Affordable furniture opportunity
Furniture manufacturer and retailer, Timbor Home Ltd provides quality products and services across the nation via its strong franchise network. In an interview Anant Maloo, CMD, Timbor Home Ltd shares the success journey and expansion plans of the brand.
Neha Gohil (NG): Share with us the journey and the inception of Timbor Home Ltd.
Anant Maloo (AM): The company was started in 2004 to manufacture solid wood components such as shutters, doors and drawers for the modular kitchen industry. Initially, the company was supplying these components to kitchen retailers and assemblers. During this time, it was observed that our components were fitted along with other components and were retailed to customers at a price similar to that of European kitchens. In 2006, we decided that we would enter the modular kitchen space with an affordable price tag and target the spending class, who till then felt that a modular kitchen is expensive. We decided to roll out small format stores which could cater to the needs of the local population in small towns and cities. We choose the franchise (Timbor Business Associate) route for the same.
NG: What is the USP of your brand?
AM: Timbor Home Ltd is India’s first and only fully integrated furniture player having its own plantation to manufacturing and retailing. The fact that we offer customised furniture and kitchen solutions gives us an edge over the competition since our products are custom-made to suit individual tastes and preferences.
The company's vision of ‘ghar ghar me Timbor’ always keeps us on the move to innovate and keep costs low in order to enter each and every home in the country.
NG: What major challenges franchisee faces while operating a Timbor franchise? What solutions do you offer?
AM: Customers are very demanding these days and come with very specific choices about what they want and most of the time they are highly inspired by movies or serials. To help overcome these challenges, we offer the franchise owner complete support in terms of training, back-end-support as well as advertising.
NG: Which business model do you prefer the most - dealership or franchising? Why?
AM: The franchising model has worked for us. Having a local franchisee enables the company to tap the specific consumer segments since customer preferences vary by geographic location to quite an extent. Additionally, since we are direct suppliers, Timbor is able to cut costs of intermediaries.
NG: What made you venture into franchising? What kind of business opportunity do you offer to franchisees?
AM: As stated earlier, having local affiliates boosts the growth of our stores and takes our company to a great extent. The franchising model allows us to expand across the country.
Initially one needs to invest Rs 5,00,000 and Timbor offers three kitchen models, shop furniture, and a laptop with our customised software to create designs and calculate costs.
NG: What kind of training and support do you provide to maintain standardisation?
AM: Before our franchise is commissioned, we give six days rigorous training to our franchise owners, which help them develop their understanding on various aspects of working with Timbor Home.
NG: What kind of marketing strategies do you follow to beat the cut-throat competition?
AM: We offer a lifetime guarantee on our products when they are purchased. Additionally, each and every product/wood panel is coded with date, batch and lot number, so that on the chance that any part develops a snag Timbor gives the warranty for replacement. Apart from this we are in constant touch with architects and all the clients who ever took services of Timbor.
NG: Tell us about your brand’s presence. How many of your stores are franchised or company-owned?
AM: The company has a pan-India distribution network of 115 showrooms plus six large format company-owned stores. These stores are spread across 19 states and 72 cities, and cover a total retail space of about 150,000 sq. ft.
NG: What are your company’s expansion plans? Which cities are you targeting?
AM: Timbor Home Ltd is on an aggressive expansion drive and we aim to have 25,000 sq. ft stores in Mumbai, Pune, Vadodara and Ahmedabad to be operational within the next quarter. We have set up an in-house design institute with the aim of providing a platform to upcoming kitchen designers so as to promote world class design for furniture and modular kitchens. We also plan to expand its plantation project to cover an area of 2,500 acres within the next year itself.