Danube Home En­ters In­dia with Hy­der­abad Store, to Set up 10 More in 5 Years

Apart from this, the brand plans to set up a large lo­gis­tics hub, a trans­port net­work as well as as­so­ci­ated fa­cil­i­ties all in the next 5 years. The av­er­age store size in In­dia will be between 40,000 - 50,000 sq. ft and the av­er­age in­vest­ment per store wil

Images Retail - - CONTENTS - – By Charu Lamba

Danube Home, part of Dubai-based di­ver­si­fied busi­ness con­glom­er­ate Danube Group, has for­ayed into In­dia by open­ing its first store in Hy­der­abad in Oc­to­ber 2018. The brand has high hopes for the In­dian mar­ket. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with IM­AGES Re­tail, Shub­ho­jit Ma­ha­lanobis, Gen­eral Man­ager, Danube Home says, “We see In­dia as a coun­try with huge po­ten­tial, of­fer­ing an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity for growth. The real es­tate sec­tor is at its peak in In­dia with nu­mer­ous prop­er­ties, tow­ers, com­mu­ni­ties and com­plexes com­ing up for both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial pur­poses. This di­rectly con­trib­utes to a rise in de­mand for home fur­nish­ing prod­ucts and so­lu­tions.

More­over, de­mon­eti­sa­tion and GST has made op­er­at­ing in In­dia much eas­ier for in­ter­na­tional brands.”

“Re­ports say In­dia is ex­pected to see a faster ex­pan­sion of ur­ban pop­u­la­tion con­sist­ing of as­pi­ra­tional Mil­len­ni­als and mid­dle class fam­i­lies with spend­ing power that will trig­ger the growth in de­mand for af­ford­able home fur­nish­ing prod­ucts and so­lu­tions. For a brand like Danube Home that of­fers home fur­nish­ing prod­ucts and so­lu­tions, this is a very promis­ing time to en­ter the coun­try,” he adds.

Danube Home, which will be sourc­ing 30 per­cent from In­dia to com­ple­ment the gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tives, has done an ex­ten­sive study on In­dian con­sumers, their buy­ing be­hav­iours, color and life­style pat­terns. Based on the re­search, the store that spans across 60,000 sq. ft of­fers more than 20,000 prod­ucts un­der one roof tar­get­ing the mid­dle and up­per-mid­dle seg­ment of pyra­mid.


The Danube Home store in Hy­der­abad has all the key fea­tures and ben­e­fits that global con­sumers are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing across the Mid­dle East. How­ever, its In­dia prod­uct port­fo­lio will be a lot dif­fer­ent from the Mid­dle Eastern mar­ket.

“We have hand­picked col­lec­tions to cater to the well-trav­elled modern In­dian con­sumer with prod­ucts from var­i­ous parts of the world such as US, Nether­lands, Spain, Italy, Rus­sia, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, UK and China, to name a few, giv­ing cus­tomers a great op­por­tu­nity to shop the best qual­ity prod­ucts at value for money price,” states Ma­ha­lanobis.

“In ad­di­tion to this, cus­tomers will en­joy free in­te­rior de­sign­ing ser­vices and seam­less pay­ment so­lu­tions with con­sumer fi­nanc­ing op­tions,” he states. These key fea­tures en­sures 90 per­cent of re­peat cus­tomers.

Danube Home, which starts as an on­line player and plans to go Om­nichan­nel even­tu­ally as trac­tion picks up, aims to of­fer com­plete home so­lu­tions, for in­stance other brands who sell sofa or beds do not sell wall pa­per or cus­tomised cur­tains, but Danube of­fers end-toend so­lu­tions that in­clude every­thing from out­door fur­ni­ture to san­i­tary ware.

“We fo­cus a lot on our cus­tomer ser­vice stan­dards and en­sure both pre and post sales is a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence which is why we have been awarded the

No. 1 fur­ni­ture re­tailer by the Dubai Gov­ern­ment. We have a ded­i­cated post sales team that makes di­rect calls to en­sure every­thing goes smoothly post sales. This is an im­por­tant step of the whole brand ex­pe­ri­ence,” ex­plains Ma­ha­lanobis.

