EVOK Bullish on the Franchise Format!

Rakesh Kaul, President - Consumer Products Division & CEO at Evok Retail, HSIL Ltd interacted exclusively with Retailer media.
Rakesh Kaul

HSIL Limited, which is listed on both NSE and BSE, has been creating unforgettable home experiences and contemporary bathroom solutions for nearly six decades. Incorporated in 1960 as Hindustan Twyfords Limited with a technological collaboration with Twyfords, UK, the company introduced vitreous china sanitaryware in India in the year 1962, and was subsequently renamed HSIL Limited in 2009. HSIL Ltd. is the first sanitaryware company to be featured in the 2014 ‘Fortune India 500’ list and continues to be a part of the list in 2018. 

The company has four distinct business segments, namely the Building Products Division (BPD), Consumer Products Division (CPD), Retail Division and Packaging Products Division (PPD). The plastic pipes and fittings business is represented by ‘TRUFLO’ by Hindware’. Consumer Products Division contains home solution products such as kitchen appliances, water heaters, air coolers, water and air purifiers and vents under brands Hindware Kitchen Ensemble, Hindware Atlantic, HindwareSnowcrest, ‘Moonbow by Hindware’ and Hindware Vents respectively.


Recently, the company has announced aggressive retail expansion, to inform further on same Rakesh Kaul, President – Consumer Products Division & CEO at Evok Retail, HSIL Ltd interacted exclusively with Retailer media.



Interview Excerpts…


What is your take on current home retail market in India? What would be estimated share of Evok?

The home retail market is growing at a CAGR of 15%, fueled by the proliferation of e-commerce, which is registering a growth of 80%. EvokK also intends to consolidate its position in brick-and-mortar retail while continuing to further substantiate our e-commerce presence and gaining greater prominence in the online space.

Kindly shed light on your current distribution in the online as well as offline space. Going forward, what would be the strategy to scale up the distribution?

EVOK’s vision is ‘to be the first-choice partner of consumers aspiring for Value for Style home interior solutions’. EVOK operates through 14 COCO and 13 franchised stores in the brick-and-mortar format, showcasing over 20, 000 contemporary products ranging from home furniture, soft furnishings, home décor and accessories, to modular kitchens and wardrobes. Apart from retail stores, the brand also operates through a standalone e-commerce portal www.evok.in alongside franchise modules. EVOK is leveraging HSIL’s core strengths in understanding diverse consumer trends, trade behaviour, retail distribution network, global sourcing and cost-effective supply chain management to enhance operational scale. The company has prepared a strategic roadmap to improve sourcing and extends offers that will translate into both top-and bottom-line growth for the business. Going forward, EVOK’s distribution expansion will be primarily driven by the franchised stores.

Kindly throw light on current portfolio size and business growth projects? Also, tell us about product portfolio expansion plans and new categories scheduled to be launched in 2019-2020.

EVOK’s current portfolio comprises of an assortment of three broad categories –furniture, HDHF (Home Decor & Furnishing) and modular kitchen/wardrobe comprising of sub-categories such as, bedroom, living room &dining room. The overall portfolio size is of over 1000 SKUs in the non-modular furniture category.

Moreover, the growth projects will be an expansion of both: the online presence as well as the franchisee network/ business.

The roadmap for a portfolio expansion is likely to include fast moving occasional furniture such as rocking & occasional chairs, nests & end tables, TV units wardrobes.

Who do you see as your competition within same space?

The space we operate in has vast potential and hence, has many players. However, being leaders in this category with a legacy of offering a vast assortment of products, our focus is on our customers and meeting their needs.

According to you, what are the major challenges as far as the home category is concerned?

As one can see, there is an intense influence of both online buying as well as digital marketing in this category. Hence, the players should be more dynamic in the propositions they offer and the assortments being planned. We believe that business can be driven by both lucrative deals and dynamic marketing. That being said, one of the major challenges would be to establish the differentiation between the two, as this particular category has very little scope for the same.

According to you, what are the latest trends as far as home category consumption is concerned?

Scandinavian design sensibility — an aesthetic marked by minimalism and functionality— has truly come of age among Indian customers, with many leaning towards a coordinated colour palette whilst purchasing furniture and home décor furnishing, thus creating a personalised storyline. A contemporary favourite is straight-line Scandinavian styled sofas mostly in fabric and compact recliners. This can include a pop of color, to contrast the walls, which are mostly kept white allowing for furniture and art to captivate.


Rakesh Kaul