The growing business of utility brands in India and the way ahead

In a panel discussion conducted by YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, powered by HSBC, Rahul Dhingra, Founder and CEO, AHA Smart Homes, and Honey Gupta, Founder, Truphe, came together to discuss the growing demand in the utility brands space in India.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown forced people to stay inside. Homeowners now started paying more attention to their homes, decorating and redecorating in the way they wanted

In recent years, utility brands have gained traction, attracting investors’ interest. “The sector, in general, is seeing more energy-saving demands; consumers are getting more conscious and looking at more eco-friendly options,” Rahul Dhingra, Founder and CEO of AHA Smart Homes, said in a panel discussion conducted by YourStory’s Daily Dispatch.

The last two years have been phenomenal for Truphe, with the startup seeing 3X growth in revenue, said Founder Honey Gupta. The Noida-based startup offers gardening products suitable for small home garden owners.

Truphe almost doubled its sales in a short time as more users started joining the ecommerce space.

AHA Smart Homes is seeing rising demand from the residential space, similar to a real estate boom, as people now want to invest in their homes. This created an opportunity for the startup to come up with automation solutions.

In fact, the corporate sector is looking at cost-saving options, and energy savings has become an important factor creating opportunities for automation solutions.

AHA Smart Homes is in a growth phase, where it is moving from one centre in Mumbai to 12 centres across India. 

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Recently, Thrasio-like startup UpScalio acquired Truphe. Honey said the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space is very competitive right now, and for the next leg of growth, expertise is required. “Together with them [UpScalio], we are going to focus on growing further and taking the business to the next level,” he shared.

He added the company is working on increasing its product portfolio and fixing the pricing of products. Besides, it is also focussing on marketing and beating the competition. 

Talking about funding, Rahul said AHA Smart Homes aims to raise $20 million in its Series A round to scale business to about 75 centres across the country. “With the tech that surrounds us, I think there is a lot of awe around automation products,” he said. 

Rahul said the environment is collaborative when it’s a rising field, and it's less about competition and more about synergies. He added there is a lot of like-mindedness in the space, which opens up opportunities for collaborations. 

Edited by Suman Singh