Meet the Indian cookware brands that are growing amid stiff global competition

By Palak Agarwal
June 08, 2022, Updated on : Wed Jun 08 2022 08:47:28 GMT+0000
Meet the Indian cookware brands that are growing amid stiff global competition
SMBStory has curated a list of four Made in India cookware brands that are making a strong impression in the industry despite stiff competition from global players and challenges from the unorganised sector.
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Locked in at home, people across the world used their time amid the pandemic-induced lockdowns to work on and flaunt their cooking skills. The trend set the cash registers ringing in the cookware sector, which saw a huge spurt in demand.


According to Statista, the revenue in the kitchenware segment amounted to $90.30 million in FY22. The market is expected to grow annually at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 6.67 percent between 2022-2026.  


While the sector boasts of various nationally and internationally recognised companies including Bergner, TTK Prestige, Hawkins, and more, it also faces various challenges – right from unregulated pricing to copied products. 


This week, SMBStory has curated a list of four Indian brands that are making a mark in the cookware sector amid competition from the global players and challenges from the unorganised sector.

Wonderchef

As a former high-flying corporate executive, Ravi Saxena has visited more than 65 global destinations. On one such trip, he was interacting with some of his Indian colleagues and listened to their unique complaint


“The most common lament I would hear from my colleagues and other travelling Indians was wife ne bola hai non-stick pan le aana (wife has asked for a good quality non-stick cookware),” Ravi says. 


This set him thinking, and in 2009 he founded Wonderchef Home Appliances Pvt Ltd by investing his savings.


As a brand executive who had turned around several brands during his corporate stints, Ravi hit a six when he roped in celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

“I had known and worked with Sanjeev Kapoor when I took The Yellow Chilli chain of restaurants to scale. He was very gracious and agreed to support Wonderchef,” says Ravi, MD and Co-founder of Wonderchef. 

Today, more than 80 percent of Wonderchef’s customers shop online. The brand has a presence across India with its multichannel sales strategy which consists of over 6,000 MBOs (multi-brand stores), more than 12 EBOs (exclusive brand stores), ecommerce, and more.


With over 600 products, the brand has revolutionised the Indian kitchen with its focus on quality, designs, colours, and after-sales service.


Read the full story here.

Vinod Cookware

In the 1950s, Rajeram Agarwal worked at a stainless steel utensil and cookware company in Mumbai. He realised that the local market for pots and pans was highly unorganised. While people preferred purchasing cookware from relatively-unknown manufacturers and small dealers, Rajeram felt existing brands were not doing enough to organise the large market for stainless steel utensils.

 

He also felt that the quality of their products was average at best.

 

Seeing an opportunity, Rajeram embarked on his entrepreneurial journey and founded Vinod Cookware in 1962 with a small stainless steel utensils manufacturing unit in Bhandup, Mumbai. Rajeram was determined to manufacture high-quality cookware even if it meant that the products would be more expensive than what customers were used to.

 

The Mumbai-based company started its journey by becoming one of the first brands to manufacture pressure cookers. Later, Rajeram’s sons Sunil and Anil got involved and started helping their father.

 

Despite being a premium brand in a cost-conscious market, the family managed to grow Vinod Cookware into a Rs 180 crore revenue business (as of FY20).

 

Sunil took over the reins after Rajeram passed away in 2010. In an exclusive interaction with SMBStory, he said: “We started to break the ice and reached out to customers. We relied on word-of-mouth marketing to build customer relationships, and slowly built understanding and trust with our buyers. This organic approach helped us accelerate from being an unknown brand to a popular, household name.”


Read the full story here.

Black Magnum

In the early 70s, Jasmeet Bhatia’s grandfather Kuldip Singh Bhatia started a business dealing in large stock pots in Jalandhar, Punjab. A couple of years later, in 1972, Jasmeet’s father PS Bhatia joined him and took this nascent business to the next level to streamline operations, and gave it a formal name, Black Magnum.


Starting with just manufacturing pressure cookers, today, Black Magnum is a 150 SKU-strong brand that manufactures all its products and is available in 12 categories across India.

“Pressure cookers were widely in demand in the 70s, and my father started the business in the same category. He would manufacture pressure cookers as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and supply to South India,” says Jasmeet, in an interaction with SMBStory.

The pressure cookers were so popular that they were even used by the Indian defence sector. PS Bhatia would supply thousands of pieces each year to the Indian Army messes.


From then on, for around 20 years, Black Magnum ran as a B2B brand with a small presence in retail.


In 2010, Jasmeet joined his father, and the duo started exploring the retail market.


Jasmeet says the initial journey was challenging as the lack of a sound marketing strategy left the brand with little recognition in the offline space despite being in the market for so long.


According to Statista, the cookware industry is growing by 6.67 percent annually, and several players have ramped up to scale their operations to cater to the modern consumer’s demand. The Indian cookware market is dominated by well-established players like TTK Prestige, Wonderchef, Hawkins, and more, and Jasmeet had his task cut out to carve a niche for Black Magnum.


Read the full story here

OK Industries

Kamal Kapoor established OK Industries in Delhi to serve customers with quality cookware, primarily focusing on the non-stick cookware segment. 


Started in 1956 by Kamal's father Om Prakash Kapur, OK Industries today is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of cookware products and is also one of the few authorised licensee of the prestigious Teflon Coating by Du Pont Co. of US.


Speaking to SMBStory at a business fair in 2018, Kamal said one of the biggest challenges he faces in the industry is regarding quality.

“There are many brands offering products at a lower price point, claiming it to be of good quality but we do not compromise on quality at all.”

Delhi-based OK Industries manufactures non-stick cookware, including pressure cookers, kadhai, pans etc., at its manufacturing unit based out of Naraina. It also deals in stainless steel pressure cookers, hard anodised cookware, etc.


The entrepreneur shared that he has integrated technologies in his facility and plans to introduce a new range of products in a bid to grow further.


Read the full story here.



Edited by Kanishk Singh