It was in 2005 that I started my own company Trendz & Styles in Jaipur, and became a distributor of kitchen appliances as well as components for modular kitchens. Before venturing out on my own, I was associated with Godrej Interio since 1997. A decade later, I took up the master franchise of Allmilmo, a German kitchen brand, and set up its flagship store in Jaipur. My wife, who is an interior designer, helps me run the show. Given the growth potential of the industry, I have plans to expand my business beyond Jaipur and am looking for the right kind of channel partners.
During my tenure with Godrej Interio, I realised the latent demand the kitchen industry had. However, the lack of a professional approach to the business was hindering the growth. I saw an opportunity herein and backed by the experience I had acquired at Godrej Interio. I took the plunge. At present, the modular kitchen industry has tremendous growth opportunity; look at the pace of new construction as well as the renovation market. People who bought kitchens in 2005-2010 are already renovating them by adding latest appliances. The demands from the millennials as well as the elderly, for kitchens which suit their needs, are increasing.
As I market Allmilmo, I am looking for partners who understand the technicalities of the kitchen business and its components, have ample showroom space, and more importantly, are willing to run the business. Several people are eager to invest but don’t want to run the store. We are looking for right channel partners who can run their store. The potential channel partner will have to make an initial investment of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 35 lakh, and display three to four kitchens in a 1,000 sft to 2,000 sft showroom. Allmilmo kitchens are imported, excepting their appliances and countertops. We offer our customers BSH appliances and Caesarstone countertops, both known from their quality, service and support.
For an entrepreneur interested in entering the modular kitchen business, I feel there are two options – either opt for your brand or associate with a global brand. In the case of building one’s brand, the product offerings are likely to be in the economy or budget range and primary business will come from projects. The entrepreneurial journey will have its own set of challenges – lack of understanding of the industry and product technicalities, building a brand legacy, etc.
Entrepreneurs who associate with an established brand would be trained in various aspects of business like marketing and promotion support. Business partners like us are invited to attend major global exhibitions – Eurocucina, Interzum, etc. – to keep ourselves updated on the trends and developments in the industry.
In the former model, one has to build the brand to get customers coming to the store. In the latter case, the brand value is already, so it’s easier to draw in the customers. However, I believe that the association has to be with a premium brand.
Once a business model is chosen, the next big question is of sustainability. I believe that a store must sell a minimum of two premium kitchens per month to sustain. If the store caters to all income brackets, then it needs to sell five to six kitchens.