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55% of sales come from the top 8 metros: Pulkit Bansal of Anko India

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Pulkit Bansal, country head of Anko India on the Australia-based home and kitchenware brand’s India experience, marketing strategy and expansion plans

New Delhi: Australian homeware retail brand Anko entered India in April 2023 with an aim to get a piece of the growing Indian home décor market which is estimated to reach is expected to reach $40.98 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.14% as per data by Research and Markets.

Currently available on D2C channels and select online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart, the brand is steadily making a name for itself in the Indian market.

In an exclusive interview with IndiaRetailing, Pulkit Bansal, Country Head, Anko India, talks about the brand’s launch in India, its offerings, plans, and more.

Anko India

What was the idea behind getting Anko to India?
The idea germinated in 2016-17. We did a lot of research on consumer behavior and found that many tourists visiting Australia or New Zealand went to Anko stores and took back Anko products to their own countries. It became clear that Anko had potential beyond Australia and New Zealand.

As a part of this strategy, we figured out a distinct white space in the Indian market. While there are a lot of brands in the Indian market, there is a dearth of players who have a presence across verticals and can present a coordinated range at attractive prices. Anko aspires to fill this white space and provide our customers with an opportunity to visualize complete living spaces.

The brand is present in which markets?
The brand is mainly present in Australia and New Zealand. As part of the global expansion strategy, the brand has expanded its presence to Canada, Europe and India.

What is the product and pricing strategy for India?
Unlike other brands with different quality offerings for different markets, Anko believes in giving the same consistent experience to its customers across markets. The same products that are sold in international markets are available in India. In line with its promise of offering the best value for money, the pricing in India is very attractive.

Who are your competitors in the Indian market?
From the competition perspective, anyone selling a home or kitchen product is a competitor. However, the organized market in the home & kitchen category is very small in India. So, it is not about the existing competition but more of a category creation.

How do you plan to stand out?
As of now, competition is not our primary focus. Our sole focus is on bringing the Anko proposition to life for our customers.

Anko India

What challenges are you facing?
One of the challenges we face in selling online is that the images are not doing justice to the product. It usually is the other way around that the images or pictures are better than the product, but in our case, the constant feedback from our customers is that our products are much better than the images. We are consistently working on our catalogue to convey the actual look and feel via videos etc.

How has been the customer response?
It is too early to comment on the customer response. However, in just six weeks, we got the top brand tag on Amazon with a rating of 4.6 out of 5. In the last twelve weeks, we have doubled in terms of sales numbers every three weeks.

What are the most popular categories on your website?
Since we are so young in the Indian market, our most popular categories change every few weeks. For the first few weeks, towels didn’t pick, but now, towels are in demand. Similarly, jars and containers started slow, but picked up soon. Bathroom products and stoneware are quite popular among customers, so we had to revisit our demand planning for these ranges.

From where do you get most of your orders?
Initially, we thought that our international designs would attract considerable demand in metros, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that tier-2 and 3 cities have also shown potential and buying capacity. That said, 55% of the sales come from the top eight metros and the balance from other cities. Bengaluru is our highest contributing city.

How is your supply chain infrastructure?
As we supply all over India, we have warehouses in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Kolkata, and Guwahati, which allow us to deliver across India within one to three days.

What are your marketing strategies?
Most of our marketing is digital, and currently, the focus is on content. Through our content, we want to communicate to the customers that our products are authentic and give value for money.

We have invested in influencer marketing but believe more in organic marketing.

Rather than paying an influencer, we get our customers to review the product. Original customer videos are more trustworthy and form a connection with the audience.

Are you planning to go offline?
We have plans to go offline, but before that, we want to have a much deeper understanding of the Indian consumer. We wish to curate and customize our offering wherever required so our customers have a great experience with Anko products.

 

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