Thomsen Comfort is a German mattress and pillow brand. It offers the premium mattresses and pillows using world’s most technically advanced latex, Talalay. In an exclusive conversation with, Anil Gupta, Chairman, Thomsen Germany sheds light on brand’s growth strategy and way forward.
What is the rationale behind foraying into Indian market?
India is home to apx. 1,3 billion people. It has the youngest population in the world. Thomsen took a decision to launch its products in Indian market in order to bring healthy and comfortable sleep quality to people for a better life. Health and sleep are increasingly becoming relevant topics for Indian consumers.
At Thomsen, everything is geared to meet the individual requirements of the customers. Our priority lies in raising awareness for a healthy lifestyle, enable consumers to sleep better. By providing special products not only for adults but also for babies and kids, we believe we can improve the dreams of everyone.
We have specially focused on the following factors in India:
a) Problem of Sleep deprivation:
1 of 5 people in India suffer from sleeping disorders which include snoring, insomnia, sleep apnea and sleep deprivation. Thomsen uses cutting edge technology and innovative materials, which allow us to offer unique products created specifically for optimum sleeping comfort.
b) Lack of awareness:
In India there is a common myth to sleep on very hard surface if one has back problems. Now it has been medically proved through research, that it can lead to irreparable damage to the spinal cord. One of the important factors for healthy back is to use a mattress that adapts to the curves of the body and keeps the spine in a straight position. For a healthy sleep, it is also important that the mattress is free from dust mites, bacteria and moisture etc. Thomsen is probably the only brand in India that offers a solution to these problems. Our pressure relieving and climate-regulating mattresses, with comfort and support properties, improve the sleep quality of the users in excellent ways.
Distribution in India and strategies to scale it up:
We have different strategies for various distribution channels. For the online market, Thomsen has launched an exclusive brand, Dormio Dormio is catered towards urban India and priced according to the needs of this demographic. We believe that the services offered online should parallel the service quality at our distribution partners. This means, creating opportunities for consumers to thoroughly try out the mattress and having the option to return it.
For the retail market our strategy at Thomsen is to build up a distribution network across the major cities in India. The focus right now lies on expanding into tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and expanding beyond that further. We are on track to expand into these locations by the end of 2019.
According to you what is the major retail challenges in the category you operate in?
i) Choosing the right distribution partners who believe in the brand philosophy and vision. It takes a lot of time, but there are no shortcuts.
ii) Investment on sleep is not considered important in India. It is a challenge to raise the consumer awareness about it.
Who do you see as your competition?
As stated above, our mission at Thomsen is to raise awareness about sleep and help people improve their quality of life. This is the major difference in our approach. We are not worried about the competition, but rather our prime aim is to bring this vision with as much clarity and cohesion to the Indian market. By following this mission, we firmly believe we can generate success in the Indian market as we have elsewhere in the world.
Shed light on your largest category and average bill size?
Our largest category of products is manufactured with the use of Talalay latex, which is most breathable comfort foam in the world. The average bill size is apx. Rs. 1.2 lakh.
Kindly shed light on your expansion plans?
Our expansion plans are tied closely to the execution of our distribution network as well as our ability to solve the above mentioned challenges. We are working hard to accomplish those tasks well, and if we are able to do it as planned, we see a tremendous growth in the next two years.