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“We cater to owner-occupants as well as developers of premium residences such as DLF, Uppal Housing and Indiabulls,” says Gandharv Gombar, Director, Hacker Kitchens. “Our market spans Tier-I cities as well as Tier-2 cities such as Bhopal and Indore, as high-net-worth individuals living anywhere are exposed to global trends in modular furniture and typically visit metros to source materials.”
“Our experience has been that developers offer customers the choice of buying a bare shell apartment, or one fitted with Indian modular furniture, or one fitted with imported premium modular solutions,” says Gombar. “Offering two price brackets for the modular solution helps cater to different categories of buyers. Typically, the imported option attracts only discerning affluent buyers as it attract customs and, hence, is priced roughly 30-40 per cent above the locally available solution.” He pegs the cost of fully furnishing a four-bedroom apartment of, say, 3,500-4,000 sq ft covered area at Rs 50-60 lakh, excluding the cost of bathroom fittings.
“We work with Adani, DLF, Mahindra, BPTP, Vatika and others, typically for their residential projects offering apartments priced between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 3 crore,” says Digvijay Dhabriya, Managing Director, Dynasty Modular Furniture. “It has become a trend for developers to offer modular furniture in every flat costing Rs 2-2.5 crore. Developers like Adani and DLF involve us for the supply and fitting of essential furniture, say three to four wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and vanity (bathroom cabinets), typically 300-400 sq ft of frontal area of cabinets per apartment.”
Manoj Rathi, AVP and Head, U&US Home Design Studio believes India is still some years away from complete acceptance of the concept of bundling furniture and interiors with property, the established practice in the West. However, now that some developers have recognised the need to differentiate their product and offer modular furniture as a value add, the way forward looks promising.