The Bent Chair, a young and rapidly growing Indian furniture and accessories e-tailer, has just revealed plans to open 20 new studios and partner with around 30 retail brands across India.
In an exclusive interview with Indiaretailing, Co-founder, The Bent Chair, Natasha Jain says, “We plan to open 20 studios through the franchise model in the next one year and partner with 30 retailers, who run mixed brand stores, to sell our products.”
The affordable luxury furniture brand is looking forward to open franchise studios in cities like Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Surat and Pune to name a few.
“We will be opening a company-owned studio in Mumbai in November,” she states.
Apart from an online presence, The Bent Chair at present has only one studio at Gurugram which spans an area of 4,500 sq.ft.
According to Natasha, customers and architects come to her studio to look at, and feel of the products.
“We also customize furniture and accessories according to the needs of the customers. Being a brand, we have the ability to do a lot of customization for all these people which marketplaces can not do as they do not manufacture products,” she adds.
Testing International Waters
The Bent Chair has exhibited tremendous growth and potential in a short span of time, gaining a strong customer base in its home market. Content with its domestic performance, the brand has landed on foreign shores makings its unique and extremely creative designs accessible to shoppers around the globe.
“We have already enabled our global shipping. On the online front, we are looking forward to put more efforts in global digital marketing whereas in the offline space, we are evaluating various channel partners. We will soon be opening our studio in China. In the first phase we are looking to expand to UAE, Singapore, Australia and the UK,” she reveals.
She further adds, “We are also exploring similar space in Canada and Australia.”
Idea: The Mother Of All Creations
The brand that aims to spread its wings across the world, was started by Natasha Jain in 2016 with the aim of bringing affordable luxury, engineering, high design and technology to the furniture and accessories market.
The name ‘The Bent Chair’ refers to something that has been altered from its original form to a rather unusual figure, and is synonymous with panache and unending creativity.
“Almost two years ago, I was in the process of doing up my own house and while trying to procure furniture and accessories I realised that there was nothing available in the affordable luxury segment in the furniture industry. The market was either flooded with products with basic designs aesthetics or the products were beautifully designed but were extremely expensive. And that is where I saw the market opportunity.”
At present, the brand which has more than 1,000 SKU’s and delivers pan India, is also present on various marketplaces including Pepperfry, World Art Community and House of Things.
“Now, as The Bent Chair is approaching a very different strategy of building a brand where we plan to create our unique identitiy, we do not necessarily want to be on marketplaces because our products are totally not in sync with the products that they have. Our product range is in an entirely different design and price range. So the customer experience gets fragmented,” she says.
She adds, “All our furniture is designed and manufactured in-house. So from the entire conceptualization to manufacturing, we do ourselves.”
The Bent Chair has its roots in engineering and technology and follows a very methodological approach towards its products. All of the magic takes place at five manufacturing facilities in Ambala that houses the latest woodworking machinery as well as a huge space for assembly, storage, and testing of finished products.
In addition to the primary manufacturing unit, four facilities have been set up for polishing, carving, weaving and painting of The Bent Chair products. The production is carried out through a co-operative of skilled artisans.
The Bent Chair, the furniture brand that caters to around 800-900 orders in a month and has an average ticket size is Rs 10,000, and deals in two broad categories – furniture and decor.
“Within decor, we have multiple types of things like sculptures, candles linen, cushion etc. So we have the entire range of accessorization for the house. Within furniture, we have the entire set of furniture pieces such as chairs, tables, sofa sets, side tables, mirrors,” says Natasha.
“Recently, we have added a new function wherein a customer can buy the entire look. We have come up with predesigned looks of living room, bed room, etc, so that the customers can get actual perspective of how to compose an entire space with our products. It also gives them an idea of the budgets,” she further adds.
The Bent Chair caters to the target audience of 25-45 years who are looking for a product that is easy to access, which can be procured quickly, looks good, affordable and is new in the market.
“Our TG is who are young professionals, newly married or who are doing their first home. Basically the younger audience, who will be looking at our price point,” she asserts.
We deliver to these customers within 3-4 weeks of time and our customers are well accustomed to it but the main challenge is that the logistics cost for furniture is really expensive and the second bottleneck is the increase GST rate on furniture which is 28 per cent,” Natasha concludes.