According to a recently published report by TechSci Research 'India Kitchen Appliances Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2019', the kitchen appliances market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of more than 25% during 2014-19. The demand for kitchen appliances in the country is expected to grow on account of more disposable income, expanding base of middle class & affluent consumers who are fairly young and love to cook. Kaff is one of the major kitchen appliances brand in India known for quality and exhaustive product ranges. On the completion of its 20 years of inception, Surfaces Reporter® spoke to Vikas Kapoor, Vice President – National Business Head, KAFF Appliances (India) Pvt. Ltd. To know about brand’s journey in India and their growth expectations from future.
Please tell us about KAFF's journey in India?
KAFF started in India with unique imported chimneys from countries like Hungry, Italy & Germany in 1997. Gradually, our distribution network expanded across the country with North as our stronghold where KAFF is the No. 1 Brand. We are strongly competing at number two for rest of the regions. KAFF is the number one player in the built-in appliances section across the country. The brand also manufactures kitchen accessories in a plant based in Sri Lanka. The Cook tops are built in a setup in North India. When KAFF started its journey, there were only a few players in the Indian subcontinent, but now the market is flooded with a mixed bag of players consisting of organized & unorganized ones. This year, we will complete twenty years of success where KAFF won the India’s Most Trusted Brand for the second consecutive year and was also awarded The Most Trusted Brand by the Readers Digest.
The Kitchen consumer appliances market is estimated at 1200-1400 crore today & KAFF is one of the topmost players. Along with Sinks and Kitchen appliances, we deal in hardware & accessories as well. It has been a really exciting journey from building the brand to being the No. 1. We have been ranked first in many consumer product surveys with the highest Top of Mind Recall.
What is the USP of KAFF?
The market is developing and the customer’s choices have become varied. KAFF has the unique capability to understand the customer’s need and develop a product in no time, make changes and customize as per requirement. Our product range is exhaustive; in hobs & chimneys. The latest style varies depending upon the choice of a particular customer and their budget. In general, KAFF is known as one of the premium brands having a slightly higher pricing than the others due to its quality standards and aesthetics. But we have a good range for masses as well.
It has been a really exciting journey from building the brand to being the No 1. We have been ranked first in many consumer product surveys with the highest Top of Mind Recall.
What is your opinion about the competition faced from the international brands?
I have a very strong opinion that, more the competition, better the growth. It means, as more international players come to the market, KAFF would grow substantially. We are eagerly waiting for the big competition to come in the Indian market as then there would be more customer awareness pushed by these brands which would ultimately help the market to grow and mature. KAFF products are internationally aesthetical with most of the production happening in European countries. In addition, all our manufacturers are manufacturing exclusively for us. That’s why we are able to produce good quality products. The more the competition, the better it is for us.
Since KAFF now deals in Hardware as well, tell us about the market in India?
Hardware is a very big market in India. Unfortunately, only 10 percent of it is organized. There are only two-three big players while rest is completely unorganized. Hardware is a very price sensitive business. The organized sector is about 1000 crore and the rest is unorganized. Due to higher price fluctuations, the business has become unpredictable and challenging. KAFF supplies to the top international hardware and accessories companies of the world. Globally, our products are being sent to Australia, US etc. to many big players. It is our own manufacturing which is sold in India as well. While KAFF products are at par with the international standards, there are still challenges of pricing, innovative marketing strategies etc. that even we face while dealing in the hardware market.
Kitchen Appliances Trend
1. In chimneys, there will be a push towards noiselessness with good suction capacities
2. Filter-less Chimneys, thus Maintenance free, and also Hidden Chimneys which will can be revealed when needed
3 . Hob Tops, a combination of a cooktop and a hob
4. Brass Burners
What is Kaff’s growth expectations?
We would like to be a 500 crore company. While there are challenges, we are looking at expansion and starting an entirely new line of products in which KAFF has never been into. Many international brands want to partner with us for marketing in India as well as to sell their products under KAFF brand.
What are the major upcoming trends in the Kitchen appliances market?
Technology is going to play the biggest role in any product to be ahead of others. So we will be focusing more on technology. In our opinion, aesthetics may go out but technology is what will stay in the long run. The demand for superior technology products will increase.
In chimneys, there will be a push towards noiselessness with good suction capacities. This is a major trend which you will certainly witness in the products launched by various brands in the next 2-3 years. The second trend in Chimneys is making them filter-less thus making them maintenance-free. Today, housewives dread cleaning the filters. So in the last few months, we have introduced ten models of filter-less technology wherein once in six months, you change the oil tray and the chimney is absolutely clear without the intervention of a service technician. It’s a DIY technology.
Furthermore, now we will see chimneys that are not hanging in the air rather going in the slab of the kitchen which will stay hidden and seen only while usage. It is also one of an award-winning product of Kaff. Hob tops, a combination of a cooktop and a hob, is a rising trend today with brass burners which are still one of the most trusted in the Indian kitchens. Another interesting product is the Wine Cooler. There is a very interesting fact that most people in India do not know- How to consume chocolate! They are either frozen in the refrigerators or melted on the shop counters while they have to be kept on the right temperature to get the right taste. The same is with wine. There is a lot of potential in this segment. We have dual temperature wine coolers which can also keep chocolates in the temperature in which they must be consumed & enjoyed. The water temperature especially after Hectic Health Schedules at a Gym also must be at a particular temperature. Apart from all these, Cooking ranges and Ovens are also selling massively in India now. All these products are a very strong forte of KAFF.
What would the marketing strategy of KAFF in the next financial year?
KAFF is very keen on developing its marketing strategy around the Men in Kitchen. While primarily, the choices in kitchen appliances are made by females, there is a large influence of men in buying the appliances. So we are looking at building our marketing strategy around men. To be honest, we might be doing a lot of different things than what we did in the past years. We are majorly looking at building relations with the influencers who will be propagating a particular brand and finding solution of why would they be propagating the agenda which depend upon various factors including technology, services, aesthetics etc. Moving on from the regular TVC s and print campaign, we might do something really different in the coming year.
What are KAFF’s plans for 2017 in terms of products, strategies and upcoming launches?
To start with, KAFF would want to give one of the best products to the market, backed up by the best service. We are investing substantially in the entire infrastructure that includes activities like transportation of goods, service, maintenance, R&D, networking etc. We want to give a ‘wow’ feeling to our customers. KAFF is also making huge investments in the digital front this year onwards where our presence was almost negligible. We will be launching our own e-commerce website soon in order to provide best quality products to the customers in absolutely no time. There are a lot of exciting things we have planned for our dealers in the market. Innovation is the name of the game and we would like to play this game aggressively with a skilled on field team. Most of our distributors have been with us from the beginning. We prefer long associations which are mutually beneficial. We have a network of almost 200-225 distributors across the country which we are looking to substantially increase next year. Next, we will be launching almost 3 new product ranges. And last but not the least, we project an approx. growth of 25% as compared to the last year.
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