5 Indian brands that are deploying ‘smart’ strategies to disrupt the mattress market
Sleep innovation has lately been a buzzing term in the sleep and wellness industry. The growing awareness about the impact of sleep, or the lack of it, has led to huge shifts in this sector.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global mattress market size was valued at $27.5 billion in 2018, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 6.7 percent from 2019 to 2025.
The report further states that rising disposable incomes, along with a surge in homeownership, which is on an average 69.6 percent across the globe, is expected to fuel the demand for comfortable mattresses over the forecast period.
This market, which is majorly (65 percent) unorganised, is now seeing several new-age and old companies bringing in new dimensions.
SMBStory lists five Indian mattress brands that innovated in a saturated market to provide quality mattresses.
Flo Mattress cofounders- Kshitij Rihal (left) and Gaurav Zatakia (right)
Mumbai-basedwas started by Gaurav Zatakia and Kshitij Rihal with the intention of providing quality mattresses at an affordable range. The entrepreneur, however, realised the importance of innovating in order to deliver what they had endeavoured.
Flo Mattress has introduced two variants — ergo mattress and ortho mattress.
Gaurav says, “In ergo mattresses, temperature sensitive memory foam has been used which increases blood circulation and gives quality sleep. The ortho mattress is for people above the age of 61 and for anyone who has back problems.”
Gaurav also says that special technology is used to vacuum pack the mattresses and shrink it to a third of its size. This helps ensure easy shipping and transportation of the mattresses.
Going forward, Flo Mattress is also planning to make IoT-enabled mattresses which will be a win-win situation for both the company and the consumers. The smart mattresses will help the consumers figure out the quality of their sleep and help the company make changes according to the preferences of the customer.
During his visit to Germany in the 1960s, the late PC Mathew studied the application of rubberised coir in car seats. Impressed by its high durability and cushioning properties, the industrial chemistry engineer toyed with the idea of using rubberised coir to make mattresses.
Mathew ran a small mattress manufacturing business along a quiet canal at Alleppey, Kerala. With Rs 3 lakh initial investment, he started Duroflex in 1963.
While coir held promise, it would be new to the Indian market, and Mathew was not sure if it would be accepted. Taking a leap of faith, he began importing coir mattress manufacturing machines from Austria into his factory at Alleppey.
This concept proved to rewardable.
What began as a modest mattress factory along a canal is now a leading enterprise in the sleep products category. Today, the family business Duroflex is a Rs 500 crore revenue company headquartered in Bengaluru, and has over 500 employees.
The brand’s signature range, Duropedic, is India’s only certified orthopaedic mattress range. This range features the exclusive five-zoned orthopaedic support layer, which is tested and recommended by the experts at the National Health Academy. It also offers three other innovative ranges of mattresses: eco-friendly Natural Living Range, Energise Range for active individuals, and Essential Range for superior comfort.
Duroflex owns three manufacturing facilities in South India.
Fresh Up Mattress
Wasif Mohd, Founder and CEO, Fresh Up
For nearly three decades, MH Polymershad been selling PU foam and had an established PU foam production unit.
Wasif Mohd realised that pivoting to a B2C foam mattress brand was necessary to boost revenues and increase margins. In 2016, he stepped in to revitalise business and created a small team of his own to start B2C mattress brand. Starting with two helpers, Wasif began designing and manufacturing mattresses in Greater Noida, UP.
“Our pocket spring mattresses are made up of high density pocket springs. The number of springs per mattress is higher. This ensures firmness, better load bearing, and pressure relieving properties. We are the first mattress brand in India to provide HD pocket springs,” Wasif claims.
Today, apart from innovating on the manufacturing front, it is also leveraging technology to up its game.
Fresh Up has also built an app to help its distributors and dealers check the product catalogue, stay updated on offers, place orders, and file complaints. The app is not an ecommerce portal to buy Fresh Up’s products as consumers purchase a mattress just once in eight to ten years.
In just four years, Fresh Up has emerged as a fast-growing mattress brand in North India with over 250 employees, and clocked a turnover of Rs 38.45 crore last year.
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Co-founder and Director, Wakefit.co
Founded in 2016 by Ankit Garg and Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, Bengaluru-basedmanufactures and sells researched and developed mattresses along with other sleep-related products such as pillows and comforters, keeping in mind the ergonomically beneficial factors.
The founders realised that the number of sleep-related problems was on the rise. To solve this predicament, Wakefit took extra care while designing their products.
Wakefit claims that its mattresses are made of proprietary "open-cell structure" for cool summers, and that its high-density foam gives complementary support. They have also focused on body contour. Wakefit claims that its mattresses’ memory foam provides pressure relief.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the brand launched ‘Wakefit Gurukul’, a programme through which it has trained over 200 carpenters to build home solution products.
In 2018, the startup raised Rs 65 crore in Series A round from Sequoia Capital India. Two years later, in December 2020, it raised Rs 185 crore in Series B investment led by Europe-based Verlinvest and Sequoia. At present, Wakefit’s valuation stands at Rs 1,900 crore.
Serial entrepreneur Rakesh Malhotra and Founder of Luminous Batteries andhad been observing the potential in the mattress market for quite some time. He saw an opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic and introduced the sleep and wellness vertical of Livpure comprising mattresses, pillows, bedsheets, curtains, etc.
Livpure offers more than five categories of mattresses, priced in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. The categories differ based on affordability, fabrics, or the kind of foam used, among other factors.
Moreover, at a time when businesses are becoming more conscious about including sustainability on their agenda, Livpure has also introduced an Ayurveda-inspired mattress, manufactured with all-natural materials such as sandalwood-infused latex foam, covers made up of lavender, etc.
The brand is growing between 20-30 percent month on month, with an average order value of Rs 12,000, claims its CEO, Pritesh Talwar.
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