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'Our Century Old Experience In Forging Blades Is The Key Differentiator For Us'

KAI Group sets foot in India and launches state-of-the-art range of knives and personal care products built on a century of Japanese precision. Rajesh Pandya, COO, KAI Group India reveals more

KAI Group is a global name in the kitchen equipment and personal care segment, recently announced its entry in the Indian market with its diverse range of products which includes kitchen and professional grade knives, razors and nail clippers. Built on long rich heritage of over hundred years in the blade city of Seki, Japan, the home of forging blades, KAI Group is the only cutlery-related manufacturer developing more than 12,000 products in cooking, grooming, beauty care, and medical fields.

The KAI Group enjoys a strong presence in over 7 international markets across the globe and also has manufacturing setup in over 4 countries, with India being the fifth country where the company opened its manufacturing facility in Neemrana, Rajasthan in 2016 aligning itself with the government’s Make in India vision.

Excerpts:

Please tell us about the USP of KAI.
All our products are backed by 108 years of experience in metallurgy, processing and rich heritage from blade city of Seki, Japan, which is the home of forging blades. Our entire product range is developed basis our own DUPS model (Design, Uniqueness, Patents and Story) which means that each blade is a unique proposition in its own.

What are the strategies aligned for ‘Make in India’ campaign?
India presents a great opportunity for our products, considering that much of the kitchen knives and nail clippers remains unorganised. However, with an increase in the purchasing power and consumers desire to seek better quality products offers us an encouraging opportunity. Keeping this in mind, we are manufacturing our diverse product portfolio using the best available raw materials and high precision blades from Japan at our recently inaugurated manufacturing unit in Neemrana, Rajasthan. The state of the art facility encompasses over 30,000 square metres and will manufacture all our products for the Indian market.

Tell us about the range of accessories that you plan to introduce in India?
We have entered the Indian market with kitchen knives, nail clippers and razors respectively. The Indian product portfolio consists of ‘KAI Hocho’ range of knives, made with special stainless steel to maintain the cutting edge and textured handle surface for an unmatched grip. We also have ‘KAI Tsumekiri’ nail clippers and ‘KAI Kamisori’ range of razors. KAI’s range of knives begins at Rs 210, and the nail clippers and shavers from Rs 290 and Rs 20 respectively.

So how different are you from your competition?

Our century old experience in forging blades is the key differentiator for us. Our rich heritage is what gives us an edge in the market currently. As a global manufacturer with presence in over 7 countries, we aim to evolve a market which is mostly unorganised and enhance consumer experience through our innovative product range across segments. We take pride in our break through innovations over the years such as the first ‘3 blade razor’ amongst others and continue with the same stride in India.

Please share the marketing plan for KAI in India?
At the initial stage, our diverse product range will be available in 50,000 visible distribution outlets across 400 towns of Northern India through 150 distributors. Our products are also available on select ecommerce websites such as Amazon and we are also in talks with Snapdeal for the same. To reach out to our discerning consumers, we are doing a mix of marketing promotion activities which include in-store activations and social media engagement. While in-store activation is currently our primary focus but we will also explore radio and outdoor in the near future to increase visibility of our newly launched product range of nail clippers, razors and kitchen knives. We have set across Rs 15 crore for marketing activities across platforms for this year.

Tell us about the future plan? How much investment you plan to do in India?
India as market is of great strategic importance to KAI Group. It serves not only as huge market but also as a manufacturing hub. As part of our expansion in the country, we have already invested Rs 175 crore and soon will expand to other regions. We have set ourselves with a 10 year plan in India and consider it not only as a key market but also potential export hub for KAI Group for other South East Asian countries.


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