FORGET BUYING THE FURNITURE, RENT IT!BY Shwetha Satyanarayan | comments ( 0 ) |
With most millennials choosing experiences over monotonous lifestyle, living for the moment instead of planning for retirement, it’s no surprise that rental services are the new fad. From clothes to cars and homes to home appliances, everything is now available with the ‘for rent’ tag, and home décor is no exception. For young professionals, expatriates and students the home décor rental services is a boon in disguise. While buying new furniture is financially impractical, they are even daunted by the task of disposing old furniture, if owned. As such, the new crop of home décor rental services is warmly welcomed by the young crowd, who mostly belong to the 25-32 age bracket.
Commenting on how this trend has picked up pace in India, Rentickle’s founder, Amit Sodhi, says, “The lifestyle rental category, until a few years ago, was dominated largely by unorganised, localised players offering little or no variety, convenience or even a ‘value for money’ proposition. While many traditional industries have witnessed changes and have professional companies now as competition, organised lifestyle rental services was a huge need which was waiting to be addressed.” He adds that with more firms like Rentickle on the rise, convenience and comfort has matched the needs of the millennials.
“The whole rigmarole of finding new furniture and appliance shops, bargaining for prices, handling logistics, delivery, labour, installation and then later selling these products when it’s time to move cities was hitherto the biggest inconvenience and expense for these people, which was keeping them from enjoying a good lifestyle,” Sodhi adds. Founded in 2015, Rentickle is presently operating in Delhi NCR and Hyderabad. After having served 10,000 B2C and B2B consumers, the company is now poised for expansion into categories like baby products, elder care, adventure gear and sports equipment. It has closed a fundinground of USD 4 million in combination of equity and debt.
DEMAND FROM TIER II CITIES
While a large number of customers for rental services hail from urban cities, RentSher’s co-founder, Harsh Dhand, says that although the supply takes place from metro cities, the products are distributed to Tier II cities as well. “Whether an impromptu birthday party or an office party at a corporate firm, demand rises from anywhere and everywhere,” Dhand notes. “Typically, the demand is high for bachelor pads with youngsters looking out for furniture like sofa sets or home appliances. We receive about 8-10 orders a day from student groups who are looking out for maybe laptops or DSLR cameras. However, if this demand is mostly from urban cities, in Tier II cities like Mysuru and Tumkaru (around Bengaluru), there is demand for furniture for birthday parties, corporate parties and private functions. Distance is no longer a hurdle and we provide services in and around Tier I cities too,” he informs. RentSher is present in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, even as it aggressively expands its wings in the Middle East too. While it is already present in Dubai, RentSher will soon launch its services in Sharjah and Egypt. Commenting about the expatriate population who are usually on the lookout for rental furniture, Dhand, says, “Renting furniture is cost effective and the products are available for how many ever months the expatriates choose to stay in a city or a country. Products like baby cots. strollers, outdoor gear like barbecue grill machines have high demand from such customers.”
BEST AT A BUDGET
A fully furnished 2BHK could cost almost Rs 30,000 a month if rented from Formula Group. “While working professionals don’t mind paying, most of the customers look for the best product in the budget range,” says Formula Group’s COO Shivani Aggarwal. “When it comes to home décor and appliances, customers are mostly ‘value conscious’ in India and want only the best at a budget price. However, when compared to all, home furnishing products have high demand in the home décor section,” Shivani says.
COMMERCIAL RENTING POSTS HIGH DEMAND
If expatriates, students and working professionals form a major cluster of customers, a large number of corporate houses too are now reaching out for furniture rental services, Shivani informs. She says that most of the corporate houses too have a tight budget for furniture and prefer renting or leasing instead of buying them. “There has been an increasing demand from corporate firms looking out for leasing of office furniture and this has prompted us to venture into commercial renting and we will soon be expanding in this category,” she adds.