual conference cum exhibition for the kitchen and modular furniture industry was designed with an ideal mix of panel discussions, keynote addresses and presentations, besides networking breaks for business discussions. This year the major focus was on Design, E-commerce, Manufacturing, Franchising, and Skill Development.
The conference cum exhibition started with the customary lighting of the lamp followed by a tribute to the legendary Ramu Ramakrishnan. Ramu, as he was popularly known, breathed his last on February 7, this year.
A K Goel, managing director of Hettich India Pvt Ltd, in his keynote address spoke passionately about what the kitchen and modular furniture industry has in store for the various stakeholders. The Rs 5,900 crore organised market, he said, is all set to grow. While growth of the kitchen industry is closely linked to the realty sector, Samir Jasuja, MD of real estate analytics firm Propequity explained in detail the growth markets for the next three-four years. He however cautioned the stakeholders to be prepared to deal with sluggish growth post 2021.
On the first day of the conference, e-commerce was widely debated not only during the panel discussion but also during networking breaks. Marketing consultant Rahuel Stone, who led the discussion, spoke about the current status of the industry and gave a global comparison in terms of where India stands with respect to China and US. The panel discussion, moderated by Stone, had as panelists Srikanth Iyer, co-founder, Homelane.com; Gopal Dwivedi, Livspace; Navneet Malhotra, co-founder, Renomania; Harshvardhan Singh Chauhan, category head, Shopclues.com; and Jidesh Haridas, COO, Capricoast. Each of the panelists shared what they practiced in their respective companies and what they are doing in terms of logistics, training, new market strategies, etc. In the following presentation, Parag Shah of Urban Ladder deliberated on how technology is being used to aid consultative selling in the modular furniture business.
‘The evening of the first day of the conference saw stalwarts of the industry celebrate the achievements of a few good men and women, by honouring them with the India Kitchen CongressTM Awards 2016.
Based on the nominations filed by aspirants as well as friends and business partners, 11 professionals from the industry were chosen for the coveted awards.
The second day of the conferecne saw deliberations around franchising, design, and on the importance of skill development.
The conference came to an end with a vote of thanks to the sponsors, exhibitors, delegates and experts.