Meraj Hasan, Head-Marketing, Welspun Flooring
With time, almost every category of building materials has gone through varied changes. Earlier walls used to be white or cream; then brands evolved, enabling the customers to customise the colours as per their requirements. Similar evolution happened in home furnishings as well. So, why not change the scenario with flooring? The flooring industry hasn’t changed much for the last 50 to 60 years. From mosaic to ceramic, what you see on the floor is largely grey, white & cream; and once it's done, it's done for ages. And the reason for this is the mess and time involved. Changing floors is considered a burdensome task. We want to completely change that scenario by introducing new kinds of flooring solutions. We call them ‘New Age Flooring’, shares Meraj Hasan, Head-Marketing, Welspun Flooring in an exclusive interaction with #SurfacesReporter.
What is 'New Age Flooring'?
It’s all about being easy to design, easy to install, easy to maintain and highly durable. All our products follow the same principle. Moreover, the concept provides more creative liberty to architects and interior designers, letting them create their own signature designs. The floor can be designed as per the requirements of product or purchase managers. Additionally, the innovations in our products reduce the installation time and cost. And since we are manufacturing them, there is no cost of import duties, reduced transport cost, etc. We are bringing in an exciting disruption in the world of flooring, for all classes of people.
With our flooring solutions, a typical Mumbai sized house’s flooring can be completed in a day, without any noise/mess, with no huge costs and without making the residents move out of their house. Secondly, we have introduced designs which, in the current scenario, aren’t available in the market at all. And we have products for all purposes. If you have a kid’s room, you should go for soft flooring as kids tend to fall easily and we wouldn’t want them to get hurt. If it’s a room for the elderly, we would again recommend soft flooring. If it’s your bedroom then you can use our Fusion Floors, which is a mix of soft and hard flooring. If it’s your drawing room, we can give you a mix of flooring and rugs. You can match all of these with your curtains, furniture, walls, etc. The revolution which we will be bringing is more of a behavioural change among the consumers, when it comes to flooring.
With new things on board, do you think there's actually a shift from stereotyped practices to new ones?
Absolutely. For instance, consider the process of installation. The entire journey is totally fragmented at this point of time. You go to an experience centre and chose a product design. Then the attendant there will guide you to a dealer who will then guide you to an installer, who would do half the job and run in the midst of it for some other job as he would be simultaneously taking care of other projects as well.
To avoid this and make the journey for our customers easier, we are training installers in-house who will be certified by us. They will be working across geographies. We want to create a space where the customer treats us as his one-stop solution. He just has to come to us, select a product and
design, and we will get them connected to the installers who will take care of the rest. The customer doesn’t have to worry about anything else after that.
Moreover, as far as I know, no one is investing in technology in this segment as much as we are doing. When it comes to backend, we have a state of the art CRM platform to organise everything. We are also making a single website for everyone, ranging from user to designer to architect. Any company in this era wants to be digital first. While we are in a position to begin with digitalising our approach, the key objective is to have effective and seamless implementation of the overall plan.
What strategies are you using to capture the attention of different categories of Indians?
We will learn as we evolve as we are trying to do something radically new. Interestingly, wherever we have showcased our products, we are getting lots of support from dealers and distributors who have been in this industry for a while. .They are showing us some great amount of confidence. Right now we are in the phase of appointing distributors and dealers. We are also working towards showrooms and experience centres in the key cities of the country. We will continue to showcase our products at exhibitions like AceTech or any other B2B event, where we have received good responses, last year. We are quite active on the various digital platforms that we own and we are seeing some very positive results. And when the time is right, we will start getting into the realms of end consumer zone with our BTL & ATL activities.
With such robust activities, how many dealers or distributors you think you can rope in?
We are looking at key distributors in all zones. In the coming months, we will be adding 30-35 main distributors out of which 6 are already in place. We are also working towards having approximately 250 -300 dealers and sub-dealers, countrywide in place. The ambitions are high and so is the spirit in the team and together, we will revolutionise the world of flooring.