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‘We Are Creating A New Sub-category In Modular Home Solutions Market’

Alok Duggal, founder & COO, Homestudio.com, talks about the modular home solutions market and the company’s expansion plans

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Bengaluru-based Homestudio.com is an omni-channel modular homes solutions startup which aims to be a pioneer in bridging the gap between super high-end modular options and cheap local ones by offering quality furniture in India at an affordable cost. They have also just launched their first experiential store in the city.
Alok Duggal, founder & COO, Homestudio.com, talks about the modular home solutions market, the company’s expansion plans, and the omni-channel experience in an interview with BW Businessworld. Edited excerpts:

What is the size of the modular home solutions market in India and where do you stand?
The organised furniture market is around 8-10 per cent of the total furniture market. The organised market stands at about Rs 3,000-4,000 crore and within 5 years, it would cross Rs 10,000-12,000 crore. Currently, the online share is small but growing fast. In the top 10 Indian cities, this market is growing at 20 per cent CAGR.

For the first 12-18 months, we are not going to measure our performance just on ?nancial metrics. We all understand it is a huge market on paper. But we are creating a complete new sub-category in this space without any parallels in the market and are here for the long haul.

You have recently been funded by Bren Corporation? Is this your first round of external funding? Who are your other investors? Do you plan to raise more capital?
Yes, we were funded by Bren Corporation in the month of December and that was our first round of funding. We do not have any other investors and do not have any plans for going for another funding at the moment. With the money raised we have put together our three main pillars of business i.e. the website (e-commerce), the experience zone, and the service centre & warehouse.

Tell us about the platform you use to reach your customers. The industry is talking about an omni- channel experience. What’s your strategy?
Homestudio.com is an omni-channel business. In today’s urban lifestyle, consumers are looking for branded goods, multiple choices and value-for-money products along with service. Homestudio.com provides all these through the online portal. However, since most buyers prefer the touch-and-feel experience before purchasing a product, we have opened our first experiential studio to showcase the quality, versatility, and functionality of our products and designs.

How has your growth been over the years? How much do you plan to grow in this fiscal?
Honestly speaking, it is too early to talk about growth at this point. Having said that, the response has been very encouraging. Our monthly average has been more than a crore and we have worked with almost a 100 houses in Bengaluru already.

Which states/cities do you currently cater to? Expansion plans?
Homestudio.com has been launched in Bengaluru in its first phase but going forward, we are looking at 6-7 cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chennai, Chandigarh, and Pune in the next one to one-and-a-half years. Core of our model is product experience and service, thus each city we will have the experience zone and service centre opened first.

What are some of the challenges you face in the Indian market? How do you address them?
Actually most of the usual challenges of the market have been turned into our advantage by making them our USP. For instance, India is a price-sensitive market but we are going in with a value-for-money proposition, offering products, quality and services at prices not heard of before. Servicing in this segment is an alien idea but we have come into the space offering customers a lifetime of service, irrespective of the scale of the problem.


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