Retail Jun, 11 2010

Biz Opportunity In Kitchen Comforts

The concept of modular kitchen franchise picked up recently, that too predominantly in elite urban India. Gradually, it is percolating down to the upper middle class as well. This provides for perfect ingredients for a successful biz concept.

By Abha Garyali
Sub Editor
Biz Opportunity In Kitchen Comforts

Rising population and lack of free space has lead to compact houses, especially in metros. Add to it the fact that in majority of cases, both the couples are working, leaving not enough time to be spent in kitchen. This has created a demand for modular kitchen and thus the rise of franchising business in this industry. Though the concept is comparatively new but has shown rapid growth in a short span.

Origin in India

The concept of modular kitchens was introduced in India in Maharashtra around 1985. Initially, it was popular only in mega cities but in the past 10 years, it has rapidly become a part of almost every household in metros and even upper middle class. Gradually, the western concept is taking up a new shape to fit in the Indian market. Modular kitchen essentially consists of different types of fixtures and modulars, which are fitted together to form a design. Good interiors, equipments and attractive designs are the key components that work well for customers.

Growth factors

The growth in this segment can be attributed to various factors. The lifestyle in big cities has changed drastically over the years. There has been a rapid increase in the number of working women, which means less time to work in kitchen. So, the idea of a modern kitchen full of electric gadgets that makes cooking easier and less time consuming became all the more appealing. Decreasing size of houses is another factor that encouraged customers to adopt modular kitchens. Modular kitchens offer ease, comfort and beauty in small size that ensures optimum utilisation of the available space.

Key franchise features

Some of the successful franchise brands in this category include Kohler Kitchen franchise, H&R Johnson’s, Adeetyas Kitchen System, Godrej Interio, TTK Prestige. According to Anand Ambekar, Director, Adeetyas Kitchen System, “We were among the first to start franchising in the kitchen segment and announced our franchise programme in August 2006. Since the concept is still nascent, the sector offers abundant opportunities that can be successfully tapped by franchisees.” Adeetyas Kitchen System presently has 10 outlets in the country.

Modular kitchen franchising is different from other franchises as there is a lot more dependence of customers on the franchisees. The customers not only depend on them for selecting fixtures for their kitchen but also for installing modular fixtures in the available space. This means, customer handling is a key area which franchisees need to specialise in. Plus, this concept is more dependent on technology, creating modular concepts require a set of software. So, proper technical training is a must before starting the franchise. Another distinct feature in this franchise business opportunity is that it is more urban and women-centric.

Support required

The franchisors are expanding fast as it’s still an untapped segment. Franchisees in this area are more dependent on the franchisor and his team for proper knowledge, training and installation of modular formats. He also needs help in site selection, setting up of a showroom within a stipulated timeframe, developing marketing strategies, displays, promotions and corporate advertisement.

Space and infrastructure

Buying a franchise business of a modular kitchen brand does not need extra qualification and training. Ambedkar says, “A minimum space of about 500 sq.ft is needed at a good location. One-time franchise fees is Rs 1.25 lakh besides the display expenses of Rs 1.75 lakh. We also need an infrastructure provision for the set-up which amounts to Rs 3.25 lakh.” New franchisees should also have basic knowledge of the modular kitchens concept, though training and support is provided by franchisors.

The sector has immense potential given its nascent growth. Tackling huge demand for modular kitchens require new and enterprising players, who are ready to exploit the segment with their commitment and business acumen.

Related: Olive oil maker Greek Golden Product wishes to cover all major markets in India

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