In an exclusive conversation with Indian retailer, Dr Andreas Hettich, Global CEO, Hettich, expresses his views on the growth of modular kitchen industry in India:
How do you visualise the future for the fitted/modular kitchen industry in India? How does Hettich aims to maximise it?
Going by the industry report, the modular kitchen market in India is expected to reaching an estimated $2.17 billion in size, growing at a CAGR of almost 43 per cent by 2018. Earlier, average Indian customers were solely dependent on local carpenters and regional furniture makers for their kitchen designs.
But, increasing number of nuclear families, rising disposable income and easy budget are driving awareness levels and demand for modular kitchen. Continuous developments in the real estate and hospitality sector are another major contributor for its growth.
Hettich, being the market leader in the furniture hardware industry and with its presence in almost all A&B class towns, plans to cater to the growing demands of consumers by providing hardware solution for every budget and need.
Can you give us an account of the customer arriving at your showroom buying process, both Indian and International and maybe differentiate their buying habits?
All our showrooms are equipped with world class exhibits of our products and their application supported by highly competent and dedicated team of designers. Most of the customers visit our showroom with a rough layout or plan in mind.
Our designers discusses their requirements in detail, evaluates them and develops a design - be it for kitchen, wardrobe or any other space in house along with a list of the most suitable furniture fittings. On request, we also give out references of three or four furniture manufacturers for their convenience.
The Indian market is not as homogenous as the western markets, each region is different from the other and to be able to be a successful brand here, it is extremely essential to understand their needs, desires and wants. Basic difference in buying patterns between Indian and international customers are that an Indian customer still prefers a carpenter to get his furniture done, while internationally people prefer to buy material from OEM’s.
Do you feel Indian consumer likes to consume the whole layout or in parts and why?
Indian consumers can be divided into two categories - "Do-it-yourself" & "Do-it-for-me". The consumers from former category like to progress in parts when it comes to doing up their house and the latter category gets the project implemented on turnkey basis.
What are the best practices in retailing kitchens in modern times? What is your distribution strategy in India?
We supply material directly to modular kitchen manufacturers and assemblers. With the advent of new players, customers get variety of options to choose from.
Which region in India is the best consumer for your kitchen?
Our sales figures show that Delhi & NCR is the best market for kitchens.
How do you reach out/market your brand to the consumers to make it more appealing?
With 125 years of expertise in furniture hardware industry and a constant endeavour to always go that extra mile for its customers, Hettich has recently launched “FREE Design Service" for its customers. This service can be availed online by filling up a form on our website or by visiting our application centres which are spread all across India.
Your opinion on how e-commerce could be a channel for selling modular kitchens.
With digitisation playing a major role in the economy and the advent of e-commerce in the market in India, a lot of modular kitchen vendors are collaborating with major e-commerce sites in India for effective distribution of their products. However, we cannot rule out the need of a customer to “touch and feel” modular kitchen set up before making his/her final purchase decision. So, foray of modular kitchen into e-commerce model can be effective only if it is backed up by a good brick and mortar outlet.