Their cus­tomers also ex­pe­ri­ence Aug­mented Re­al­ity, Vir­tual Re­al­ity, On­line Seam­less Shop­ping and many new tech­nolo­gies that Danube of­fers in its mar­kets abroad. Cus­tomers will also be able to walk through their dream home in Vir­tual Re­al­ity.

“Danube Home of­fers global qual­ity prod­ucts at lo­cal price. We source our prod­ucts from across the world and de­sign our col­lec­tions look­ing at cus­tomers be­hav­iour and needs. Grad­u­ally, the In­dian con­sumers shall ex­pe­ri­ence var­i­ous in­no­va­tive and en­gag­ing lit­tle touches which we hope will be unique to us,” he adds.

Mar­ket­ing Plans

As far as mar­ket­ing plans of the brand is con­cerned, Danube Home has mixed con­ven­tional and un­con­ven­tional medi­ums to con­nect with the brand’s eth­nic­ity. The brand has taken the ATL, BTL, so­cial and guer­rilla mar­ket­ing routes.

“We have added fun, in­ter­ac­tive el­e­ments and im­age build up ac­tiv­i­ties. We are tar­get­ing mid­dle class and up­per mid­dle class Mil­len­ni­als, dou­ble in­come no kids sec­tion and nu­clear fam­i­lies. Our key fo­cus re­mains with builders, ar­chi­tects and the de­sign­ers’ seg­ment, who shall be amazed to see our col­lec­tion and price of­fer­ings for their projects,” says Ma­ha­lanobis.

The brand will be us­ing all the medi­ums - print, TV and on­line - to ad­ver­tise it­self in In­dia to get the max­i­mum ROI.

Hu­man Re­sources

Be­sides, the en­try of the brand in the In­dian mar­ket will not only create 1,500 di­rect jobs, but also sup­port lo­cal in­dus­tries that will ben­e­fit from the sup­ply chain as it will deepen, sourc­ing prod­ucts from ev­ery nook and cor­ner of In­dia.

“This will also help us to create a greater de­mand for In­dian de­signed home dé­cor and home fur­nish­ing prod­ucts and ex­port them to other mar­kets – such as the GCC – where we have a strong pres­ence,” states Ma­ha­lanobis.

Each store of the brand will em­ploy around 85-100 di­rect em­ploy­ees and 50 in­di­rect em­ploy­ees, lo­gis­tics de­part­ment will have 50-75 em­ploy­ees dur­ing the ini­tial days and grad­u­ally with the in­crease in strength of stores, the count will also in­crease.

“We hire the best from the in­dus­try, train them rig­or­ously sharpen their skills ag­gres­sively and keep them mo­ti­vated for a long pe­riod of time to de­liver great re­sults. The In­dia team will also ex­pe­ri­ence our team bond­ing and train­ing meth­ods, and hope­fully, they will also de­liver mirac­u­lous re­sults,” he says.

The brand be­lieves in flex­i­ble work cul­ture driven only by per­for­mance based re­ward­ing, em­pow­er­ing the team and giv­ing them enough free­dom to bring suc­cess. Apart from this, Danube Home has a plethora of em­ployee en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties like mul­ti­ple out­bound train­ing pro­grams, prod­uct launches at off-sites in­volv­ing the power sell­ers, runs re­ward pro­grams and en­gage in healthy com­pe­ti­tion within each peer group.

Fu­ture Plans

Danube Home plans to set up 10 large for­mat show­rooms, a large lo­gis­tics hub, trans­port net­work and as­so­ci­ated fa­cil­i­ties in the next 5 years.

“We have iden­ti­fied po­ten­tial lo­ca­tions across the North and South In­dian States. Once the prop­er­ties are signed, the plan would be dis­closed,” says Ma­ha­lanobis.

The av­er­age store size in In­dia will be between 40,000 50,000 sq. ft de­pend­ing upon the space and lay­out of the store. The av­er­age in­vest­ment per store will be ₹40 crore.

The brand is al­ready in talks with few big mall de­vel­op­ers and hopes to part­ner with them for ag­gres­sive pan In­dia ex­pan­sion.

“We tar­get to grow 15 per­cent like-for-like each year for the ini­tial 5 years. We don’t want to be bullish about the growth un­less we set­tle down and un­der­stand the mar­ket deeply,” he con­cludes.


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