Realty growth in Hyderabad driving furniture biz

Realty growth in Hyderabad driving furniture biz
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Realty growth in Hyderabad driving furniture biz
Highlights

The growth of real estate and housing sector is helping the retail furniture business grow exponentially, said an industry veteran.

Hyderabad: The growth of real estate and housing sector is helping the retail furniture business grow exponentially, said an industry veteran. Speaking to The Hans India, Surendar Bhatia, owner and Managing Director of Bantia Furnitures, said, "Indian consumer especially, customers from Hyderabad have matured a lot in the last one decade with regards to choice of furniture and the comfort of living."

"Earlier, the consumer was very price conscious. But now, the average customer is willing to explore and even pay a bit more if the furniture suits his living based on style, comfort, size and quality. Last but not the least, he is just looking at a service span of 5-7 years unlike the previous generation customers whose top priority was longevity of the product," he added.

When queried about online sale of furniture, Bantia said, "Online sale of furniture is here to stay. We also sell online. In this space too, the customer is maturing. Earlier, the quantity and value of the order placed used to be very low. Something like a shoe-rack or a stool worth anywhere between Rs 2,000-5,000. But now, people are buying larger size furniture like sofa or a recliner online but within a range of 15 to 35 thousands."

Adding that the online retail furniture business has also evolved, Bantia said, "Industry has realised that logistics management is critical for the growth of online business. Major brands like Urban Ladder and Pepperfry had lot of problems with regards to returns. We also tied up with Flipkart and have gone through tough times. Now, companies too have matured and have tweaked the return policies to avoid fake returns."

"The Union Budget had nothing much for the furniture industry except for the marginal 5 per cent increase in the import duty on the spare parts of the furniture," said Bantia, adding "We were expecting the government to reduce the Goods & Services Tax (GST) on furniture products from 18 per cent to 12 per cent as furniture is a very common item. However, the government is still treating furniture as a 'luxury' category."

On the group's expansion plans, Bantia said, "We have always focused on the middle-class customers and this is one segment which is growing geometrically. We have tied up with few banks and NBFCs to provide EMI finance for our customers which will help us to reach out to more markets.

Currently, we have 11 to 12 stores in city. Next store is coming up at Warangal. We are catering to the entire south India through our online store. We are planning to have a pan-India base which we will reach in the time to come."

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