Cooking up a growth story

A kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. From cooking delicacies to serving love, a kitchen has always been the epicenter for socialising and bonding in a family.

Even though the essence of it lives on, the picture of a traditional Indian kitchen seems to be fading away, with more women joining the workforce. The rising middle-class population, decreasing household size, growing demand for premiumisation, changing customer preference, and increasing spending power have indirectly led to the rise in the demand for modular kitchens.

What was once a privilege of the elite, has now become a common household requirement.

Kitchens are getting more attention with working couples moving towards more comfort, luxury and modern designs. The working class is not afraid to experiment, and this is fueling the industry towards newer avenues and world-class products.

Over the last few years, the kitchen market in India witnessed an inclination towards modern designs, efficiency and comfort. Many Indian and international players have tapped this emerging market and bring innovative concepts to add a splash of luxury to Indian kitchens.

A survey by one of India’s leading home interior brands shows that Millennials are more than ready to spend, and they are doing it in style. According to the report, 92% of married couples chose modular kitchens, with an average spend of Rs 3.14 lakh, says Homag India.

Almost 50% of this population was in the age group of 35-44 years, while 35% of the buyers were Millennials (ages 25-34 years). However, only 18% of those above the age of 45 were open to switching over from traditional to modular.

Current trends

There is an up stick in demand for online distribution channels predominantly from Tier-1 cities which are dominated by information technology hubs such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Noida.

Frequent job-hopping by techies seeking better job opportunities, and hybrid working patterns, have forced them towards furniture on rent or online furniture shopping.

However, due to the lack of touch and feel concept and the need for customisation, the offline channel still holds the major market share in India.

Key reason why modular kitchens are gaining popularity among the Indian middle class is that service providers are offering a pre-defined price range and the timeline for execution.

Everything is made available online – from blueprints to 3D designs. Besides, complete end-to-end management by the service provider allows working couples to breathe easily and saves them from all the running around.

A growing demand from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, an increasing number of residential construction projects, and a surging number of partnerships between real estate project developers and modular kitchen manufacturers would drive the market in the near future.

Competition landscape

The Indian modular kitchen segment is booming and holds immense potential. Research firms have predicted a 27% compounded annual growth rate till 2024 for the modular kitchen industry.

While many Indian companies have emerged in the last few years, foreign players also find it easy to carve their niche by partnering with smaller local firms, thus fostering a symbiotic relationship. Almost 30% of the overall market belongs to imported products in the segment, with Italy and Germany leading the way.

A select few of the Indian players are already enjoying the technological edge, by not only using innovative concepts to promote their products and services on the local terrain, but also managing and delivering projects till the last mile.

The main challenge is the high price range of branded modular kitchens forcing customers to opt for sub-standard, build-at-site, frugal solutions offered by local carpenters, affecting the market share of the organised segment.

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