Kitchen and home appliance specialist Kaff has chalked out an elaborate plan to open up more fronts and substantially grow its operations
2018 will be a year of transformation for Kaff Appliances, says its sales & marketing director Shiraz H Naqvi (firstname.lastname@example.org). “We are thinking big,” he asserts, adding that the mega plans under implementation will soon be reflected in Kaff’s restructured channel network, product portfolio, positioning, and eventually, turnover. Naqvi, who joined Kaff in the middle of 2017, brings with him over two decades of hard core sales and distribution experience he gained at respected brands such as Eureka Forbes, Cata and Ultrapure. “If all goes according to plan, we will clock a turnover of Rs 300 crore by the end of this fiscal,” he told Sourcing Hardware.
The transformation that Naqvi is talking about will stem from the way Kaff’s products are to be grouped going forward. The company currently has over 550 SKUs (stock keeping units), which are being steadily regrouped into five different verticals.
“Focused-working will be the theme when it comes to managing our product portfolio. We have decided to organise our SKUs on into five verticals, wherein 100 SKUs will form one vertical. The verticals will be hardware accessories, sinks, and three appliance categories – Essential, Premium, Collection,” Naqvi informs. Under the appliances head, the price-design combo will determine which vertical the SKU will be placed under.
Kaff’s product portfolio currently includes appliances (built-in appliances, chimneys, cooktops, air purifiers, etc); accessories (baskets, pull-outs, pantries, corner storage, etc); hardware (hinges, slides, etc); and sinks. While it added air purifiers last February, 10 new models of chimneys and hobs were introduced at Index early May. Forthcoming introductions include water purifiers, inline ventilation fans, gas stoves, and another collection of cooktops. Sinks and chimneys form the chunk of the company’s portfolio, with 50 SKUs and 90 SKUs,respectively. “The Italian models that we launched at Index are filterless and have dry heat cleaning features. It’ll be the first time that Indian customers will witness such products.”
Naqvi explains that the Essential range, with a sub-Rs 15,000 price bracket, will be offered in tier II and tier III markets. Premium products will be priced in the Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 bracket, and products in the Collection range will be priced above Rs 30,000. Collection’s target markets will be metros and mini-metros and the luxury segment.
By segregating products under distinct verticals, Kaff aims to build up each category comprehensively enough to serve customers at various price points,and also compete more effectively in each segment. “Accordingly we are fine-tuning our retail operations. We have decided to match the profiles of our distributors and dealers to that of our product verticals. This will help us in reaching our target customer with greater ease.”
So the Essential range will be available to channel partners dealing in electrical goods. The Premium and Collection ranges will be available at sanitaryware stores. Additionally, modular kitchen outlets will get to display the Collection range. This approach allows Kaff to reduce its dependence on the modular kitchens channel and broaden its partner profile based on specialisation, and thereby connect with more diverse customers.
Kaff presently retails its products through a network of over 300 distributors and 4,000 dealers across the country, and these numbers are going to be augmented.“We are all set to add significant numbers to our existing channel network,” Naqvi says. “At present we have 150 exclusive galleries and 13 experience centres,” he informs, and adds that Kaff management is contemplating setting up experience centres in Kochi, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. “We want to take the number of experience centres to 20-25.” The number of Kaff galleries is also set to go up significantly.
The network expansion is being supplemented with increased exposure of the brand via modern trade and e-commerce. Kaff is already present on shelves of Home Town, Big Bazaar, Sargam and the likes, and can be ordered through Amazon, Pepperfry and Paytm. “Earlier, we were not inclined towards modern trade and e-commerce. But we see good business opportunities and have accordingly entered into relationship with the biggies,” avers Naqvi.
To strike a greater connect with end users, Kaff has initiated a series of consumer engagement programmes, including ‘free service week’ which was first offered in metropolitan cities and its reach is gradually being increasing. Through social media platforms, more particularly Facebook, people are being invited to share cooking recipes and kitchen makeover ideas, and winners are being announced. At a recent cooking session for professionals, Kaff invited a celebrity chef to judge and food bloggers to cover the event. “We will be coming up with many more consumer connect initiatives,” informs Naqvi, as he believes that such events help gain greater brand resonance. On the B2B front Kaff is increasingly engaging with carpenters, electricians and plumbers by organising product installation meets on a regular basis. “Our focus at these meets is training about installation, for this is what makes the difference. You can have a great product but if it is not installed properly, it’s practically as good as any me-too product.”
There’s a change in tack at the marketing and promotions front as well. “Initially we did not invest much in digital and outdoor media,” Naqvi says, adding that the company has now decided to earmark 20-25% of its promotion budget for digital media. “This will be followed by outdoor media – glow-sign boards, hoardings – and the focus will be on brand placement at good locations.” In-shop branding too will be increased, while branding via print and electronic media vehicles shall continue.