Adept at providing integrated floor solutions in country, Squarefoot has come a long way since its inception in the segment, Mr. Gaurav Saraf, Director, Squarefoot does the talking on behalf of his and brother’s brainchild.
Aadeetya Sriram (AS): What is Squarefoot all about? When did you start-up? How much was your initial investment?
Gaurav Saraf (GS): Square Foot is a pan India flooring Chain. We started up in 2003 December. The parent company Classic Floorings & Interiors (P) Ltd has been in the business of distribution of flooring since 1995. Our initial investment was 30 lacs.
AS: What kind of flooring products do you offer?
GS: We basically cater to the soft flooring genre. We offer laminated wood flooring, engineered wood flooring, solid wood flooring, outdoor wood flooring, vinyl floorings and sports floorings. We have different grades of flooring for homes, offices, retail, hospitality, and the healthcare industry
AS: Could you elaborate on the production mechanism of your products? Where do source your materials from?
GS: Square Foot sources it products from France, Germany, Sweden, Malaysia, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand, Brazil, and China. Different woods grow in different parts of the world so we partner with the best companies for woods that grow in their backyard.
AS: Who are your consumers? How many stores do you have in India?
GS: We have 6 stores in India, 8 offices so totally we have 14 centres of our own. Our products are available in 55 cities through dealers and organised and unorganised MBO’s. We have different floorings for homes, offices, retail, hospitality, and the healthcare industry
AS: There has been a rapid evolution in terms of the flooring industry in the country? How vital has been the contribution of wooden flooring as an alternative to the conventional granite and marble flooring?
GS: In the last decade we have really started dressing up our homes. Today every house in India has one or all the bedrooms in wooden flooring if not the living or dining as well. People using vitrified tiles generally go in for laminate wood as it is in a similar price point as tiles and the higher end houses have engineered and solid wood floorings. People segregate personal and common areas even at home, the personal areas like bedrooms and dens etc are cozier and reflect the taste and spirit of the users so people generally prefer to use wooden flooring in these areas. Most common areas of the family like kitchen and dining have stone flooring.
AS: Your market share in the segment in India?
GS: India has 2 markets organised and unorganised. We would today have 20% market share of the organised market, unfortunately there are no numbers for unorganised market to reach a total market size.
AS: Do you have R&D set up in place? How have you invested in them?
GS: Most of the manufacturers we buy from have a very rigid R&D set up. Most of the products are made under laser control parameters and pre inspection is done by our quality inspectors for all Made to order and special range goods before dispatch to us. Most of our products come with a 10-year guarantee.
AS: How conscious are the consumers when opting for wooden flooring; is this something which can prevail over the long term?
GS: Today the consumer is very conscious of wooden flooring and exactly what he wants in his house. The consumers know also the difference in different types of products as well. We see first time buyers experimenting with laminated wooden flooring, and upgrading next time to engineered wood or solid wood products. In the long run wooden floorings are here to stay and will gain market share over hard floorings as there are many inherent benefits of the same.
AS: We have seen no. of players entering the segment in the country? What is the scope of this industry as a business?
GS: This is already an over saturated business and what you see now is more players coming into the unorganised industry or tile companies or carpet companies adding this as a product range. Today the consumer looks for specialists and `we see the organised market being a key player in this as wooden flooring can be spoilt by water so quality is of prime importance. The segment shall grow 20% year on year for the next 5 years atleast.
AS: Your annual turnover?
GS: We have installed more than 40 million sq.ft since inception.
AS: Future plans for Squarefoot?
GS: We are looking at adding 2 outlets this year and 8 outlets in the next 2 years.