Earlier, the middle class population in India did not spend much on home décor. But with changing lifestyles and availability of increasingly affordable furnishing solutions, the desire to have stylish kitchens and wardrobes became more prominent.
Superwood Home Retail, an online modular furnishing solution provider startup takes ownership of the whole chain, starting from manufacture to installation of modular kitchens, wardrobes, bathroom vanities as well as interior designing.
Gourav Garg, Dhinav Singla and Tinesh Garg, together started Superwood in 2014. It is currently operational in Delhi/NCR, Chandigarh, Mohali, and Panchkula.
Superwood has seen approximately 400 per cent growth during its second year as compared to the previous year. As of now, 80 per cent of the revenue is generated through builders’ projects and 20 per cent through retail projects. We have already completed more than 250 projects and have confirmed order for 300 projects. All the manufacturing and installation is done under the brand name of Superwood.
Gourav is an IIT-Delhi graduate and has worked as a manager in Reliance Project Management Division earlier. Dhinav, an M.Sc in Management from GD Goenka Lancaster University, UKhas total experience of four years in retail industry. Tinesh, a mechanical engineer, was the operational head at Zanders previously.
Creating a brand
It takes a huge amount of effort to build a brand at the initial stage and that too with limited seed capital. According to Gourav, convincing vendors to manufacture and supply material according to the standards determined by the company was quite difficult. Today, the startup has eight vendors to cater requirements from the seven cities, and delivering 400 projects per month.
Superwood gives customers the flexibility to shortlist a design from its website (Superwood.in) and send a layout of the property. Then the technician would visit the property for the exact measurement and the designer would customise the design in terms of colour. Once the design is approved by the customer, the product is installed within three to four weeks. Superwood has an in-house team of designers, technicians, quality controllers and marketing professionals.
The customer pays us 50 per cent of the total amount in advance before the product gets manufactured. Once completed, our quality control team inspects the quality of the material and then the vendor delivers it to the site. Our installer then installs the product in two to three days, only after which does the customer pay us the remaining amount.
When it comes to builder's projects, the startup has a different agreement for retail projects. According to Gourav, the value of such projects range from Rs. 50,000 to 7,00,000. Superwood has completed 130 projects in the last fiscal year.
With the entry of players like Capricoast, Spacewood, Modular Furniture and few others, the online modular furnishing solution market in India has touched about USD 25- 30 billion. Moreover, investors have also identified the potential in these startups and are willing to fund them. Recently, Bengaluru-based online modular furnishing solutions provider, CapriCoast.com had raised USD 1.25 million in a seed round led by Accel Partners, India.
Prashanth Prakash, Partner, Accel Partners India Ventures, says, “We see massive growth in the modular furnishing market in India, and see CapriCoast’s disruptive online-led approach as offering the most customer value in terms of product range, transparent pricing and ease of buying.” (Yourstory source).
Gourav, however, says that despite the growth rate, approximately 80 per cent of the market is unorganised. He adds that Superwoods' products are 20-25 per cent cheaper with same quality and warranty than the products from competitors. They are available with a maximum warranty of twenty five years.
Startups generally in their seed stage seem to be involved in a tug of war in terms of gaining foothold in the market, sometimes even without a proper revenue model in place.
But the growth numbers which Superwood has gained in a span of one and half years showcase the effort and hard work they have put in.
Our first year revenue was USD 1,35,000. But our second year revenue till date has already crossed USD 1,00,000, and, given the huge orders in hand and marketing activities, we are expecting to cross USD 5,00,000.
He adds that Superwood is in talks with investors to raise Series A funding in order to expand to new markets and add new products. Five years down the line, it will expand its business to southeast Asian markets.