How Rajkot-based InnoDesigns is transforming the journey of the house to a home with digital visualisation
After completing his studies in the US, Nidhey A Pan got hands-on experience with various new ventures for his family’s business diversification plans. For the young entrepreneur, business wasn’t just work; it was a hobby. So it wasn’t surprising when he decided to launch his own tech-enabled furniture and home decor startupin 2020.
“It all started when I was doing up my new home. I saw so many gaps and loops that needed to be filled. Be it a small house, a budget house or a big house all of them are going through the same issues such as delivery time, lack of good quality products, limited variety, cost worries at different levels and different percentages. I wondered if the gaps could be bridged and if the process could be made easier,” says the founder and CEO of the Rajkot-based startup.
InnoDesigns aspires to disrupt the online furniture market by creating a tech interface where realistic visualisation of all furniture pieces and their apt placement in a home in real-time is possible.
How it works
Brainstorming with core team members, Nidhey noticed that small-scale furniture vendors were massively underrepresented in the country. To that end, the team decided to bring in local, homegrown furniture shops closer to their virtual shoppers through their #VOCALforLOCAL and #MadeInIndia initiatives.
“InnoDesigns offers a diverse selection of classic, modern, and elegant home furniture, furnishing, and decor options. We started as a pure marketplace model. We help local artisans and manufacturers run their own showroom; who otherwise cannot afford huge spending on marketing, who are not able to cater to the right market, who are not able to go to the market because of lack of knowledge and large competitors in the space,” says Nidhey.
InnoDesigns leverages AI to understand their customer and help them choose the right furniture. Be it fabric, dimension, wood, the platform offers customisation of all kinds. By simply logging on to the website, customers can select swatches, which will get delivered to their home. Once they choose the fabric colour or style, they can return the swatches and the team will customise as per the design chosen.
The startup is also launching room designs to help customers pick the whole look of their homes. “We are constantly working towards adding more interesting features each day, with the intent to create a first-of-its-kind platform,” says Nidhey.
Tiding over challenges
In spite of having a vision about his brand, the new-age entrepreneur found it difficult to find the right talent and convince people to believe in his idea. “For us in design tech, both AR and VR are outdated. So we are building on top of those technologies. We had to go through multiple challenges through the execution, to development, to convincing people and getting the right team on board,” he explains.
But the pandemic changed the course of the business. The online marketplace took a front seat during the lockdown as customers wanted to shop online. InnoDesigns came up with interesting solutions for homeowners looking at giving their homes a facelift through unlimited designs and options to customise, along with strict quality check parameters and dependable after-sales services.
In November 2021, InnoDesigns launched their Home Experience Center in the heart of Kochi. “We have collaboratively showcased our range, integrating the offline touch and feel experience with the online visualisation and sale platform, through our e-commerce website and apps. This type of ‘Home Experience Center’ is a first-of-its-kind in the country. We call it – ‘Kutumbam’,” says Nidhey.
Focus on local talent
As the platform promotes local talent and is in tune with the ‘Make in India’ initiative, opting for a .in domain name for their website was an obvious choice. “We are promoting local manufacturers and we will be proudly showcasing our Indian furniture and Indian capabilities when introduced overseas,” says Nidhey, adding that there could have been no better for companies to target domestic business opportunities.
The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) has helped hundreds of businesses like InnoDesigns to distinguish themselves as a brand with its .in or .Bharat domain — which is India’s Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD). It’s among the few internet exchanges in the world to offer a ccTLD in multiple languages.
Talking about the rising number of customers logging into the website daily, Nidhey says, “Customers are signing up and short-listing products. The .in domain has brought confidence in the clients and with this new era of ‘swadeshi items', customers are happy and more confident in their quality of products and services.”
The way ahead
InnoDesigns aims to be the one-stop-shop solution for any home furnishing product. “We are going to be present in almost all of the states in the country. We are going to expand ourselves aggressively in the next six months. And when I say a one-stop-shop solution, we are going to be implementing all these stakeholders that are involved directly in furnishing and creating a home - interior designers, architects, all types of home decor, lighting, and furniture,” he signs off.
The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.