In an exclusive interaction with buildingandinteriors.com, Mr.Rajesh T.Ahuja discusses his new brand ‘Saviesa‘ and the road ahead for his 2nd (and hopefully an even bigger!) innings in the modular furniture space.
B&I: Tell us about your new brand Saviesa?
RTA: The brand name was chosen after we discussed at length, the values that our new brand would stand for. Being amongst the first to introduce modern kitchens to the Indian market, we felt that the years we invested in trying to better understand the consumer must be our differentiator for the new brand.
There was also a sense of obligation. We grew to be the largest brand in the kitchen industry mainly based on the trust reposed by thousands of consumers who put in their hard earned money behind our brand. We needed to give them back even more. We needed to assure the consumer that we could guide them to make the right decision for their needs. We needed to repay trust with the wisdom of our experience and a full measure of transparency in planning one’s own kitchen. The word that encapsulated this value is ‘Saviesa’ – Catalan for ‘wisdom, insight and experience to guide’.
There are apps and clear systems patented to make this journey pleasurable, exciting and delightful.
B&I: What solutions would be available under the brand?
RTA: We are targeting the home improvement market and would steadily increase the solutions beyond kitchens. Wardrobes is an immediate offering and we are very happy to have one of the major brands in wardrobes, from Germany, RaumPlus, supporting us in this venture. We are also entering the beds market, as the market here is quickly moving towards space saving and technology.
B&I: What regions are you looking at opening with this brand over the next 12 months?
RTA: Mumbai is the initial launch and we will quickly be working to have a pan-India spread.
B&I: What is your outlook with Saviesa? Any numbers you would like to put on the number of channel partners you want to engage with the brand over the next 12 months?
RTA: Quality over quantity is the password. We are getting partners fro all major Kitchen markets. We have to place them only on being convinced that they share the same values as Saviesa. We have experienced well thought out plans going awry simply because the selection of the right party has been skipped. Saviesa partners will be committed to serving the consumer, first.
B&I: How can the business value chain associate with your brand?
RTA: This industry is all about adding business value. One of the early initiatives we had taken was to get everyone who deals with the consumer, both into the classroom and into the “Gemba” as the Japanese would say. You cannot add value on mere technical parameters. You need to understand that it is a highly service oriented industry. We are not satisfied getting the best raw materials, hardware and appliances to the customer. We must do it by collaborating with the best in the business.
B&I: Would you be offering solutions across substrates like plywood, MDF and HDF?
RTA: We are keen to be in what is commonly used and also bring in the best new substrates, available worldwide.
B&I: What are the challenges you see in the Indian modular kitchens market today?
RTA: This market is the domain of the unorganised players, as in many other products in the home improvement market. Just as the ’Gauala’ (local milkman) who brings milk to the doorstep and out does branded milk like Amul in consumer service, so also the enterprising carpenter has spun this image of being the ‘one person who I can trust’ even to the extent of transparency in costing. There is no accounting for the real time loss in this established system. The challenge is to marshall their talent and offer better service in a holistic sense.
B&I: As an industry veteran, how would you see the entry of IKEA offering solutions in the kitchens and wardrobe solutions?
RTA: IKEA will be the first real challenge to the carpenter segment. IKEA will move very quickly to hurt them in other than kitchens. The industry growth of organised players will sharply increase and existing branded players will gain from this market ‘distruption’. True there will be a new equilibrium, but the prospects are positive.