It’s not a crisis scenario for the home retail segment as compared to the categories worst affected by the slowdown. Speaking to The Morning Standard, Subodh Mehta, senior vice-president, B2C, Godrej Interio, tells the company is geared up to unleash salvos of strong marketing initiatives and product launches this festive season and is bullish on meeting its revenue target this fiscal.
Has slowdown impacted home retail space?
We believe the slowdown is temporary. There has been a little impact of slowdown in the furniture market, but we are hopeful of improved consumer sentiments in the home retail segment during the festive season. The segment will see a spate of renewed activity by retailers to make the most of the festive days. We have also lined up investments worth Rs 200 crore, catering to product launches and advertising among others for this fiscal.
Godrej’s peers already have a strong online presence, when will you follow suit?
We already have a presence in the online space as we have tied up with Mebelkart, Pepperfry, and Flipkart. That apart, we are launching our own e-commerce platform in India this festive season to help customers make choices from a wide range of products. We have done a three year-long survey and have prepared a roadmap for this purpose. However, venturing into e-commerce would have no channels-conflicts.
Will your focus on online impact your offline retail expansion plans?
Not at all. We are looking at opening 100 stores this fiscal year across the country, out of which 45 stores are up and running. While Godrej has a strong presence in the East, West and the North, the company is stepping up presence in the South such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, considering the growth in the home improvement business and increasing disposable income among prospective customers. Godrej is also keen on expanding in the tier 3 and tier 4 cities, which is seeing increased purchasing from the rural masses. We have ventured into places like Latur in Maharashtra, Seoni in Madhya Pradesh and Bhatapara in Chhattisgarh.
What is your revenue goal for FY20?
We expect 20 per cent growth in turnover with a market consolidation from expansion of organised furniture market, which is a fifth of the total furniture market worth Rs 50,000 crore.