People today are influenced by their architect/ designers’ taste when it comes to new home interiors. Because of lack of good quality and designs in Ceiling Fans, most high-end homes are either devoid of Fans totally, making it a fully Ac one, or the use of local fans would spoil the whole design element. Hence Luxaire Luxury Fans came in to bridge that gap – having a functional and aesthetic element in a once’ low involvement’ category.
Sachin Kukreja & Nisha S Kukrejah are the co-founders, who come with a Fan industry experience and a varied marketing background respectively, and after a lot of research they decided to join hands and make their dreams work magic in their clients homes.
Nisha heads the entire Marketing, Content and Promotional activities with 17 years experience. Sachin has domain expertise and knows about the technical details of all types of Fans and their installations having >23 years of experience. He handles the Channel partnerships and oversees daily functions.
We are publishing an interview with Ms. Nisha Kukrejah – Founder & Marketing Head, Luxaire:
Q.: Tell us about the Product / Solution. How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: The first customer was from Hyderabad and he took 6 fans for his top management. Those were one of the most expensive Luxury Fans, namely the Single Blade Fan (a Show stopper Designer Fan meant for circulating in AC rooms). He was looking for something quiet to match his MDs global taste and had low ceilings. This was a perfect fit as it was a ‘whisper quiet fan’ that could be used both with and without rods and is a sure conversation starter wherever we have supplied!
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: We have not one but three!
- We have the largest collection of Original Designer Fans in India (> 500 SKUs in a niche category) & moreover the maximum no. of BLDC designer Fans.
- We offer up to 15 years warranty, the highest in the whole of Asia – unheard of in the industry.
- We do consultation on projects and not just product sales.
• Energy savings, Comfort & Convenience (automation)
• Bespoke long-lasting product
• No light wastage (remote operation)
• Feeling of Silent natural breeze
• Avoid health issues of living in a totally Ac environment
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: We assumed that we would start just in Bangalore and see the market reaction. Instead the first year was a mixed bag of excitement with Delhi & Mumbai being equal to Bangalore in volume.
We were getting interest from Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati & small towns of Haryana & Punjab equally. We are blessed to have several Celebrities including Salman Khan (Being Human) & Deepika Padukone, Industry stalwarts & 5-star Hotels as our clients. Moreover, we would like that a lot of new startup entrepreneurs & boutique Hotel chains, to look at us in future.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: I would like to call it as our Biggest Missed Opportunity & not our failure. We started our Journey focusing our attention on a very Exclusive Super Premium Audience. However, as the industry matured, we found that there was a very high number of Aspirational Clients whom we missed catering to, as they wanted a moderately priced solution. By the time we realized this, we had lost a Golden Opportunity to set the pace for this segment. We now have the mid segment & the luxury segment fully covered.
Q.: How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc.? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Prices are based purely on the Brand of the Product being offered. If its from Europe (London, Spain, Germany & Italy), then it is in the Super Premium Category & if its from own In House Brand, then it is priced in the Affordable Luxury segment. The higher the price, higher is the features & the motor warranty being offered.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it. ?
Ans: There have been a number of instances wherein we have achieved success based on our ability to simply offer a solution to the client rather than selling him a mere product.
With our Domain Expertize, we are easily able to differentiate from the rest of the crowd & clients appreciate our ability to deliver complete solutions. This has been our guiding principle even with regard to celebrity clients. Unfortunately, we cannot reveal further information in this regard so as to protect the privacy of our esteemed clients.:
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture
Ans: We have achieved customers through robust marketing, word of mouth and referrals. Inspite of being a niche business, the market has been increasing & our client base has improved 500% times since inception. We get 10% repeat orders after every few years, as one can’t make a new home every year. The last 2 years saw many clients opting for renovations of their old homes as the real estate market was down in India. That said, last year the Hotel renovation market was still buoyant and we did 3 big projects.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We are always looking at new designs and technology each year. It’s a dynamic business, where we continuously monitor existing products, shelve some and bring in new ones. A lot of new models are BLDC and automation controllable. Ultimately LUXIARE Fans is meant to offer the satisfaction of great designs, energy savings, and convenience to improve the quality of your life. Along with Luxury Fans, which is meant for Luxury homes and Interior designers who influence homeowners, we have also introduced another niche offering – Eco friendly Customized Pendant Lamps for Hotel projects and Luxury villas.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: The market has cheap Chinese products, which cannot be differentiated from one another. Since there is nobody else offering Branded Original Designer Fans, we are our own competition & we strive to better ourselves, as we do not like to be in our comfort zone.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: We would continue to grow and expand our portfolio. We would be interested in having 15 stores in key markets over the next 3 years.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: Always listen to your customers and be Proactive in business. Mid way through the year if you feel the need to change your strategy because of global or environment reasons beyond your control, you should. Build a business based on customer experiences, not merely a product.
Thanks Nisha. All the best!