These 5 homegrown home décor brands are furnishing houses for India and the world
With the rising disposable incomes, more people are now focusing on enhancing the aesthetics of their homes. This has led to a growth in the Indian home decor market, with consumption expenditure growing from $1,824 billion in 2017 to reach nearly $3,600 billion by 2020.
This growth was in step with the global home decor market which reached a value of $641.4 billion in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns that disrupted the market of non-essential goods, the sector is now forecasted to exhibit a moderate growth between 2021-2026.
Here are five indigenous home decor brands that are furnishing India’s homes and meeting the rising consumer demand:
D'Decor Co-founder Sanjay Arora (left) and Managing Director Ajay Arora (right)
During the 90s, the Mumbai-based brothers Ajay and Sanjay Arora worked in their family business, manufacturing and selling fabrics for women’s wear and making affordable imitation silk in polyester.
Scouting for new opportunities, Ajay looked into fabrics and designs that were selling well. That’s when he saw a huge gap in the home furnishing industry. The demand for fabrics in the segment was swelling, especially in international markets, and there were not many players to meet the demand.
“In 1997, I set forth on a journey to Heimtextil, Europe’s largest textile fair, in Frankfurt. From there, I went to Como, Italy, to meet with some design houses. This way, I learned the tricks of the trade in the home furnishings industry over several months. Then, my brother Sanjay and I quit our family business to start manufacturing our own home furnishing fabrics,” he tells SMBStory.
The business, which started as a modest fabrics manufacturing unit in Mumbai in 1999, was named D’Decor. The brothers focused on delivering quality products that matched European standards at Indian prices. This worked wonders for the brand and today, D’Decor is the largest manufacturer of woven upholstery and curtain fabrics in the world.
The Rs 1,500 crore turnover business has five manufacturing plants in Tarapur, India, producing over 1,20,000 square meters of high-quality fabrics every day.
D’Decor exports its products to over 65 countries, with the US, Europe, the UK, and the Middle East being its biggest markets. It is endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan, and draws consumers from across India.
Vedas Exports cofounder and director Palash Agarwal
In 2014, Palash Agarwal teamed up with his businessman father Pawan Agarwal to start Vedas Exports by selling wooden handicrafts and paintings. However, they got off to a false start as they could only sell one product in the first month.
Upon exploring the handicrafts segment further, Palash and his father decided to jump into utility decors such as wall hooks, shelves, mirrors, and table decor, among others.
“These products had a bigger market and they could be put to real use. As they have an application, buyers are more likely to purchase them,” Palash Agarwal, Co-founder and Director, Vedas Exports, says.
The father and son, who are the co-founder and director in the company, respectively, put up exhibitions across the country and abroad to boost visibility and assure customers about the product quality.
The market responded well to Vedas’ efforts, leading to an increase in sales and pushing the brand to expand into making vases, office decor, and showpieces, among others.
Today, the 110-employee business manufactures handicrafts in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and exports them to international markets such as the UAE, the US, and Europe.
Puneet Berry, Founder of KSP INC
KSP was launched by Puneet Berry as a B2B company that manufactured pipeline flanges for companies based in the US. The business did well for a few years.
However, in the 1990s, the US put an embargo on stainless steel flanges from India and China, causing a fervour in the industry. Puneet saw this opportunity to evolve the business and look for another opportunity.
He recalls, “During my travels abroad, I was very fascinated with the leisure spaces. In the US, I saw stores with temporary sheds with a garden and a space for recreational activities.”
This inspired Puneet to launch garden decor products in 1991. While this business vertical was doing well, Puneet saw a dip in sales.
Not wanting to fall behind in the market, he decided to diversify his product line once more, and in 2001, KSP Inc launched bird feeders. The company even landed a contract from a US company, and currently, exports bird feeders to more than nine countries.
Today, KSP manufactures several products, including bird feeders, lawn and garden decor, furniture, fireplace tools, accessories, and home storage.
It exports to several countries, including the US, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Canada, France, and Australia. Some of its clients include Walmart, Lowes, Tesco, Sainsbury, and Staples, among others.
Rahul Jain, Founder & Business Head, eCraftIndia
Born and raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Rahul Jain was always mesmerised by the state’s handicrafts. Be it the fascinating katputli puppets, the embellished mochdi footwear, or the colourful bangles – the handicrafts from Rajasthan are sought after across the world. But when Rahul, 31, stepped into a mall in Mumbai to pick up a gift for a friend, he was shocked at how exorbitantly priced were the Rajasthani handicrafts.
“I am from Rajasthan and I know how much a piece of Rajasthani handicraft costs. The selling price of that item was four times higher than the actual cost and I was shocked to see that there is no predefined market of these handicrafts,” the entrepreneur tells SMBStory.
That experience pushed Rahul to open his own ecommerce company a year later to collaborate with artisans and craftsmen, and sell affordable products by cutting out the middlemen.
In 2014, Rahul, along with Ankit Agarwal and Pawan Goyal, founded eCraftIndia.com with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 20,000.
Started in 2014 as a small online handicraft store selling wooden elephant showpieces as its first product, which cost around Rs 250, eCraftIndia.com is currently one of the largest handicraft e-stores in India. From home decor to furnishings, furniture, paintings, kitchenware and gifts, the portal houses over 8,000 unique products.
Sanjeev Aggarwal, Founder, Orvi
Hailing from a typical Marwari business family in Jaipur, it was natural for Sanjeev Aggarwal to run a business after completing his education. In 1993, using his savings of Rs 30,000, he started a business exporting stones to different countries after procuring material from quarries in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and southern parts of India.
He named the company Stone Age Pvt Ltd. But he didn’t just want to focus on the export of materials, and being an entrepreneur, he wanted to do something different.
In conversation with SMBStory, he says,
“Having grown up in vibrant India and due to my travels around the world, I have had the privilege of experiencing some of history's finest architecture that has, sometimes, been neglected. I saw first-hand the details, precision, and beauty that craftsmen have created within these spaces for centuries, and that inspired me to do something in this space.”
In 2014, Sanjeev started Orvi Surfaces for creating innovative surfaces, with a fine blend of craftsmanship and technology.
Orvi Surfaces creates innovative surfaces, blending craftsmanship and technology with tradition, and western aesthetics with artisanal techniques from Asia and beyond. Working with more than 60 in-house artisans, Orvi uses varied traditional craft techniques from across the world, including stone carving, hand sculpting, intricate metal inlay, stone in-stone inlay, raku firing etc, to create bespoke and timeless surfaces using exquisite materials like natural stone, wood, metal, liquid metal, ceramics, and glass.