Surat-based kitchen accessories manufacturer Crystal Interior Products Private Limited is mulling partnering with modular kitchen suppliers to further expand its distribution channel. The modular kitchen channel will be in addition to the traditional dealer-distributor network that the company has established for its Evershine brand.
Talking exclusively to Sourcing Hardware, Crystal’s director Amit Nimbark said, “Nowadays customers in metrosand other large cities prefer to buy complete kitchens, rather than buying components and kitchen furniture separately. They are increasingly buying from kitchen sellers who have great displays. We are therefore focusing on such sellers who can give customers a satisfying buying experience while also providing credibility to our brand.”Nimbark speaks from experience gained through roll out of a 53-strong modular kitchen franchise network of Arancia Kuchen, which is Crystal’s sister-company.
He explains that this expansion mode will be pursued besides adding to the traditional network by as much as 25% in next two years. “We have a strong base of over 50 distributors and more than 1,200 dealers and this has given us the advantage of a pan-India market. Now we want to increase this number by 300 by the year 2019.”
Besides embarking on expansion,Crystal is enhancing its product portfolio too. Till now it was offering baskets, pullouts, corner units, carrousels, organisers, shutters,etc. “We have launched a range of hardware fittings also and we have got a tremendous response from our distributors and dealers,” Nimbark stated. The new range consists of telescopic slides, hinges and handles.
According to Nimbark, customer experience is the key to success in the kitchen accessories business. “The most important factors are quality, reasonable rates,and prompt delivery. Accessories and hardware are standardised products and customers would like to have their delivery within 24 hours of placing the order. Besides, dealers promote only those brands that promise prompt delivery.” And this, he asserts, justifies the need for a strong network.
Evershine distributors, Nimbark says, must maintain optimum levels of inventory in order to supply dealers within 24 hours of receiving an order. “The main advantage for our dealers is that they are not required to keep stock, and yet they can give delivery of material to their customer in a reasonable time. Besides, we also provide displays so that our products are exhibited in the right way.” Evershine products are being exported to Nepal, Australia and Gulf countries as well.
But how does the company select its channel partners? “We select our distributors keeping inmind their ability to sell our products along with their financial capability. It is a very important factor, as the distributor needs to keep stock and provide service to the dealers. The baskets are volumetric itemsso we also need to see their warehouse infrastructure. Of course, reputation is also considered before finalising the distributor for any region.”
Crystal’s approach is to address various price points with multiple ranges. This enables its dealers to convert customer inquiries successfully and build up their sales. “We offer a number of basket ranges – Xlnt, Evershine, Benz, Evershine Next, and Cute. This allows the customer to find one which fits into his budget,” Nimbark explains. “Of course we offer superior quality and also better trade margins as compared to our competitors.”
Evershine has become a highly visible name in trade shows and media pages, thanks to Crystal’s steady investment in brand building campaigns. And this has paid rich dividends to channel partners attached with the company. “Our distributors and dealers participate in regional level exhibitions by themselves, and we support them with promotional materials.”