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A Leader in Home Utility Segment

Umang Srivastava, Jt. Managing Director, Casa Brands India Pvt Ltd, co-founded “Bonita” to explore the opportunity in the home utility segment.

Tags: Umang Srivastava, Casa Brands India Pvt Ltd, Bonita, Home Utility Segment, Home Utility sector, Aristos Creations, digital media

BY Ritu G Chauhan | October 16, 2013 | COMMENTS ( 0 ) |

A Leader in Home Utility Segment
Umang Srivastava Jt. Managing Director, Casa Brands India Pvt Ltd

In an conversation with SMEntrepreneur, he shares his products’ availability in Indian market and future plans.

 

Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey? How has been the journey so far?

The journey started in 2007 when I left my job and started Aristos Creations. My partner Neeraj joined me in 2008 and this helped us in taking our venture in a very different direction. It has been a great journey with all ups and downs that you can expect, but it has taken us to a new high and we simply love this journey. During this period of six years, we have been able to get associated with all major brands in home utility category across the world, set-up state of the art Greenfield factories and successfully launch our own Brand "Bonita" in India. We are preparing to launch it in the US now.

 

How was the idea of "Casa Brands India Pvt Ltd" conceptualised? What inspired you to target demand for home utility products?

The idea started when we realised that an Indian consumer does not have access to these world-class quality products, which we were exporting from India to these International brands. This led us to take a decision to set up the company Casa Brands so that the Indian consumer should also have access to these products and make her life easier and simple. Since we were already in the Home Utility segment in the international market, it was natural for us to stick to the same product category for the Indian market also. Also, we have seen that this segment has not been focused by many brands as everyone is trying to sell luxury goods or decorative goods in the home segment but very few people are really looking at the everyday needs of the consumer and provide a good quality product for that.

 

What kind of products do you offer? What according to you is the scope for entrepreneurs who are keen to start business in this segment?

Our product range varies from Ironing boards, cloth dryers, ironing and drying accessories, step ladders, shoe racks, vacuum bags, laundry bags, etc. We are also going to add a large range of innovative products in the storage and organising category in the near future. The scope in this category is good. We are supporting many small entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas and manufacturing expertises in metals, plastics and textile materials by giving them the opportunity to develop products for Bonita and also develop them as a part of our supply chain.

 

What according to you are the key challenges for entrepreneurs in the era of digital media?

The biggest challenge (as well as opportunity) which I believe is that everything is transparently available and so equal opportunities are available to everyone. This definitely creates more competition and so you have to be very efficient in whatever you are doing and have to attain a leadership position. Also, you have to move very fast to keep up with the technology otherwise you will get left behind.

 

Share with us the challenges faced by you as a start-up? How did you overcome them?

We have gone through all challenges right from getting the right team in place, funds availability, long gestation time, customers not ready to believe in the concept since it was new. We overcame it because we have faith on us that we are on the right track and we will be successful. I believe that if you work consistently and persistently, the obstacles go away.

 

How many retail stores do you have in India and in which cities? How many of these are franchised and company owned?

Currently, Bonita sells through the dealer network of 500+ stores throughout the country. We are also working towards increasing this number to 1,200+ stores in this year. Apart from that, we also sell through major online websites like Pepperfry, Snapdeal, Indiatimes, Goodlife and Tradus. We are in the process of launching our own retail stores in the near future and it will be a combination of company owned and franchise stores.

 

What are your expansions plans? Where do you see your brand in the next five years?

We have very aggressive plans to grow the brand. We intend to make Bonita one of the largest Indian brands in home utility products segment that will be available across the country as well as internationally. We have already set-up a company in the US that will be distributing Bonita range in the US and South America and we intend to launch the complete range in the US market by January 2014. The initial response received for our range has been very good and talks are going on with some retail chains in the US for selling Bonita through their stores. In five years, we are aiming to touch the turnover of Rs 150 crore and expect Bonita products to be available across at least 20 countries apart from India.

 

What can you predict about the success of Bonita?

Bonita is going to be the largest home utility product brand that the consumer will look forward to whenever they need a safe, reliable and easy to use product for their daily needs. Since we have got very good success and recognition in just one year of full operation, I am sure that the future is going to be very bright for Bonita as well as the Indian consumer who will be able to buy these products in India and which will make their life easier. We truly believe in our tagline "Changing the way you live".

 

Why Bonita ties up with Lulu hypermarkets? How it help you to grow your business?

Kerala is one of the most important markets for Bonita and it was natural for us to tie up with Lulu as it is the largest Hypermarket that has opened up in Kerala. Since Lulu has been able to create a big hype and as we believe, people from far away also come to Lulu to shop for their home needs, having Bonita available at the store helps us to reach out to these customers also.

 

What advice would you want to give budding entrepreneurs in this segment?

My advice would be that if you have some great innovative ideas or have good expertise in metal and plastic manufacturing, you can get in touch with us and we will evaluate if we can help you grow with us by making you a part of our supply chain. As business grows for us, we are also looking to tie up with good professionals as it is a win-win situation for both.

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