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Brazil-based houseware major Tramontina to enter the country with ‘Made for India’ products

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Shiv Joshi
Shiv Joshi
An editor with over 20 years of experience across industry verticals and content formats from tabloids to magazines, he is the Deputy Group Managing Editor at Images Group.

The 113-year-old global company will sell its hyper-localised products in general trade, modern trade and its D2C channels

Mumbai: Brazil-based kitchenware and cookware major Tramontina is set to enter the Indian market with a premium range of cookware, knives, cutlery and other kitchen tools.

The 113-year-old company, which operates in 120 countries selling home appliances, gardening tools and furniture, will initially focus on gaining a foothold in the country’s burgeoning cookware and kitchenware market and enter with more than 100 SKUs which it will gradually increase, top company executives told IndiaRetailing a day ahead of the brand’s official launch in the country on Thursday.

“We look to India as a big challenge and a big opportunity for the group. In the last two-three years, we have been working hard in terms of creating a strategy to come to this country,” explained Eduardo Scomazzon, Global Chairman of Tramontina Group.

The company plans to focus on selling through modern trade, general trade, marketplaces like Amazon and its own direct-to-consumer channel—its website—with no plans to open exclusive stores.

From the modern trade, it has signed up with Reliance Retail and is in talks with Shoppers Stop and a few other chains like D-Mart to stock its products. From the general trade, it has onboarded a network of over 800 retail partners and key distributors across the country and will be available in 1500-2000 doors.

The Indian aspirational class will be one of the company’s key target segments, in addition to hotels, restaurants, and catering (HoReCa) segment, where it is already a coveted brand for professional knives used by all the top hotels and restaurants.

“We want our HoReCa customers to extend the experience they had with the knives also for the cookware,” said Scomazzon adding that the company will introduce a separate range of products for this segment.

“The aspirational customer is willing to try different products and different brands. We expect that with the new proposition we are bringing, we can also gain the confidence of the Indian customers,” he added.

Furthermore, the company will be launching a different range of products than what it sells in other markets in India. It includes Indian-style kadhais, appam pans, roti tavas and cookers among other products.

“Through our market study, we understood that we need a completely different line of products in India. So, we are bringing high-quality products developed just for India,” said Marcelo Borges, chief executive officer, Tramontina USA, who is involved in the India entry.

This has translated into a product range that is developed as per the hyper-local preferences of different regions of India. For instance, big-size kadhais for the north India market as they tend to have large families.

L-R: Eduardo Scomazzon, Global Chairman, Tramontina Group; Aruni Mishra, Tramontina India CEO; Marcelo Borges, CEO, Tramontina USA

Not only have the product range been customized for India but the materials as well, which are non-toxic. For instance, products made from cast iron as Indians prefer iron utensils.

“The aspirational Indian is health conscious. However, their food habits are not reflected in the cookware they use. So, our promise is that we are 100% healthy and safe—our cookware is triple layered, we use steel and coatings are ceramic,” explained Aruni Mishra, the company’s India CEO.

“There will be many firsts in terms of products that will come to India. And we believe that the product is going to be core to our strategy,” Mishra said.

He added that although the products are premium, they will be priced attractively to keep them within reach of Indian customers and come with extended warranties. For instance, its cookware is priced Rs 1995 onwards and a multi-utility knife is priced at Rs145 and comes with a five-year warranty. Furthermore, the pricing and the product range offered will be uniform across channels.

Mishra explained that in the first year of operations, the company will be importing products from its 10 manufacturing facilities in Brazil and its plants in the US, made as per its stringent quality standards. The company has a warehouse at Bhiwandi near Mumbai from where it will distribute its products across India.

Local production will begin next year in partnership with a regional player in Karnataka.

“Our first spread is going to be in the 100 smart cities of India. And then we’ll enter tier two and even tier three markets,” Mishra informed sharing the company’s expansion plan.

Speaking about the company’s long-term objective for India, the Chairman said that the $2 billion group is committed to India. “We have never in our over 100 years of existence pulled out of any market and we are here for the long-term as well,” he said.

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