Rahul Kher, country manager for Indian sub continent at bathroom specialist Keuco GmbH & Co KG, asserts that the company wants to transform bathrooms into spaces that allow Indian users freedom of movement, by leveraging a unique design philosophy that has earned it numerous awards.
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Philosophy Centered on ‘Why’
Our design philosophy is centered on ‘why’, which is an important question to be asked before we decide to develop a bathroom concept or product. Keuco’s products are often recipients of coveted design awards and that’s because of our focus on the ‘why’ very effectively.
At Keuco, design has played a pivoting role long before it even became a general topic of conversation. Our understanding of design involves striving to achieve classic-modern aesthetic sensibilities with a minimalistic form of design that retains the contemporary feel, even after many years of use.
Our design experts, trend researchers, and product development teams are busy looking out for the latest directions to be able to bring something unique to the market. Today, the bathroom says more about an individual’s views on design, his or her approach in planning, than any other room in the house. Within the bathroom, details are not just details; they make the bath space, and they make the product.
The objective of coming up with any kind of design or innovation or a bathroom concept is to solve more than just a need, and to achieve excellent results by offering more freedom of planning to interior designers, architects, planners, and installers. The larger goal for a great design is to offer ‘freedom of movement’ to the user within the bath space, and we deliver that very well.
Design + Planning Approach
Keuco is arguably the only brand in the world to have introduced the concept of design and planning in the space. The concept enables end-users across segments to get bathrooms that are well thought out in terms of design, planning, quality, functionality, ergonomics, material, ease of use, care, comfort, and safety. Such an approach helps us in delivering best-in-industry ‘wellbeing’ value for our customers. Today, the market is seeking differentiation of the space. The differentiation can be delivered only through a design + planning process that focuses on individualized, personalised taste.
We are offering design + planning tools online in editions 11 and 400, on furnishing concepts and IXMO planner for showers, to enable designers and end users to plan their bathrooms in a matter of seconds.
Keuco is perhaps the only brand that is bringing forth a narrative within the bathroom. We are an exemplar and leader in developing unique bathroom concepts and totally integrated contemporary concepts which speak a definite design language.
We ponder on some compelling questions: How would a user like the light to reflect on her face, a warm or cold light? What kind of material excites her – wood or glass? How would users like to relax in the shower; would they like water on their bodies as if they were under a waterfall or in the mountains? And, how do they see their bathroom needs growing in next 10 years in terms of storage requirements? Would they like to have more personal care within the bath space? We would like to have a conversation with our customers on the concept, which can then be personalised or individualised. This thought differentiates us from all other high-end players.
We are the only bathroom company which works with ceramic, mineral cast, varicor, brass, chrome, aluminum, tampered glass, looking glass, ABS, original wood veneer, high-quality HDF, chip board, hard wood, porcelain, stainless steel, etc and brings the highest material orientation to all the products. No wonder Keuco delivers the most awarded bathroom concepts in the world; the concepts that are awarded Red Dot Award, IF Design Award, Plus Award, Design Plus award, and the German Design Award.
FoFo is the Game Plan
Our business model is ‘FoFo’– franchise-owned, franchise-operated. Keuco as a company works closely on them in order to grow the business in each of the showrooms.
We also think that it’s time that retailers should start evolving from just ‘presenting’ the products to ‘displaying’ the concept in their showrooms. Sometimes even big retailers in the industry forget to work on the basics, and are in the race to show as many products as possible in the same category or segment, thereby killing the potential of the space.
In the next two years we will further work to build inspiring retail spaces for our channel partners so that the ‘see, touch, feel’ factor moves up many notches. Keuco has identified eight new areas or partners for developing great retail spaces to offer varied experiences for customers pursuing different lifestyles and aspirations.
Our company is taking the touch-and-feel factor through varied store formats: experience centers, shop-in-shop and studios in six locations: New Delhi, Chennai, Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Indore, and Coimbatore. We will expand to Pune, Bengaluru and Kochi in 2017.
We have recently completed a high-end residential project in Pune; it houses around 400 bathrooms. We have also completed a high-end hospital in Ludhiana, Punjab. The hospital is a part of a known hospital-chain in the country. We are expecting to complete two more of their hospitals next year. Currently, we are working on a hotel in Goa and Bengaluru, and a high-end residential project in Bengaluru.
Bullish on Growth
Well, we are targeting 25% growth year-on-year for the next fiscal. Our long-term revenue goal is to get to the Rs 50-crore mark.