By @Connectvj – Interview with Mr.Ravi Saxena, Managing Director at WONDERCHEF – Most loved Kitchenware Company in India.
We interviewed him to know in-depth about him & WONDERCHEF. This is the 4th Interview of our Startup Showcase Series.
Wonderchef Kitchenware as a company was born out of the ‘love of cooking’. Driven by the passion of making Kitchen the Centre of wellness and goodness in homes.
Wonderchef was created by two enthusiasts, Mr. Ravi Saxena and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in 2009. They believed in the kitchen being the ‘heart of our home’, as it inspires us every day to create lasting memories with the food we cook for our loved ones. This is why the entire range of Wonderchef Cookware and Appliances are a perfect blend of health, taste and convenience that inspires to ‘cook with pride’.
Wonderchef products are used in millions of homes in India where healthy and convenient cooking is a part of the lifestyle.
Within a short span of time, it has become a 250 Cr company with a wide range of healthy, innovative and fashionable kitchenware appliances through its strong multi-channel sales platforms like 5000 multi-brand retail outlets, direct sales network of 50,000 women, teleshopping, e-commerce and a chain of exclusive retail store.
[bctt tweet=”This is How WonderChef has Become 250 crores Company in Short Span of time. via @Bizztor_In @wonderchef” username=”@Ravi_Saxena”]
What difference are you creating for your customers as there are so many substitutes available in the market for your products?
Wonderchef has two major differentiators – Quality and Innovation. The substitutes or copies by definition cannot have either of the two. Every Wonderchef product has a story to tell about providing Health, Taste and Convenience to the customer. As the most premium brand of kitchenware in India, quality is a given. This is where the pretenders fail miserably as they expect to win market share with low-priced but low-quality products. The consumer in India has evolved and is willing to pay for the right value.
What challenges do you face within the market and the company?
Wonderchef has been the fastest company to grow from zero to over 200 cr. level. It has achieved this feat within 7 years, while other firms reached this figure in 20 to 40 years of their existence.
We believe that for a well-priced quality product, there is really no challenge in the market. That said, we do face the usual challenges associated with fast paced growth viz. availability of right talent, systems and logistics keeping pace with sales growth and availability of right-priced real estate for our outlets.
How do you plan to sustain your place in the market?
Our key to success has been constant innovation. We have been the first to introduce most of the new concepts in the Indian kitchenware industry over the last few years. Right pricing of products is the key while being at the premium end of the market.
Every product is backed by recipes from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. This is backed by intensive sales and service. We will keep it simple and do what we do best – provide solutions to our customers that other never thought were possible.
In terms of penetration, is it more skewed to urban market or it’s similar for both urban and rural?
Wonderchef is a unique organisation when it comes to distribution. While most firms focus on retail as the key channel of sales, we are evenly balanced between on-line and off-line channels.
While we have a growing presence in retail, what works very well for us is our digital presence, TV shopping and Direct Marketing in partnership with thousands of motivated women who love to share their experiences with their loved ones, and market our products in over 1000 towns of the country.
So while one may imagine that being a premium brand would limit us to urban area, counter intuitively we are very well distributed in the hinterland as well. And we have discovered that there is purchasing power as well aspiration in small towns of India.
This has fuelled the growth of the brand in small towns all over the country. As a relatively small brand, we are already an evenly distributed, nationwide player.
What about new product launches in the pipeline? What can we expect from Wonderchef next?
Wonderchef constantly launches new products. We plan to market a complete range of large electrical appliances like OTG, Microwave, Chimneys and Cooktops before Diwali. We are also getting an exciting coffee maker for Indian consumers. In non-stick cookware, we are the leaders in quality and innovation and would be launching 3 new ranges this summer.
What is your ultimate vision?
Wonderchef is India’s premium kitchenware company born out of the love of cooking. We at Wonderchef believe that kitchen is the ‘heart of our home’ as it inspires us to create lasting memories with the food we cook for our loved ones.
A Wonderchef product at a home is a statement of its refined taste and discretion. Our vision is to enable every food enthusiast in India to find just the right product to help them enjoy their cooking and express their love.
How has the company grown over the years?
Wonderchef as a brand is only 7 years old. It has grown from strength to strength in this short while. The revenues are derived equally from cookware and electrical appliances.
They are also evenly spread over the geography in India. An Omni-channel distribution approach helps the brand to continue fast-paced growth, as well as introduce new innovations to the market faster and more efficiently than any other company in the industry.
Explain your professional background briefly what lead you to build the company?
After completing Electronics Engg. and MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, I worked in consumer industry for a couple of years before getting Sodexo to India and launching the meal and gift cards business.
Over a 12 year period as the CEO of Sodexo, I launched 5 businesses including food service and facilities management, and the company became a market leader in every single business we launched.
This was a great start-up experience I received while working in a secure environment. This helped me to launch my own business when I thought the time was right.
What advice would you like to give the entrepreneurs who are planning to launch their own venture?
I would like to say that first gain some experience before you jump into entrepreneurship. Then be ready to give it everything you have, and be patient. Most businesses are closed when they are just about to turn around. It does and it will take at least 3 to 5 years before a new business settled down.
Most importantly, learn how to respect money. Working capital is the biggest challenge of any business. Choose your partners carefully and your investors even more carefully.
[bctt tweet=”First gain some experience before you jump into entrepreneurship. Then be ready to give it everything you have, and be patient. Most businesses are closed when they are just about to turn around. via @Bizztor_in @wonderchef ” username=”@Ravi_Saxena”]
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