Mr Manish Parekh, MD, Nilkamal Ltd talks about the company’s plans in an interview to the Retailer
Retailer: How do you briefly define @home?
Manish Parekh (MP): Nilkamal Ltd, an 850 crore-company of molded furniture and material handling solution, is a market leader in plastic business. Conceived and launched in 2005, @home is basically a retail division of Nilkamal Ltd. This large format retail store houses, all under one roof, imported furniture, furnishings, home accessories, lights, kitchens, flooring and home décor. It positioned itself as a homemaker’s store targeted at the middle class and upper middle class.
Retailer: How big is the network of @home stores?
MP: Currently, @home has 12 stores and three more stores are coming up in Faridabad, Coimbatore and Baroda. All the stores are company-owned. We are open to both the ideas of standalone as well as malls. We are looking at all the major cities of India in all the four regions North, East, West and south. The company plans to open 50 stores by 2010.
Retailer: What is the range of products offered?
MP: @home is basically a mega home store, a retail chain of furniture, furnishings, accessories and home décor. It is a specialty store that offers a wide range of products to choose from. We understand that there are people who spend good amount of money on home décor. Therefore, we have trained staff to understand the needs of consumers and suggest to them interior solutions and also have free 3D interior planning software in every store. The starting range of products is priced at Rs 30,000 onwards while for bedrooms sets, the price is Rs 65,000 - 70, 000 plus. In dinning sets range, we have pricing starting at 20,000 onwards.
Retailer: What are your plans of promoting @home stores?
MP: Well, we will be doing continuous PR activities and advertising to popularise the brand and create awareness of the brand. The company will follow the strategy of having sales (discounts) periodically to liquidise the slow moving items and dead stocks and also celebrate certain festivals and days.
Retailer: What is your assessment of home décor industry’s market size?
MP: Well, it’s difficult to say because most of it is unorganised. If you put down the total market size, it would be more than Rs 800 to 900 billion including the soft furnishing. I think it would be around Rs 35 to 40 crore for the knock down furniture alone.
Retailer: What will be the future of these stores in India?
MP: The future is very bright. Just like people have shifted from tailor-made to ready-made garments, I believe that people will shift towards ready-made furniture.