The company will focus on design concepts and elements, and believes that as people upgrade they would go for Sternhagen products
By Gyanendra Kumar Kashyap
Seeking to strengthen its street presence in India, Germany’s luxury sanitaryware brand Sternhagen has launched in-store boutiques in Mumbai, New Delhi and Gurugram this March. The opening saw the presence of Miss Hungary and Miss Supranational Europe 2016 Korinna Kocsis as chief guest. The boutiques – Milagro Universe in Mumbai, EtreLuxe in New Delhi, and MLS & Company in Gurugram- will showcase Sternhagen’s artistically designed yet engineered products, which feature cutting-edge proprietary materials and technologies. The range consists of washbasins, mixers, WCs, bathtubs, showers and accessories. Sternhagen is owned by Acrysil GmbH, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acrysil India Ltd.
“Being a pioneer in luxury sanitaryware, Sternhagen designs reflect a timeless elegance. We have been touching lives and lifestyles ever since we forayed into the Indian market. Our boutique showrooms will amplify our legacy of being not just the finest but also the most luxurious brand that is crafted with perfection and expertise of German technology. As a design-driven brand, we will constantly innovate to create products that are worthy of the Sternhagen name,” said Acrysil’s chairman and managing director, Chirag Parekh, during the launch of the New Delhi boutique. “Each of these in-store boutiques,” he said, “will have on display the brand’s five collections – Pent, Kristall, Dune, Golden Cut and Seerose.” Parekh added that Sternhagen has been able to carve a niche as a worldclass brand by offering bathroom suites that provide an unparalleled experience for lovers of art and innovation.
Commenting on the in-store boutique launch, Korinna Kocsis said, “It is indeed a pleasure to be associated with such a stellar brand that bespeaks luxury and elegance.There is so much of richness and detailing in each product offering that as a consumer it is going to be a marvel of technology to purchase and consume in our everyday life. The experience in itself is going to be beyond what any luxury brand can offer.”
Talking exclusively to Sourcing Hardware, Parekh remarked thatSternhagen’s offerings are a real value for money. “Sternhagen’s products are luxury products but have an affordable price tag. We focus on design concepts and elements and believe that as people upgrade, they would go for our products.” Besides technology, it is the design aspect that sets Sternhagen apart. Pointing to the Kristall suite, he remarked, “We aim at raising the bar of excellence in design.”
According to Parekh, the blend of fine art and flawless engineering is Sternhagen’s competitive advantage. As a matter of fact, in 2015 Sternhagen earned the Red Dot design distinction for ‘being in the forefront of intelligent and well-conceived design’. Also in the same year, Sternhagen’s Kristall basin was honoured with the iF Design award for design excellence. On how he intends to position the brand, Parekh said, “My aim is to make Sternhagen the leader in the sanitaryware products market; a brand name that resonates and reflects the changing tastes of India and the world.”
Elaborating on network expansion and partnerships, Parekh said that Sternhagen had been present in India since 2016 and has company-owned showrooms in Ahmedabad (occupying 4,000sft) and Mumbai. The Mumbai showroom is a recent development. “We will add seven such showrooms by this year. These showrooms, experience centres actually, will come up in cities including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Guwahati and Kolkata.”
Besides setting up experience centres, the company will tie up with 100 new dealers by 2019. “We are in talks with a number of potential business partners and once we find mutual synergy, the formalities can be worked upon.” The dealer network, he said, will help the brand find market acceptance beyond metros and tier-I markets. “As a brand we have always believed in forging a long-term relationship with our business partners, one that provides a sense of pride of being associated with an international brand,” said Parekh. “Traditionally we have not been in the numbers game; we’ve been following a measured approach when it comes to market expansion. We take time, but we have a strong portfolio of brands and products and that’s our strength.”
Be it in-store boutiques or network expansion, Parekh is unequivocally aiming for steady partnerships, and this sentiment is mirrored by Etreluxe director Kamal Rathi, “We too give ourselves time to forge a healthy relationship, and once that’s done we stick to it.” Rathi has been associated with Sternhagen for the past two years and is its distributor for New Delhi.
At Etreluxe in New Delhi’s upscale Greater Kailash-II market, the 1,500sft boutique displays all the five collections. As a matter of fact EtreLuxe has tie-ups with a number of other luxury brands which are showcased at its Sultanpur outlet. “The market for luxury products wasn’t that great during the last two years, but it has been picking up now. The launch of the Sternhagen boutique couldn’t have come at a more opportune time,” Rathi said. Over the years, he said, EtreLuxe has built strong business relations with luxury developers and Sternhagen will benefit from this.
Talking about the MLS & Company partnership, its managing director Mukesh Sharma said, “we are a leading importer and supplier of aesthetically designed sanitaryware and bathroom fittings. Our association with Sternhagen is undeniably one of the best ways to showcase the highest quality and innovative designs that bring to life the consumers’ taste. We are happy that the Sternhagen boutique is housed in our 14,000sft studio in Gurugram.”
Rathi and Sharma both assert that Sternhagen’s products match up to the expectations that customers have from their stores in terms of exclusivity, quality and design. “We want to offer our discerning customers products that gowell beyond the ordinary and also provide a sense of wellness. We want them to experience complete luxury at our store,” said Rathi.
Acrysil, said Parkeh, is fast moving towards becoming a total solutions provider for upscale bathrooms and kitchens. “We aim to grow Acrysil to the Rs 1,000 crore turnover mark by 2020, and I see my channel partners as an integral part of this story.” ')}