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"As India Is A Luring Market For Us We Have Invested A Lot Of Money": Pralhad Bhutada

In an exclusive conversation with Pralhad Bhutada, CEO & Director, Elica India sheds light on growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: home, kitchen, Elica, solutions

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  April 06, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Pralhad Bhutada

How do you see home improvement market is growing in India? How do you see this market will stand over next five years?

Home improvement market in India has witnessed phenomenal growth, particularly in the last 10 years. Despite this, the sector is in nascent stages in India as compared with developed countries. Total retail market is worth around Rs 102,750 crore growing at 12-13 per cent. Modern retail is estimated at 19 per cent of this total market and is expected to grow at 24-27 per cent. If we talk about kitchen hood market in India, its showing positive signs as it has been growing at a rapid pace. Increasing middle class individuals and improving disposable income are acting as catalysts in the growth of kitchen hood market in India. The global leader in the segment of kitchen hoods “Elica” has recently made a big impact in the Indian market.

In next five years, during 2017-22 the revenues of kitchen hood market in India are expected grow at a CAGR of over 30% which will make the market value to reach Rs. 1500 Crores by 2020. The industry is also fragmented into organized and unorganized segment. As per the market estimate almost 30% to 35% market still operates in unorganized players or petty importers. There are handfuls of national players which jointly control over 75% market. 

Shed light on Elica’s journey in Indian market so far? What were the major challenges that brand has won over so far?

In 2010 Mr. Pralhad Bhutada & Elica SpA the world leader in electric kitchen chimneys inked a joind venture & formed “Elica PB India”.  Elica India is today’s one of the largest kitchen chimney brand in the country headquartered in Pune. 

When Elica entered the market in 2010 there were immense opportunities to create a Brand impact in this market as there were very few international Brands existing and the market was wide open for a company which was known for its innovative concepts and design. The customer was also looking at a choice to make its kitchen with much more international flavour. Elica with the association of Mr. Bhutada was sure about the road map designed and the strategy to deliver more technology based products customized for Indian cooking. The company had a very clear vision to offer the Indian consumer a technology based product at a reasonable price making it a more value for money proposition along with an offering of a top International Brand. Considering the experience of Mr. Bhutada in this line for more than 20 years and the fact that he had a deep insight of this category was clearly an advantage for Elica to take the Brand and category forward. On the manufacturing side Elica was also quite determined to indigenize to the best possible level without compromising on the quality of the product and more specifically on the critical components.

Kindly highlight your distribution in online and offline space? Going forward, what are the plans to expend the distribution? Do you have retail stores or plan to?

We are a national brand with a strong pan India presence. At present we sell through around 1500 to 1800 retail outlets and approximately 50 distributors. And we are planning to increase this number by 20-30 percent next year to cater to the demand.

Also urban markets are more receptive to the concept of modular kitchens and chimneys are majorly sold in category A Towns. But slowly the consumer requirements are also shifting to the semi urban markets. Category B Towns are the erupting or the emerging markets and we will be focusing on them too. Currently Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi etc. , that is, all the category A Towns are important for us but at the same time we have a demand coming in from Category B Towns such as Madurai, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Mangalore etc. Hence we cannot undermine their importance. Therefore this link in our entire business proposition is very significant.

Indian kitchen solution market is flooded with premium international brands?  Who do you see as your competition?

Well as such there are no challenges that we are facing as the market is wide open and very accommodating. We offer superior technology and design at an achievable price scale.

Market is divided into three categories. First is low to mid that is the mass market. Second is mid to high that is the affordable high end category. Third is high end covering the premium segment. Elica is the only brand to cover the entire spectrum. Furthermore we are leading in all the segments too.

Do you also work with realty developers to promote the brands? Shed light on your marketing strategy and target group?

Yes we at Elica do supply to many of the prestigious realty project across India.

Working on continuous technological and design innovations, launching more consumer friendly products has been the key to the success of the Brand in India. At Elica we have been continuously evolving the category thru various propositions in terms of better products and also aggressive pricing strategy. The company since inception has offered various technological innovations starting from the vertical hoods, split chimneys, better lighting solutions to the EDS 3 silent technology in Hoods.

On the other hand in Hobs Elica was the first brand in its category to introduce the Indian cooking friendly Brass burner Hobs.

Introducing consumer friendly festival offers has also been one of the key to the success of the Brand and in establishing a PAN India network.

Kindly shed light on your product range/ categories? Going forward, what are the plans for expansion?

Elica PB India has started their India market operations with Hoods & Hobs and today it boasts of having a wide range of Life Style kitchen appliances. The company sells kitchen chimneys in price ranging from Rs. 5000/- to Rs. 300000/-. We offer a number of innovations suitable for Indian cooking since inception ranging from design, high performance, to comfort in terms of controls, aesthetics and most importantly its Elica Deep Silence and split technology Kitchenhoods etc

Our range includes Built in Ovens, Built in Microwave Ovens, Dishwasher, Barbeque, Fryer, etc in its portfolio to give a complete choice to the Indian consumer to go modular.

We intend to grow our network by 40-50% in next 2 years. We are also looking to expand our venture by setting up more than 15 to 20 company owned “Elica Hi life” studios in next 2 years.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

India has a lot of potential when it comes to Kitchen hoods. Not even 1% of the population have chimneys so one can very well imagine the immense scope the country has to offer to this industry. Also the European market is saturated as Chimneys are common when it comes to kitchen and has been there for years. But it is vice versa in our country. The potential is very high as it has been only been around 15 years that chimney category gained prominence in the Indian market. For the next ten years it is certainly going to be one of the fastest growing markets when it comes to the chimney industry. The future and the growth rate of the industry are extremely bright in India. As India is a luring market for us we have invested a lot of money and future investment plans are in the pipeline too. 

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