Doors to modular furniture, Tata Steel now also a consumer durables company

India's largest steelmaker hopes to replicate the success of it's doors brand Pravesh with ARTIFurn range of modular furniture.

Published: Oct 3, 2018
Image: Shutterstock (Representative Image)

Prince Mathews Thomas
Moneycontrol News

Modular furniture is not something one would relate to Tata Steel, the largest steel maker in the country. But after successfully launching doors and windows that are made of steel but look like wood, the company has now launched modular furniture.

"Tata Steel has ventured into modular furniture under the brand name ARTifurn. Currently, the brand has been launched in Chandigarh and NCR region. These are modular wall-to-wall wardrobes," P Anand,
Chief, Services & Solutions, Tata Steel, told Moneycontrol. "We are expanding the channel to cover the entire northern region by March 2019," he added.

The new venture follows the success of Pravesh, the brand under which doors and windows are sold. The company's first initiative in the B2C segment, Tata Steel has sold 60,000 doors and windows since launching them in December 2016. The vertical clocked revenues of Rs 75 crore in FY18.

The idea

The need for sturdy doors and windows came up during the the company's discussions with consumers.

"We have a business vertical that is focused on trying to understand the expressed and latent needs of customers and coming up with solutions to address the same," said Anand.

In one of the discussions, consumers pointed out the problem with wooden doors, which were deemed to be unsafe and breakable.

"Theft was a major issue in Tier II and Tier III cities. Besides, there were issues associated with wood, like expansion/contraction and termites. The quality of wood used to make doors left a lot to be desired," said Anand.

Sensing an opportunity, Tata Steel introduced the Pravesh brand that sold doors "with strength of steel and the finish and elegance of wood."

Building capability

For a steelmaker, it is not easy to sell a retail product. To make up for that, Tata Steel borrowed practices from the consumer durables industry.

It formed a team of 200 sales executives, and another team consisting of 150 people specialised in installation was also set up. The company tapped its dealer network.

"Pravesh being a consumer facing product, a dedicated call centre team has been deployed to answer any query/manage complaints of the consumer," said Anand.

Pravesh is sold through a 2-Tier retail network. "We have 45 distributors/business development partners and 2,100 dealer outlets across the country," said the senior Tata Steel executive.

With the brand now tasting success, Pravesh has become a part of Tata Steel's new communication campaign.

Original Source: https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/doors-to-modular-furniture-tata-steel-now-also-a-consumer-durables-company-3007191.html