Fisher & Paykel – the New Zealand-based premium kitchen appliances brand – stepped into the Indian market in the year 2012. Designed and engineered in New Zealand, its products are sold in 50 countries around the world. In an exclusive conversation, Sanjeev Wadhwa, Managing Director, Fisher & Paykel India highlights the journey of the brand so far.
Please tell us about the brand. What kind of response have you garnered from the Indian market so far?
We have been operating here in India since the last two-and-a-half years now. It is a 100 per cent subsidiary and we are the sole owner of Fisher & Paykel here in India. We launched the brand in the country in March 2012, with a liaison office. Initially, we were working with distributors, who were also importing appliances directly. We engage in patronising, guiding and formulising the policies both in terms of trade and pricing that would work best in Indian conditions.
In the initial few months, it was challenging to look for the appliances that would work well in the Indian conditions. The second challenge was to offer the same to the distributors to sell. However, we have managed to perform fairly well so far.
Other than kitchen solution appliances, what else do you specialise in?
We only specialise in kitchen appliances, primarily free-standing and built-in kitchen appliances. However, we wish to establish our niche in the modular kitchen segment as well.
Tell us about your current footprint. Apart from your standalone exclusive store in Baroda, what is your strength?
Since the beginning, it was our strategy not to associate with modern trade houses. It is not just about having an exclusive store or area. We have also been strategically working to give the customer the same touch and feel experience of Fisher & Paykel that they get internationally.
So we have created many shop-in-shops, which we have opened across the country at kitchen and sanitary ware retailers. We are extremely focused in our approach regarding where and why we want to have a present.
Currently, we have 29 shop-in-shops. We also have exclusive brand shops where we have managed to secure exclusive space. As of now, we have covered Delhi and Bengaluru. We will shortly have a few more similar outlets at different locations across the country.
Modular kitchens are usually associated with luxury homes. What segment does Fisher & Paykel target?
We are positioned as a ‘value for money’ brand, which means that Indian customers are ready to invest in reasonable premium brands when they get value for the money they spend. Our range does not really target high or the premium segment. Our range is not absurdly high as compared to our appliances. We offer luxury at affordable price-points. The trend of having modular kitchens is also growing tremendously. It is expected to become a Rs. 6,000 crore market.
Have you tied up with any realty developer to get your products installed in their residential projects?
Yes! In fact, real estate is one of the most important aspects of growth for us. Internationally, we are working with branded apartments and various hospitality projects. In India, we have tied with many prestigious developers, such as Tata Primanti, Oakwood Hyderabad and many more.
Apart from these, there are many renowned brands with whom we are in the process of installation. We are in touch with 8–10 developers presently. However, it is too early to disclose names at this stage.
Are you also targeting the hospitality sector?
Yes, we are eyeing a chain of luxury hotels in a big way. Some names include Grand Hyatt, ITC, etc.
Whom do you cater to – home or hospitality segment?
It is a mix of both. However, we do not offer to commercial kitchens, so I will not be able to talk about the restaurants. However, there are many hotels which have branded kitchen solutions; we are targeting them.
Fisher & Paykel is a relatively new name in the Indian kitchen solution space. How do you plan to increase the brand penetration?
Since the last two years, we are activity reaching out to specific designers and architects as a brand awareness exercise. We are doing 360 degree of advertising and promotions targeting them and through regular trade magazines. We are also hosting various live kitchen activities through various brand ambassadors and chefs.