I believe there is a tide for modular kitchen and cabinetry business in India.
The furniture industry will witness a CAGR of 13.37% during 2020-26 with collective revenues likely touching $37.7 billion by 2026, according to Invest India. Furniture has been identified as a champion sector by government, with the potential to take the made-in-India label to global corners.
Modular kitchens and cabinetry form a chunk of the furniture business, with several modern-day turnkey interior design firms affirming that 30-40% of their business comes from these two categories.
Within furniture, and the larger home improvement activity, kitchen remodelling is the most aspirational of projects. The 2019 India Houzz & Home Renovation Trends study showed that Indians spend a larger proportion of their home improvement budget on the kitchen as compared to other projects.
The steady urbanisation of India, currently happening at 2.30% each year, will result in an urban population of more than 550 million by 2030. Home improvement will be needed more in tier 2 and 3, and 4 cities. The growing distribution networks of marquee home improvement brands confirm this trend. Two-thirds of the 70+ outlets of MyHome by Saint Gobain, which launched kitchen cabinetry and window systems barely two years ago, are located outside the six mega cities.
The unfolding plans of leaders in the kitchen and allied product industries are also a reflection of the big picture.
Furniture fittings major Hettich India will invest Rs 700 crore over next five years in new capacity and infra for its growing family of hinges, slides and wire products. Since 2001, when it established ops in India, it has already invested Rs 600 crore for setting up three plants, a dozen application centres, and building a formidable customer-facing brand.
Consumer goods major Crompton has forayed into the Rs 2,200-crore built-in appliances space with a range of innovative products tailored for the Indian consumer. It also recently acquired small kitchen appliances company Butterfly Gandhimati for a consideration of Rs 2,076 crore.
Home solutions company Panasonic, a global heavyweight in the kitchen space, and the elephant in the room in MHO, has built a network of 25 franchise outlets across India since Covid. It plans to begin manufacturing kitchens locally, for which land has been acquired.
Ultrafresh Modular Solutions, now part of the TTK Prestige Group, that is addressing the mass kitchen segment, is racing towards the 150 franchise count, most of whom will be in small cities.
Wurfel, the Indian brand aiming to occupy the luxury space, is present in 46 locations. It now aspires to expand its footprint outside India. Arancia Kuchen, the premium Gujarat-based brand, will soon open its 60th outlet.
Furniture & Fittings Skill Council (FFSC), under its Mission 2025, is committed to train 5,00,000 woodworkers so that the furniture industry can produce quality products and install them equally well.
WIFY (We Instal for You), a 2019 start-up which provides services in 60+ cities for measurement, installation and post-sale support to furniture and kitchen brands, has over 3,000 certified technicians on its rolls and counting.
This could be the time to seize the opportunity, take that leap of faith, and embark on the modular journey.
India Kitchen Congress will show the way forward on April 6.