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The Global Face Of The Indian Kitchen: A Growth Story

One of the main reasons why modular kitchens are gaining popularity is that service providers are offering a defined price range and timeline for execution as well as delivery.

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A kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. From cooking delicacies to serving love, a kitchen has always been the epicentre for socializing and bonding in a family. Even though the essence of it lives on, the picture of a traditional Indian kitchen seems to be fading away, with more women joining the workforce. India’s spending power is increasing and so is the demand for modular kitchens. What was once a privilege of the elite, has now become a common household requirement. 

The past few years have witnessed a surging growth in the market for modular kitchens with the first half of 2018 posing a mammoth 350% jump.  More than half of the demand came from Bengaluru, followed by Mumbai and Delhi-NCR. Kitchens are getting more attention with working couples moving towards more comfort, luxury, and modern designs. The working class is not afraid to experiment, and this is fuelling the industry towards newer avenues and world-class products.  Many Indian and international players have tapped this emerging market to bring in innovative concepts to add a splash of luxury to the Indian kitchen. 

 A survey by one of India’s leading home interiors brands shows that the millennials are more than ready to spend, and they are doing it in style. According to the report, 92% of married couples chose modular kitchens, with an average spend of INR 3.14 lakh. Almost 50% of this population was in the age group of 35 to 44 years while 35% of the buyers were millennials between the age of 25 to 34 years. However, only 18% of those above the age of 45 were open to switching over from traditional to modular. 

One of the main reasons why modular kitchens are gaining popularity is that service providers are offering a defined price range and timeline for execution as well as delivery. Everything is made available online – from blueprints to 3D designs. Besides, complete end-to-end management by the service provider allows working couples to breathe easy and saves them from all the running around. 

Another factor making these modern cooking spaces so desirable is the plethora of choices they offer to suit individual price range and taste. Since much of urban real estate comes at a premium, modular design revolves around the contemporary desire for convenience, ergonomics, and easy access along with sensible space utilization. Common trends include incorporated lighting, clutter-free countertops, built-in appliances and organized cabinets. Modular kitchens can be customized as per the space available with L-shaped, parallel, U-shaped, peninsula and island being the most sought-after layouts. With minimalism finding its way into many urban Indian homes, white has become a popular choice of colour for cabinets followed by champagne among other palettes. In terms of style, the sleek handle less look is trending with soft-closing doors and drawers, openable glass shutters, and grease resistant countertops. Consumers are also experimenting with premium materials such as Steel, Glass and MDF for wall cabinets, and Corian for countertops in stark contrast to traditional plywood, marble and granite.

The upward trend of this sector can also be greatly attributed to the fact that there has been a rapid increase in the number of residential projects that in turn give rise to a demand for bespoke kitchen designs. A number of premium residential builders are partnering with modular kitchen manufacturers in order to cater to the growing demand for ready-to-move-in homes in metropolitans. However, much of the sales comes from the retail sector with only just over a quarter of it coming from projects.  Apart from this, many consumers also express the desire to upscale and give their old-fashioned kitchen a modern makeover, accounting for 40% of the overall demand in the market.

Clearly, the Indian modular kitchen segment is booming and holds immense potential. While the modular kitchen market stood at $206 million in 2018, research firms have predicted further growth at 27% CAGR between 2019 and 2024. While many Indian companies have emerged in the last few years, foreign players too are finding it easy to carve their niche by partnering with smaller local firms, thus fostering a symbiotic relationship. Almost 30% of the market belongs to imported products in the segment, with Italy (55%) and Germany (25%) leading the way. However, a select few of the Indian players are already enjoying the technological edge, by not only using innovative concepts to promote their products and services on the indigenous terrain but also to manage and deliver projects till the last mile.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Dhruv Trigunayat

The author is CEO Ultrafresh India

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