A consumer lifestyle brand, Borosil Glass Works Ltd was founded in 1962. Borosil has now expanded its consumer offering from its core glassware range to include Opalware dinner sets (sold under the brand name - Larah), cookware, kitchen appliances, storage products, glass lunch boxes and stainless steel vacuum insulated flasks & bottles. Borosil, a family business has evolved from solar and laboratory glass brand into a consumer-focussed firm under the leadership of Shreevar Kheruka (37 year old), MD & CEO since 2006. In an exclusive conversation, he explains company’s performance in 2019 and the vision for 2020.
What is your assessment about kitchenware/microwaveware market in India. According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?
The kitchenware market is exciting and growing in India especially because of higher disposable income across the country. More people are entertaining at their homes and are indulging in experiences rather than just being functional. They are passionate about trying new recipes, following food shows and are trying different things. I see a lot of evolution.On the flip side, people are spending less time in the kitchen. They want performance oriented and good looking products. People are also becoming aware that plastic is not great for storage of food and kitchens are becoming plastic free.
How would you sum up the journey of Borosil Glass Works? What are the key milestones that brand has achieved so far?
These days, people are spending less time in the kitchen due to their working schedules and depending more on kitchen gadgets to try out new recipes with ease. With less time, people want to prepare more varieties of food. There was a time when we used different utensils to cook, reheat, serving and store the food. Now, things have changed and gadgets have become multi-functional. We now have products where you can do all of this without changing utensils. Thus, you wash less and save on time.
Key milestone: As a brand, Borosil stands for quality and trust. Earlier our products remained microwaveable or were oven pro glassware. In 2013 however, Borosil transformed itself into daily use products. We changed our approach to become a customer centric company to understand customer needs and deliver products accordingly. We have introduced many products while retaining the quality and trust, which are fit for storage and serving, functionally pleasing, aesthetically beautiful and sturdy. Our products perform beautifully and its value for money for our customers. Now we are across categories and have an entire range of storage, where you have options to store in steel and glass. Even our serve ware is beautiful, aesthetic and microwaveable. Borosil has forayed into electronics like the mixer grinder, which is high quality and at the end of the day, its value for money for customers.
What is your current distribution in the online as well as offline space. Going forward, what are the plans to scale-up the distribution?
Before 2015, our products were mostly for a niche audience and were mostly targeted to 20-25 cities of India. With are products and pricing being accessible, we have expanded our distribution to place ourselves in the top 100 cities of India. Online is 10% of our revenue and it’s growing rapidly and has given access to more customers in even small towns of India which otherwise we did not have access too. Online channels are important for distribution in our portfolio. Our 80% of revenue comes from offline which includes trade, large format stores and institutional clients.
Our products have become customer centric and are affordable to a larger segment. Our distribution has doubled in the past 5 years. We have presence in over 14000 retail outlets and are now planning to penetrate South India and West India as there is a lot of scope. We are present in international too. Our prime focus is India since it has vast potential market for us.
Who do you see as your competition?
For us, our direct competitors certainly plastic and organized players in the market.
Tell us about your omnichannel strategies?
We have different teams for each channel and they have a strategy to grow and increase penetration in their channels. We know we have different price points for different channels and develop products specific to channels. For example, for e-commerce, we have both extremescustomers who want low priced products and high products with special features for which they are willing to pay a premium for that product. Like, in appliances we have some models like OTG (Oven Toaster Griller) which are at higher price points because e-commerce customers want that which trade people might not want to store that. We want to experiment with more categories in the online space. Strategy is differentiation in products according to channel. We also have different products for different channels and by region.
What is your vision for 2020?
2019 was a good year for us, we managed double digit growth. For 2020, we want to keep innovating our products and increase our marketing outreach to customers and our vision is to become the most customer centric company in India. We would like to provide products for customers that performs beautifully.