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Oct, 16 2012

Designing a profitable living

A house turns into a home when it offers an ambience that is vibrant resonating with the feelings and aspirations of its inhabitants. This is where the role of interior décor and home furnishings assumes significance. Take a look at the section of interio

HOME sweet home...’ One must have felt like singing one's heart out while entering one's house after a tiring day's work. A nice cozy home offers the much-needed relaxation, warmth and rejuvenation to prepare oneself for the next day's battle. A right assortment of furnishings and detail décor can add to the homely mood.

Furnishings and decoration go a long way in building a dream house but need creative and entrepreneurial skills to accomplish successfully the outcome, as the endeavour must satisfy the choices and preferences of all family members. However, the industry has rewarding returns in store for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Booming industry

India has a burgeoning industry of interior decoration and home furnishings. With players in the market such as Godrej, Bombay Dyeing, Greenply, Creative Portico, Evok, Kohler and others, the industry is witnessing an increase in popularity of custom-made decors. Though it originated as one of the aspects of architectural skills catering to the tastes of the elite class only, it has steadily carved out a niche for itself among the members of the middle class also. With the expansion of residential areas, public places, offices and retail centres, the industry has gone on to create a robust market for itself.

Discussing the market size of interior décor and home furnishings, Anant Maloo, CMD, Timbor Home Ltd, says: “Tier II and III cities constitute a great market for modular kitchens and other luxury home goods. People in these cities have more aspirations but there are hardly any brands present there.”

Besides, the industry has introduced some of its unique organic and eco- friendly interior design options that will increase not only the demand for home furnishings and decorative products but will also set guidelines for socially and environmentally responsible designs.

“We have an exclusive medley of handicraft and home decor products representing different cultures. A lot of our products have been designed in-house and are specially handcrafted by local artisans. These handicrafts reflect the true spirit of Indian craftsmanship along with the right shades of traditional and modern beauty and style,” says Ashwani Dutt, CEO, Interiors Haat.

Furnishing biz potential

Apparently, modernisation and global influence have had a great impact on the potential regions of the industry in home décor and furnishings. Considering the recent trends in the global market, the designs for interiors in India have also transformed into contemporary and chic style.

The industry of interior decoration and furnishings comprises various segments, including residential, retail, hospitality and corporate. These segments provide professionals, such as designers, architects, developers and consultants, ample opportunity to engage in creative thinking by seeking the franchise of brands in the business of designing homes, at a low cost.

Talking about the potential market and scope for their brand, Karan Sharma, Director, Marshalls Wallpapers, says: “The industry of home furnishings holds a massive potential with a rapid growth of 30-40 percent. The business of wallpapers has also seen a steep rise in the recent years as more and more people are looking for contemporary trends in home designing. The industry promises to grow as long as the walls remain a part of architectural prospectus.”

On the other hand, Interiors Haat boasts of being the only company to start an organised chain of retail handicraft stores in the sector of home décor. “A great deal of real estate development is happening in tier-II and III cities across India which is a very good sign for the home interiors industry. Our products are unique and prices are highly competitive, which gives us immense scope in metros as well as in other cities,” says Dutt.

Evok an interior goods brand from Hindware Home Retail Pvt. Ltd has invested Rs. 250 crore and plans to open eight to 10 new stores in South India including Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Coimbatore this financial year.

Bright market prospects

The industry has emerged owing to the creative endeavours of entrepreneurs who provide satisfactory visual display of contemporary art via home decor products.

Handicraft business being a highly unorganised sector till date in the industry of home décor, many low cost brands have established themselves in the market tapping into certain group of consumers. “We take pride in being the first ever group to start an organised chain of retail handicraft stores. Besides commercial interest, we have a genuine desire to promote Indian handicrafts and create sustainable environment for the craftsmen and artists of India,” says Ashwani.

However, Timbor Home offers its franchisees a great opportunity to mature with the pace of company's growth as we follow the core philosophy of progress-in-partnership. Through their small and medium business formats, a franchisee can become a Timbor business associate at a low cost. The brand also offers a revenue sharing partnership model wherein one becomes a Timbor home owner.

Meanwhile, Marshalls offer mature market to its franchisees to work with the best and optimum brand in the industry.

Overcoming obstacles to growth

Since most of the industry is unorganised, it poses a challenge for many brands. Karan Sharma is of the opinion that the unorganised sector of home décor and home furnishings is overwhelming the market and consumers with cheap products, while Timbor Home feels the lack of skilled workforce is the prime issue that is hitting the industry.

However, Ashwani talks about assisting their franchisees to tap the corporate market, which comprises a big chunk of the business. “We assist our franchisees to tie up with local architects, interior designers, builders and the people associated with the industry from whom they are able to generate continued business. Besides, we provide complete staff training and also assist in employee selection,” he says.

The way forward

After marking its footprints in Panipat and Ludhiana with company owned outlets, Interiors Haat launched two more franchise showrooms in Vadodara and Ambala. The brand now seeks self-motivated and dedicated partners with good presentation skills, investment of Rs. 10-12 lakh along with an area 600 sq.ft. The brand is targeting tier-II and III cities pan-India for expansion.

Marshalls, which has 30 showrooms (franchise +company owned) under its belt across 16 cities, is mulling to roll out pan-India, especially in tier-II and III cities with investment of Rs 10- 15 lakh and 400-500 sq.ft area.

To become a franchisee of Timbor Home, knowledge of the local market is imperative. One needs to know what the customers are looking for and should be able to share the vision of the brand in seeing the same potential in the business.

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