I have been a part of the security and electronics industry since 1994. In January 2015, I chose to become a distributor for kitchen appliances. Gradually, we started getting requests from customers for complete kitchens and wardrobes. A little research showed that the modular kitchen industry was at a threshold – factory-made kitchens were being appreciated in south India, and in northern India, the home market was opening up since large bungalows are being rebuilt as apartments. A gradual shift had started in spending on interiors and beautification, and the renovation market was growing like anything. Today people are well travelled, and they want the same convenience and functionality in their homes that they see in developed countries.
Our research indicated great potential in the modular kitchen industry. And our entering the kitchen and wardrobe space, in the second half of 2018 as a franchise, was a backward integration of sorts. Our 4,000 sft showroom displays kitchens, wardrobes and vanities; there are nine kitchens on display – three of Interwood Plus, three of Alno, two of Interwood and one of Impulse.
Given the potential of the industry, many would be keen to get on the bandwagon. It must be remembered that the kitchen is not an over-the-counter product but a customised product, and thus, a ‘pull strategy’ has to be employed by retailers to attract customers. Apart from this, one must know drawing, design and measurement. For a new entrant, I feel partnering with a good brand is the best way forward. Getting into manufacturing and building a brand is not an easy task. Even in the case of kitchen retail, real estate costs are high, and optimal utilisation of the space is a must; a 1,000 sft showroom should ideally display three kitchens.