We plan to become a Rs 2000 cr company in the next 3 years: Ashutosh Vaidya, Kurl-on

Ashutosh Vaidya, CMO, Kurl-on speaks about the role of technology and innovation at Kurl-on and how the company is curbing the menace of fake products, their expansion plans and more

Ashutosh Vaidya CMO Kurlon

Kurl-on is one of the leading brands of mattresses, furniture, and furnishing products in India. The brand is available across India through 7000+ multi-brand outlets, 1300+ franchise outlets and 35 exclusive brand outlets across (CoCo) the country today. Kurl-on has 72 branch and stock points and 10 strategically located manufacturing facilities across Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and Gujarat.

With state-of-the-art technology, Kurl-on endeavors to improve standards in the Indian mattress and furniture industry besides being in tune with the changing needs of the Indian consumer. 

In conversation with exchange4media, Ashutosh Vaidya speaks about the role of technology and innovation at Kurl-on and how the company is curbing the menace of fake products, their expansion plans and more.

Watch the video or continue reading:

Edited excerpts:

Kurl-on has recently introduced STR8 technology. Tell us more about that and other technology Kurlon is planning to introduce in the mattress industry?

STR8 is a technology introduced by Kurl-on. We conduct consumer surveys frequently and one major response received from the customers are mattresses are heavy and that there is a need for light-weight mattresses. Also, people are opting for beds with more storage space, so the mattresses used for these storage beds should be lighter ones.

STR8 makes the mattresses firmer without letting it sag. So, the mattresses are lighter and more durable and can be easily transported from one place to another. We have launched this product from our Gwalior factory and response has been amazing. We are manufacturing it from our Bhubaneswar factory and looking at the consumers' response, and all our factories will use this technology. On the innovation front, we have introduced a mattress in a box wherein we can transport the mattress very easily during natural calamities. The product has been launched and the customer response is awaited.

Another important product we have launched is the cool-gel technology mattress which you can fix on any of the mattresses which basically gives temperature reduction between 1.7 degrees to 4 degrees.

Tell us about your hopes for ‘Kurl-on Homes’ and the newly launched ‘Home-Komfort’?

We are the mattress specialist and apart from that, we consider ourselves as sit and sleep specialist. Kurl-on is one of the selected sofa suppliers to Ikea. The mattress business is moving into a customised business. Our understanding of customisation has gone up tremendously and around 43% of our business comes from customization. With the thought of moving from a mattress company to a consumer-focused one, by the end of March we will have Kurl-on Homes which is a new positioning of the brand. Apart from mattresses, we will sell products such as sofas, beds, bath products, and we have also tied up with such brands as Portico, Obsession, etc.

How does the entry of Ikea in the Indian market affect Kurl-on as a brand? Tell us about Kurl-on’s tie-up with Ikea?

I will speak from a consumer point of view. If we go 20 years back when Big Bazaar was launched there was a common notion that local kirana stores will be affected and it will have to be shut down. Years later, Big Bazaar and the local stores have created their own niche. The entry of Ikea in the Indian market will give the Indian consumers a wider choice of products. Expansion of the market will give opportunities to everyone.

How are you planning to cater to the mass, mid, high, and premium markets exclusively?

Basically, the low end of the market needs good functional products, they want the products to be price-competitive and they also need convenience. We have introduced a brand called Top Sleep to attract the lower end of the market. We are expanding our distribution. Coming to the high end of the market, they need price functionality, they need technology advancement. We have to add features and create and differentiate as we go higher-end. As we go lower-end, we have to create convenience and be price-friendly. We at Kurl-on are doing both to ensure that maximum people in India sleep on our mattresses.

There are a lot of fake Kurl-on products available in the market. How are you curbing the menace?

When a brand grows and makes it big in the market, fake products will be introduced. We believe we can control them to a large extent by reaching to consumers by opening exclusive stores and educating and working with people who sell fake products. We have introduced a technology where we can track our products end-to-end using serial numbers.

As our omnichannel initiatives will go further we will be able to track the entire journey of Kurl-on mattresses. We are encouraging the customers to register the products for warranty so that the fake products will not get a warranty. So, we are putting in a lot of effort to control fake products. I would also like to add that the issue of Kurl-on fake products is very well within our control.

Can you tell us more about your marketing plans?

This year Kurl-on will be a Rs 1250 crore company and a substantial portion of our marketing budgets are in the range of 4-6%, with BTL and dealer promos it goes up to 10-13%. Our marketing budgets are basically divided into ATL budget, BTL budget, Trade support budget, and consumer promo budget. ATL is further divided into traditional ATL like TV, Print etc. A substantial portion of our budget is spent on social media because we feel that’s the way to target young consumers.

What are your key focus areas and expansion plans for 2019?

In the next 3 years, our plan is to become a Rs 2000 crore company. Apart from mattresses, growth is going to happen from products such as sofas, beds etc., and growth is expected to come from e-commerce. The expansion of our distribution will also bring in a certain amount of growth. Channels and product categories are expected to grow.

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