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Sapana Carpet-Mats: On a roll

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How Sapana Carpet-Mats is ramping up its retail presence in the country after covering the distance from being a local brand selling plastic mats to being a successful exporter of a variety of floor coverings

Mumbai: Those who have grown up during the Doordarshan era would remember an ad depicting a genie on a flying plastic mat. The campaign resonated with the audiences making Sapana Carpet-Mats a household name.

Decades later, the company is a home décor player, coming a long way from offering simple mats and floor coverings.

“My father envisioned building an easily accessible, affordable, and high-quality range of home décor products, especially consumer floor coverings,” said Nishith Gupta, the managing director of Sapana Carpet-Mats.

“I believe we have been relatively successful in our endeavors and have set benchmarks for the quality of the products,” he added.

Humble beginnings

Sapana was established in 1982 by V B Gupta with a vision to transform the Indian home decor segment for the middle class. Having identified plastic mats as an affordable floor-covering option for price-conscious customers, he began commercial production in 1984.

At the time, the sector was dominated by informal players, who lacked the vision to build a full-fledged formal brand, unlike Sapana which focused on building the brand.

The initial years were spent building distribution channels and facilities. Starting with product placements through wholesale stores, over the next 6-7 years, the company concreted on building depots in different parts of the country to improve product accessibility for retailers.

The high quality of products ensured steady demand, and the brand subsequently ventured into the international markets. Over the years, the brand’s export business has grown to become a major contributor to its sales. “The export contribution is about 60-65% of the total business,” said Gupta.

The brand continued to grow and expanded its product portfolio to bathroom mats, carpets, and rugs. “In the last financial year, the brand achieved a turnover of Rs 125 crore plus and aims to go beyond Rs 200 crore in annual turnover,” shared Gupta.

Growing with consumers

“In the last 5-6 years, we are witnessing a resurgence in domestic demand with rising disposable incomes and aspirational lifestyles. Younger Indian consumers are well-versed with global trends, and we have started making affordable and international standard products for them,” he added, speaking about how the brand stayed relevant to its consumers.

According to Gupta the advent of the internet and social media in the last 15-20 years has tremendously impacted people, creating a much more diverse and robust demand in the segment. “With the economic growth we are now witnessing, I believe the opportunities in our segment will keep growing in the years ahead,” he said.

With the demand growing, the company is focusing on expanding its product portfolio and retail presence, with an aim to enter tier 2-3 towns for an untapped customer base. “We are also expanding our collaborations with retail chains like Reliance and DMart to remain close to the customers,” he added.

Spreading its footprint

In addition to growing its pan-India presence through retail store tie-ups and partnerships, Sapana is also gearing up for its pilot store in Aurangabad, which will be an experience centre for carpets and rugs spreading across 2,000 sq. ft. It is slated to open in September 2023. Currently, Sapana Carpets-Mats products include a wide range of chatai mats, rugs and carpets, door mats, and bath mats in different shapes and sizes. Its strategic tie-ups exist with organized retail customers like Army Canteens, D’Mart, and Reliance Retail outlets along with its online presence on its official website, Amazon and Pepperfry. The brand is currently present in about 15,000 to 17,000 outlets in around 100 cities across India situated in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal. The brand plans to increase the number by at least 3 times in the next two years, Gupta shared.

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