Hyderabad: Godrej Interio, one of the largest divisions of Godrej & Boyce and part of the Godrej Group, is planning to expand its production capacity. The company is also looking at South for a new unit to make mattresses. Though the location is not finalised yet, the company is looking at options across south, including Telangana. Final decision will be taken after a due diligence.
It has seven units operating in Mumbai and Pune (Maharashtra), Haridwar (Uttrakhand) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu). Full capacity is being utilised in these plants. The company is bringing in advanced machines in Maharashtra and Uttarakhand to expand capacities. The company will invest around Rs 200 crore in these units.
Home furniture in India is estimated at Rs 65,000 crore and home furniture accounts for about 10 per cent of the overall furniture business (covering corporate, hospitality, retail and other end user segments). The company is aggressively looking at foraying into tier-2 and tier-3 cities across India besides strengthening its presence in metros.
The company opened its third store in Hyderabad in FY17 on Friday, taking the total to seven. It operates around 250 stores across India of which 70 are in south. Godrej plans to add atleast 80-100 stores during the next fiscal across India. It may invest around Rs 75 crore in these new stores. The company plans add 20 such stores across the city in near future.
Hyderabad currently contributes Rs 15 crore business to the company’s overall revenues, which is expected to go up to Rs 25 crore by the end of next financial year through channel expansions and new product launches. In Telangana, the company is looking at locations like Warangal and Adilabad.
Subodh Kumar Mehta, senior vice president and head, Home Furniture Business, Godrej Interio to Telangana Today, “Most of the market is unorganised. Around 80-85 per cent is still unorganized and is dominated by carpenters and small shops. Customer preferences are evolving and thus organised sector is growing. Overall furnishings market is growing at 10-12 per cent while the organised sector is growing at 15 per cent. Within the organised sector, Godrej Interio occupies for over 10 per cent in the market share.”
Mehta said, “We are on a rapid expansion mode across the country and Hyderabad is one of our growth markets. The city has been a strong market for the interior and decor segment and has attracted several interior brands from across the globe.”
Talking of consumer and market trends, he said, “Consumers are trying out new finishes and materials in place if traditional wood whereas the design trends are shifting to more contemporary styles. The buying is happening round the year unlike purchasing for certain occasions as in the past.”
Furniture market has a direct correlation with the housing demand. Housing market is showing signs of recovery and sales volumes are growing up. This will push sales of furniture in the near future. Among the living room (sofa sets, home entertainment, TV units), bedroom furniture (bed, wardrobe and dressing table), kitchen and dining, bedroom and kitchen together occupy the bulk of the market in India.
Indian companies understand the aesthetics better though imports had been happening from Malaysia, Thailand, China and Taiwan. Godrej has consistently focused on designs that suit Indian buyer preferences.
Talking of import trends, Indian manufacturers have improved competitiveness and so are manufacturing capabilities and the share of Indian players is increasing and the import numbers are gradually dipping. China and Malaysian manufacturers had been targeting India and furniture brands from the US and Europe are also eyeing India.
Wood and wood derivatives had been abundantly available in India. Upholstery is also one of the country’s strengths and so is steel used in furniture. To some extent, furniture makers are dependent on glass from outside India. India is also trying to build capabilities in glass.
With competitors such as Urban Ladder and Pepperfry in the market, the sector is seeing new dynamics. Touch and feel are important for this sector and online platforms are coming back to brick and mortar model. Godrej will soon have a new e-commerce site and use digital platforms to expand business in addition to its physical stores. “Buyers may do research on digital platforms and come to the stores to buy, or they can feel the furniture in a store and buy online, so both need to be tapped and integrated. We will implement omni-channel strategy,” he explains.