Modular kitchens in India have been all about European brands. But with 1800 dealers across India and a direct-to-home model, Kutchina, emerges as the dark horse, creating huge brand loyalty in East India. Namit Bajoria, Director, Kutchina shares his expansion plans for North India, a growing hub for real estate.
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Established in 2000, Kutchina is the home grown kitchen appliances maker. Based out of Kolkata, the brand is a pioneer in kitchen chimneys and the first ever to introduce auto clean technology, making contemporary Indian cooking a lifestyle experience. The company has been doing well in Eastern and Western markets of the country and has been offering world class kitchens that would fit the Indian household. Present across the nation, the company’s growth chart has increased in leaps and bounds over the last decade and is now a household name. Certified by ISO 9001:2008 and equipped with a state-of- the-art R & D centre, Kutchina is the only Indian company who enhances its product features to suit the needs of the Indian customers. With the huge success of kitchen chimneys, the company has recently forayed into kitchen interiors with the launch of modular kitchen cabinets. The brand maintains a fine balance between aesthetics and functionality.
The Indian modular kitchen market is full of international brands, so how do you see yourself having an uperhand?
The Indian market is undoubtedly seeing a splurge of international brands bringing in international standard products. But where these brands go wrong is that they import the kitchens as it is which at times fail to fit in the Indian households.
We being a home grown brand, we understand the cooking needs in mind. We bring in international designs but the technicalities and functionality are completely based on Indian needs. We offer better quality.
The Indian modular kitchen market is very unorganised. What do you think are the reasons behind it and what could be done to make it organised?
Yes the Indian modular kitchen market presently is unorganised due to a lot of players involved at different levels of manufacturing and also the presence of unorganised players and carpenters who assure making modular kitchens.
Firstly, there is lack of awareness among consumers about the need of modular kitchens in today’s time. Secondly, we are still in a phase of transition and the consumers have not come out of the fact that every furniture or furnishing work will have to be done by a carpenter.
The need of the hour is creating awareness.
So what steps are you taking to create awareness?
Interestingly, our business in east of India is about direct to home awareness and business. We have a complete sales force that goes door to door to make consumers aware.
Moreover, what has pushed the awareness is the big builders who offer homes that have built in modular kitchens which comes as a neccessity for consumers.
Is modular kitchens are a necessity or still a premium product?
Modular kitchens with time have become a necessity. Though the percentage is small but people in metros are adopting to the concept very willingly. Like how bathrooms have transformed, people also want their kitchens to be well equipped, easy to use and maintain especially for the nuclear family.
So what you prefer institutional selling or retailing?
Institutional though a quick money market, we prefer retailing the products. In institutional selling firstly, we don't get to interact with the consumers directly, secondly, at times when working with developers and meeting their desired target in terms of cost, the quality of the product suffers. We don't believe in doing that, quality and consumers are prime to us.
Its a time when you need to get your brand directly to the consumer.
What are your retail expansion plans for North India?
We are currently trying to understand the consumer market and from past two years we have been marketing on a small scale. In next year we plan to get aggressive with marketing as now we have appointed a distributor and 45-50 dealers in place.
We are eyeing cities which have good real estate market. including Ludhiana, Noida, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and others.
We will be appointing distributors and also open up experience centres. We also look at tying up with malls which have good footfalls. In terms experience centres, we are planning almost seven to ten in 2013.
The size of these stores will be 500-1000 sq ft as we plan to have more stores than having big stores. Each store will be set up with an investment Rs 25-50 lakh.