We've all run through several different stores and supermarkets to pick up everyday needs for laundry, storage and kitchen. This run possibly extends over several days and involves visiting many places. Not only are you unsure of what the best brands are in the space, but you have to rely on what the store manager chooses or decides.
Looking at these issues Umang Srivastava and Neeraj Mittal along with Vineeta Mittal and Charu Srivastava decided to start Bonita.
Product category and challenges
Bonita’s product category includes microwave-safe stainless steel bowls, ironing boards and mat, clothes drying stands, drying accessories like silicone pad, cloth pegs, laundry baskets , vacuum bags, folding wardrobes, shoe racks, step ladders, organising solutions and other such solutions.
A major challenge was finding the right partners who had the same vision as the company and ethical standards. The team took help from past associations. "Our online distributor is a company started by an entrepreneur who was a part of my team in art d'inox," adds Umang.
The next challenge was to have the right supply chain.Even in this, they have used professionals who have been associated with the team and with this category in the past. "We have helped them set up dedicated factories for Bonita and this way have also helped them become entrepreneurs themselves," he says.
Growth and traction
In FY 2014-15, the company broke even after a year of struggle and now claims to be growing at 300 per cent every year.
"Bonita will be available across 35 countries apart from growing depth in India. We already have confirmations from customers in Europe and by October, Bonita will be selling across 20 countries," says Umang.
Bonita has network distributors and 1,000 independent house wares stores across 45 Indian cities. It has also tied up with a series of online portals including Snapdeal, Amazon, Pepperfry, PayTM, eBay, Home Stop 18 and Shopper’s Stop among others. In USA , Bonita has an online presence through various websites like Wayfair, Amazon, Zulily, Bed Bath & Beyond; in Europe on Westwing and Limang; in Dubai and UAE through websites like Wysada and Souq and also in Australia/NZ.
"We are catering to a global market with estimated market size ranging between USD 500 million and one billion. It is growing at an annual growth rate of 10 per cent. The key markets which we are focussing on are India, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Europe, South America, and UAE. For USA alone, the market size is USD 500 million in just the home segment categories," says Umang.
Responsible for global business development and branding at Bonita, Umang has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategy and has held senior positions in companies like Trident and art d’inox (division of Jindal Stainless).
Neeraj is responsible for developing and managing supply chain at Bonita. He has more than 25 years of experience in the area of supply chain management and has worked in senior management positions in various MNCs like Ford Tractors, Denso and IKEA.
Vineeta is responsible for the brand and creative work at Bonita. She has more than 15 years of experience in creative and product development fields.Charu managesfinances and HR. She has 15 years of experience in the banking and finance industry in companies like Trident, ICICI Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Other core team members include Raj Kumar who is responsible for product development and SCM; Vinay Gupta who manages Bonita's USA operations; Harvey Levinson based in New York City who is VP, Sales USA and Helen Zubritska based in Prague, Czech Republic, responsible for sales and operations in Europe.
Funding and future plans
Bonita is planning to raise Rs 30 crore to be used for ATL, BTL activities, new product development and launching new products, creating IT infrastructure and expanding the team. The team intends to increase its geographical base to 50 countries.