Kent RO: Drink to Health
Kent RO: Drink to Health

Kent Purifier expands with new concept Kent Shoppe for health through water

Avinder Batra, talks to Mr Mahesh Gupta, Chairman of Kent RO System to know the business of making clean water.

Avinder Batra(AB): How did your product Kent purifiers perform last year? What is your market share in RO segment?
Mahesh Gupta(MG): We did make good numbers, 1,35,000 ROs in terms of unit sold and it was 170 crores in terms of value. We hold around 40% of the market share and we are optimistic that with the coming of our exclusive stores, it will enhance our brand and the market share in all categories.

(AB): You have strongly increased your distribution system to bring prominent awareness about your products. Elaborate on it.
(MG): We are the first water purifier company who are trying to brand the product, so far our competitors are concerned. We have been reaching to the consumers through direct selling system also. But we decided to open the categories of products to people through our exclusive outlets.

(AB): Apart from water purifiers, what other products are manufactured?
(MG): Vegetable purifier, Storage water purifier, Air purifiers, Water Softeners etc are some of the products with innovative technologies to keep our audience safer and healthier.

(AB): Tell us about your exclusive retails outlets?
(MG): Our’s are very innovative products which need to be looked at and experienced. Thus, we decided to come up with a ‘new concept’ of having our own showrooms called Kent Shoppe where people feel the unique buying experience with combination of technical knowhow through our experts sitting in the showrooms to educate the people on the products and their functionalities.

(AB): How would these showrooms be different from the multi-brand showrooms where your products are kept?
(MG): The shopkeeper sitting in a multi-brand store is a ‘quick seller’ and he would not spend time giving information about our products in the way we desire to reach the target audience and make the life of the people safe and healthy. These products are not commodities. Our idea is to put the array of products in the store and let the consumer have the experience and know about the new innovative range to make their life healthier.

(AB): Where are you planning to open your initial stores?
(MG): Most of the stores would be launched in state capitals and the major cities in the state to begin with, 30 cities approximately. We are looking for the response in these cities and accordingly, we would expand further. Our first store is coming up in Delhi.

(AB): How many stores are you planning to come up with? What would be the size of the store?
(MG): We are hoping to launch around 30-40 stores in the 3-4 months before the festive season, this October. The stores would be spread over 200-500 sq ft in major markets where there are high footfalls specifically all the major markets like south Delhi- Lajpat Nagar, Malviya Nagar.

(AB): Would your expansion plans have franchisee model. What would be the minimum investment cost of each store?
(MG): Yes, of course. We are hoping that the model would be successful. Each store would cost around Rs 10 lac and Rs 5-6 lacs interiors.

(AB): How much retail sales are you expecting from each store?
(MG): We are expecting to sell around 50 pieces a month and generate approximately 5-6 lac sales from each store.

(AB): How have you planned your retail marketing strategies to build strong grip among customers?
(MG): By displaying the product on the store, having experts sitting on the stores and even giving extra facilities to visit the homes and see which product is best suited. And to recommend them are some of the special initiatives at the retail level.

(AB): What are the challenges you think would come to expand the footprints in retail segment?
(MG): I think, the consumer in India is still naïve to understand and distinguish between a genuine product and others; this is one of the challenges which our brand and our services are ready to take up and this is also the USP of our products. The second and most important challenge is to find investors who are also entrepreneurs simultaneously in selling the products. Other challenges are location, working on different strategies of branding our products etc.

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