Stylish yet simple: startup Boingg!'s winning mantra to give kids a happy start
“In a family home, all the joy and laughter reside in the child’s room. We want the room to match its occupant,” says Neha Indori, Co-founder of children furniture startup Boingg!
When Neha decided to do up her daughter’s room, the lack of options led her to dig deep and research the children’s furniture segment.
In the highly unorganised market that the Indian furniture industry is, players give little thought to kids’ furniture. Options available are either cheap products made out of plastic or low quality raw materials, or are imported and not affordable for the Indian middle class.
If an active parent decides to take things into their own hand, the very thought of finding the right designs online and getting a local carpenter to replicate them is frightening.
“More importantly, the safety and functionality of each item requires much thought and multiple iterations. One needs the knowledge and, more importantly, the time,” Neha tells YourStory.
Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, Neha discussed the idea with her husband, Vitesh, and her brother-in-law, Dhruvan Barar, an IIM-Kozhikode graduate who was then working with Quikr as a Senior Associate. Vitesh decided to continue working with BMW, while Neha quit her job at Infosys India and joined hands with Dhruvan to start Boingg!
Founded in February 2019, the Gurugram-based startup provides thought-through, functional, and safe furniture for children.
“Boingg! is the sound when kids are jumping up and down on the bed! The name signifies the sheer joy of that happy moment and also the fact that the kids can, in fact, jump on our beds as much as they want. We tested them with our own kids,” Neha says.
Within just a year and half of starting up, Boingg! has scaled its team from 45 employees to a team of 60.
The story so far
Boingg! targets young couples between ages 25 and 35 years, with children between zero to six years old. It sells beds, tables, storages, cribs, changing tables, nursing chairs, sofas, teepees, playmats, among others. The price for Boingg!’s furniture starts from Rs 2,750 (for a wall shelf) and can go up to Rs 83,500 (for a bunk bed with an in-built wardrobe.)
“Since inception, we have been growing steadily month on month, but the most satisfying numbers are direct orders through our partner stores and the website,” Neha says. Boingg! generates three to five orders every day through these channels, with an average ticket size of Rs 25,000.
“Our performance on marketplace websites such as Pepperfry is also growing steadily along with the influence of such marketplaces on the overall market, and with these B2B2C channels, we average about seven orders per day.”
Generating revenue of Rs 1.5 lakh in the first month of its launch, Boingg! went through a couple of days of no revenue and persistent slowdown, especially during the COVID-19-led lockdowns. Sales picked up once the lockdown relaxations began and it is now churning out Rs 25-30 lakh per month. “Our target is to hit Rs 45-50 lakh revenue per month by Diwali this year,” Neha says.
Boingg! has also raised over Rs 75 lakh from private investors in the last couple of months. The startup plans to use the funds to fuel its growth over the next 15 months.
We aim to use this to strengthen our presence through marketing in our target customers' mind, set up more partner stores, invest in the growth of the team, and, last but not the least, machinery for manufacturing to improve efficiency as well as quality,” Neha says.
Initially selling its products through its website and partnering with ecommerce marketplaces, Boingg! is now setting up in-store display areas for existing furniture retailers. This model works on a commission basis.
“This is of benefit to the retailer as it complements their existing range. After the sale, the manufacturing, delivery, and assembly is handled by us, so their profits are clearly defined without any hidden cost,” Neha says.
For Boingg! it helps create an area where parents and children can come and experience the products, and see the entire catalogue to choose the product and the necessary customisations to make their own.
Roadblocks on the way
When starting out in 2019, Boingg! faced challenges in terms of designing the products and investing in research and development to ensure strength and safety of the products.
“We had to take a call on the number of SKUs we could launch with and the categories we needed to be present in,” Neha says.
At that time, Boingg! was highly labour intensive and until the quality and materials were proven, the startup had to hold back in terms of investing more in its operations and communications.
However, more than one year down the line, Boingg! has now entered the growth stage and is facing new challenges. The biggest challenge is keeping up with demand, and defining the sales process in the easiest way possible.
“At the end of the day, we have to learn how to deliver the customisation experience to our customers, without compromising on any of our processes, and, at the same time, define cut to cut what is possible and what is not,” Neha explains.
Speaking on overcoming these hurdles, Neha says it's an ongoing experience. The startup often receives feedback from customers on the pricing of its products.
“Every day we are tempted to take the path of discounting and trying to burn through our capital to take on a larger market and also to not leave any potential buyer with a negative view. Every day, we resolve to fight the good fight and ask for a price that resonates with our quality, our work, how we want to run the business, compensate our skilled workforce, and keep a check on the materials that we use,” she says.
COVID-19 pandemic came with its own set of challenges for Boingg! Customers were not able to step outside their houses and were unable to physically see products at the partner stores. The Boingg! team had to showcase its products through pictures of actual deliveries and gain confidence.
“The advantage of being present online with an expansive catalogue has helped us stand apart and gain attention,” Neha says.
The furniture startup wants to help under-privileged children and has partnered with Upay, a grassroots organisation that works towards educating them. “Our contributions are very small as of now but we are trying to tie it to our monthly revenue so that our growth fuels theirs,” Neha says.
Furniture market and the road ahead
According to Statista, the Indian furniture market was pegged at $205,052 million in 2020. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1 percent between 2020 and 2023.
Boingg!’s biggest competitor seems to be the unorganised furniture market. On the online front, it competes with marketplaces Pepperfry, Flipkart, and Urban Ladder, among others. In terms of brands, players such as Alex & Daisy, Habios, Lycka, and Popcorn sell children’s furniture, mostly through marketplaces.
“We are uniquely positioned with our designs and the price range that we offer them at,” Neha says.
Boingg! also allows users to do minor customisations on each product, be it size, storage, or colours. This is possible because Boingg! designs, manufactures, and ships all the products out of its manufacturing unit in Gurugram.
“Another USP is our unique ability to produce prints on furniture - not just fabrics, but innovations that are not seen elsewhere,” Neha says.
The startup soon plans to launch a feature on its website, where customers can themselves pick and choose colours and fabrics, add text on furniture, and be able to view the final product before placing an order.
Boingg! is planning to on-board partner stores across the Tier I and II cities to “make our products and services available to many struggling parents who wish to set up their kid’s room”.
The children’s furniture startup has a defined roadmap and target cities. “We aim to raise a higher round of funding by mid-2021,” says Neha, adding that Boingg! is launching new products by the end of this month.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai