Modular kitchens make a statement
Nov 23, 2013
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: The demand for modular kitchens is growing particularly for branded quality products. As the demand for apartments grows and lifestyles change, style, convenience and efficient use of space drive the demand for prefabricated kitchens, says Sushil Matey, COO, H&R Johnson.

Modular kitchens seem to have become an essential component in apartments is just a question of managing small space?

A modular kitchen is no longer about just maximising use of a small space. Even a relatively large area can be more efficiently organised. It can change the character of a conventional kitchen.

Put in an island for work space in the middle, it can become a family room. A housewife can spend up to four hours a day in a kitchen – she need not be alone.

With a TV on one side, the entire family can spend more time together.

What is driving demand?

A modular kitchen offers convenience and ergonomics. These are the factors driving demand.

Also, today it is a style statement and a status symbol. Style and looks are key components and well-recognised brands bring in the zing factor.

What is the market like now?

The modular kitchen business is a fragmented market with an estimated size of about Rs 2,500 crore.

There is a plethora of small manufacturers making some components such as shelves, baskets or panels and about a 1,000 players providing modular kitchens.

There are a few large players such as Sleek and H&R Johnson with a national presence and several regional players.

But overall about 85 per cent is dominated by the unorganised sector and about 15 per cent by the organised.

As a business it is in a nascent stage — look at any appliance, like television for instance, with numerous brands a couple of decades back today there are just a handful of brands.

Similarly this field is set for consolidation.

How much does a buyer typically shell out for a modular kitchen?

The organised segment is fast growing in India with a wide range in high end brands — products in the ticket size from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for a kitchen — accounting for about 10 per cent of the organised segment.

There are, of course, niche players like Bulthaup which offers kitchen for about Rs 1.5 crore.

But the most active segment is in the Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh segment which accounts for three-fourths of the organised segment which H&R Johnson is targeting. This category is set to expand and the customer will benefit.

H&R Johnson recently launched Johnson Kitchens and now you are expanding the range…

H&R Johnson represents Nobilia of Germany in India. Nobilia is the largest modular kitchen manufacturer in Germany and brings to the table the technology.

A modular kitchen is a complex product with more than 150 stock keeping units (SKUs). Nobilia is a high-quality brand and compared with its competitors, offers products at a lower price without compromising on quality.

Which are the markets you are targeting?

The store in Chennai is Johnson’s second in India. The first was opened a couple of months back in Pune. South India is a significant market and the company is planning outlets in Bangalore, Kochi, Delhi , Kolkata and Ahmedabad which together account for over 70 per cent of the modular kitchen market.

Johnson’s advantage is its reach.

With a significant present in tiles, faucets, sinks, marble and other stones, wardrobes and now the kitchen, the company is emerging as a one-stop shop for home products.

We are also targeting mega developers as much as the retail segment.

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