Recent years have seen the Indian interior design market grow substantially, reaching $8 billion. It is now growing at 20-25 percent per annum despite being dominated by up to 90-95 percent by the unorganized segment. The major real estate concentration lies in cities like Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, and Bangalore. Pune and Hyderabad are next on the list as they grow rapidly. People residing in these cities are often working professionals and businessmen/ women who are well-traveled. They want their homes to be unique, and designer, with modular furniture/ decor, customized to their taste and preferences.
Some of the key trends that this market is witnessing currently are irregular rugs, well-lit and ventilated outdoor spaces, night sky mineral materials like a dark blue, green, and black marble with veins, bold, vibrant colors, travel-inspired motifs, and sustainable decor. But whether it’s minimalistic, boho, contemporary, Victorian, eco-friendly and sustainable, or a traditional-modern fusion, today’s customers want their homes to be designed in a way that reflects their personality and style. Keeping this in mind, a brand called Bonito Design is ready to take over this market
Bonito was founded in 2012 to create bespoke homes that are personalized to the customer’s preferences. Its vision is to create designer homes. The brand wants to grow as a company with a singular focus on design and customer-centricity. Bonito’s goal is to offer personalized designs to customers and introduce them to new, upcoming trends in the industry and enable them to make the best out of it and enjoy its products and services.
“Ten years ago, there was a massive demand for interior design in Bangalore due to the real estate thunder. But on the flip side, the market was completely unorganized and around 95 percent of the customers were reaching out to carpenters to get the woodwork done for their new homes. Approaching an interior designer and seeking their expertise for the placement of items and decor was considered a premium service. The lack of established brands also gave way to apprehension among customers. Combined, these issues drove us to begin Bonito Designs to help customers follow a systematic approach to interior design and create bespoke homes,” Rickson Dsouza, Co-Founder and Executive Director - Strategy and Operations, Bonito Designs said.
Bonito Designs majorly operate in the offline segment. The brand prefers to give customers a proper look and feel of some sample interiors, which is why it has built its experience centers.
Once the consumer purchases a house, getting the interior work done is a huge investment for him/ her. In fact, besides purchasing a house and a car, most customers often spend heavily on the interiors. But without gaining an idea of how their home interiors could look with each style, they won’t be able to decide how they want it to look and customize it to their preference. Bonito Designs’ experience centers were built to offer customers an idea of how their home interiors can look in real life rather than just seeing it on a screen or paper. So, customers want to visit the experience centers and experience the products/decor on display for the touch and feel.
The brand currently has 3 experience centers - 2 in Bangalore and 1 in Thane, Mumbai.
“Our Mumbai experience center is currently the largest. Given the footfalls and sales we’ve received, we are likely to launch a second experience center in Mumbai and the first one in Pune by the end of this year. We will soon be expanding our footprint to other cities like Hyderabad,” Dsouza stated.
“We are on the verge of launching our e-commerce portal soon, perhaps by this year,” he added.
The brand offers end-to-end interior design services, working on entire home interiors from scratch. Builders often give customers empty buildings. Bonito Designs’ designers visit the house and sit with customers and family members to understand their tastes, preferences, and requirements to make a house a home. Bonito provides modular products across categories, including modular kitchens, TV units, crockery units, cots, study tables, dressers, etc. This is besides the false ceiling, electrical, painting, and furnishings like wallpapers, curtains, lights, fans, home appliances, loose furniture, and home automation.
The brand’s primary target group is customers who have purchased 2BHK or 3BHK apartments or villas. It mostly works with those who have purchased such homes worth between Rs 75 lakh to Rs 3 crore. Bonito prefers to work with customers looking for end-to-end interiors for their homes - from the walls in each room to modular kitchen and furniture work to other decorative items.
“The idea is to carve deeper inroads in each city and become the number 1 interior design platform in the cities we target. Once we gain a stronger foothold in Mumbai and Bangalore, we plan on starting with Pune and Hyderabad next,” Dsouza asserted.
Like every other industry, technology has infiltrated the interior design space too. It enables growth in every aspect of the business, which can happen only with the right tools and tech. The brand has an in-house software, a design platform that will enable designers to create designs that they are envisioning based on customer requirements without compromising on design standards and also it makes the process efficient by providing customer quotations and other technical specifications that are needed for the operations team to bring the design to reality. It also has a few more platforms that help the internal teams manage processes and coordinate efficiently.
“We are currently building a customer-facing app so that our customers will always know what's happening with their project till we deliver. We will soon be launching our online portal to streamline things,” he further said.