Nobilia Kitchens by Johnson is betting big on a burgeoning domestic market tipped to grow on the back of realty reforms and evolved consumer behaviour. Rahul Shrivastava, GM-sales for this strategic partnership between H&R Johnson (India) and Germany’s kitchen major Nobilia, told Sourcing Hardware that the company is eyeing a leadership position through cutting-edge India-specific innovation, experiential retail reach, and aggressive B2B outreach.
What cutting-edge technology and innovations that you are introducing in the Indian market?
H&R Johnson, through its partnership with the German brand Nobilia, provides premium kitchen solutions in India. Nobilia is the largest manufacturer of kitchens in Europe and exports furniture across 120 countries in five continents. Its current manufacturing capacity is more than 3,100 kitchens per day at its two plants in Germany. The product range includes innumerable models in over 120 colour options catering to a broad spectrum of customers. Known for building intelligent kitchens with excellent designs, Nobilia recently became a part of the 4.0 industry realm.
We recently launched Nobilia Xtra worktop décors with distinctive 3D surface textures that give an authentic natural stone appearance. We also offer superior practical benefits such as flush-mounting of sinks and hot plates. The Xtra panel is patent-protected and was distinguished as ‘Kitchen Innovation of the Year 2018’. The innovative functional layer prevents water from seeping into the worktop from above and thus prevents swelling.
Our company has also introduced Downdraft Extractors fans. This is an extraction system integrated into the hot plate, which offers many practical advantages and is very trendy. The fans extract the cooking steam and odour directly from the hot plate and also provide maximum headroom above the island, thus creating plenty of room for individual designs.
Our smart cube shelf system opens up fascinating design possibilities in a contemporary style. With the smart cube, kitchens can be more open and inviting in design. These shelf systems can also be used in adjacent living areas beautifully. We have wall units with sliding doors, in heights 357mm and 718 mm.
Our company has recently rolled out the metal and colour concept. The interplay of colours, shapes and materials offers a broad field for inspiration and creativity, especially in the kitchen and when it comes to the selection of specific colours, Nobilia’s Color concept provides extensive design freedom. Customers can design using the modular system with open shelving, niche cladding, panel elements, or sliding door units in modern colour shades. The Metal concept is recommended for giving the kitchen a professional look.
Why do you assert that your German kitchens can cater to unique Indian needs?
Nobilia, being one of the largest manufacturers of kitchens, caters to all the generic and specific needs of the consumers. It has made several innovations that address the Indian market. To give you an instance, to counter wetness in Indian kitchens, Nobilia has introduced waterproof kitchen tops, waterproof sink units and PVC skirting. Also, the height of the base unit has been raised to increase the storage space, while special units have been developed to accommodate freestanding washing machines and dishwashers that are commonly used in Indian homes.
What is your long-term vision for the kitchen business?
Kitchens have become one of the fastest-growing home improvement categories, due to the constant desire of homeowners to upgrade their living. Kitchens are now seen as lifestyle products which drive the consumer’s self-esteem. The growing demand for international luxury labels, along with the recent implementation of RERA in the realty sector, bodes well for premium brands like Nobilia.
Nobilia has been associated with H&R Johnson since 2007. Established in 1958, H&R Johnson (India), a division of Prism Johnson Ltd (formerly Prism Cement Ltd), is the pioneer of ceramic tiles in India. Over the past six decades, H&R Johnson has added various product categories including tiles, sanitaryware, bath fittings, engineered marble and quartz, and kitchens.
How are you strengthening your leadership in the Indian market?
As the only organised player in the imported kitchen category and having an all India presence, we are very confident of capturing a leadership position. Our B2B sales team is aggressively targeting builders, interior designers and architects. This will help us in increasing sales and widening our reach in the market.
We are also taking the franchise route. With Nobilia Design & Experience Centres coming up in metro cities, starting with Mumbai and Pune by June 2019, we believe we can claim a 30-40% market share in the coming three years. And by March 2020 we aim to have six franchise showrooms operational across India.