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India Kitchen Congress CEO Roundtable Discusses Strategies for the New Normal

The 8th edition of India Kitchen Congress (IKC) organised the CEO Roundtable on June 27. Held on a virtual platform, IKC brought together the brightest minds in the strategy spectrum to explore the turnaround of kitchen industry affected by social and economic disruptions triggered by Covid-19.

Hetal Iyer, country head for the modular kitchen business at Godrej Interio observed that homes are becoming the centre of human lives, and kitchens are occupying the centre-stage of homes. “You see, everything is converging to our homes; we are now spending more time, and therefore, able to relook at every space of our homes, including the kitchen space. We are beginning to view kitchens as a space to socialise and work. This will bring a remarkable change in our catalogues. The focus will be on larger and island kitchens with a bar and entertainment element as well as easily-cleanable and anti-microbial surfaces.”

Kirit Joshi, director, Spacewood said, “Shopkeepers should look at optimising their operations, no matter if they have a 500 sft or 1000 sft floor space. They should add more products into their kitties. Many of them were not selling appliances earlier, but now they should offer the product category. Organisations have layers of staff in design, supervision, and other functional areas; they should now focus on multi-tasking. I also think that the sale of various appliances, including dishwashers will go up as people are compelled to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ at cooking.”

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Srikanth Iyer, co-founder & CEO, HomeLane, “We were able to sign orders worth of 10 crores from 152 customers during the nationwide lockdown in April. Our company was able to achieve it without physical meeting with customers. So, I think that the chances of recording sales rises with the increase of services based on customer convenience.” He added that the industry is likely to “come back” in a staggered manner. “The companies will come back to their normal operations slowly and differently. They will witness a late comeback of their operations that lie in containment areas compared to others. HomeLane has recorded a bounce back in its business in cities such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru, but not in other cities that are recording higher Covid-positive cases.”

Khanindra Barman, co-founder & CEO, Würfel Küche averred that Covid-19 pandemic will push customers towards organised players from unorganised. “People will now select services of organised companies that enable customers experiencing swift selection and installation of products at their homes. Nobody would like to host a carpenter and others to work at their homes for one to three months for minimising the risk of contracting Covid-19. Organised players should tap into the opportunity by not only informing about products but educating the intricacies of design, functionalities, and applications of kitchens. They should also explore possibilities to offer add-on services to woo the customers.”

This discussion ‘Is Disruption the New Normal’ was moderated by Deepak Bharadia, founder & managing director, Meine Küche India. Watch the full session here.

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