Interview with Lokendra from www.woodenstreet.com
Cristian: Hi Lokendra and welcome to the interview. We are going to talk today about the online furniture market in India and what Wooden Street mission is. What exactly does www.woodenstreet.com?
Lokendra: 90% of the furniture market in India is still unorganized & stats denote a potential of $20B. Before our launch in May 2015, we studied the furniture market, tried to understand every possibility and the segment that needed attention. We believe that each home is unique and is designed according to every consumer’s personal preferences taste & style. Unlike any other furniture e-retailer in India, Woodenstreet offers the first, exclusive custom-made furniture services.
Cristian: Right from the beginning there is something that I found very interesting. It’s custom made furniture but you can order it online. Usually when you think custom furniture, you think about having to stay at home to have someone coming to your place and take measurements, talk about styles and color then wait for a price proposal. How can this be done online?
Lokendra: The upcoming generations cannot adapt the traditional way of buying furniture. Our current lifestyles reflect busy schedules, & possibility to sit and engage with a local carpenter just looks impossible. This is where Woodenstreet is changing the regular trends in furniture buying. Furniture innovation is something we have been crazy about since the start. Our team works hard to delivering unique furniture concepts. Recently we have launched India’s 1st Pool Cum Dining Table. A single product serves two functions at the same time. Now our working model might look quite difficult, yet the process is very practical & simple. We work on a standard procedure as enlisted below:
- If a customer wants a completely customized product? Then they share a reference image or description of the requirements while our furniture designer’s work on the request, and get back with the best-worked possibilities.
- Upon confirmation of the essential elements, let’s say the wood finish and style we then share a workable 3D for further approval. Once the approval is given the price proposal is shared & the confirmed order request is raised for manufacturing followed by dispatch upon completion.
- Also, a customer can take a look at the 1000+ furniture products available in our online store, which is the ready to order any customization in these existing is also accepted.
Cristian: I think this is quite a sweet concept for the furniture business. How did you come up with the idea?
Lokendra: I think every idea starts from a personal experience that is because till you don’t come across some constraints in situations, you would never want to find solutions to those. While I moved back from London to India setting up my new home was a difficult task. With this same thought in mind myself along with Dinesh Pratap, Virendra Ranawat and Vikas Baheti we arranged the entire setup frame for Woodenstreet.
Cristian: What types of furniture can be done this way?
Lokendra: Talking about what kind of furniture if we speak of furniture styles then anything that logically makes sense in structure can be built but regarding the durability aspect, we only play in genuine solid wood considering each piece would be an individuals long term investment.
Cristian: How long does it take from the start of the process until you get the furniture order?
Lokendra: We collaborate with an extensive network of furniture vendors and with our dedicated design unit it takes about 2-3 weeks time to manufacturer each consignment including the confirmation, manufacturing & logistics stage.
Cristian: And who is the typical customer?
Lokendra: Our TA is the customers falling in the age group of 25-45 from urban Tier 1 & Tier 2 cities.
Cristian: Any tips for people buying furniture? And when is furniture too much furniture?
Lokendra: Buy furniture that never gives you a second choice which means our focus should be on bringing home something we have wished for & also that works strongly on its quality. Attaining quality is only possible when we speak of solid wood furniture, you can always repolish, redesign or remanufacture the piece within the duration of 10-15 years.
Commenting on “When furniture is too much furniture,” Well it is never actually. Why I would say this is because our family keeps growing, we build new interest daily, which adds up to our living standards, & when we speak of this, each space at our home can accommodate a new furniture piece.
Cristian: Where are you located and where do you deliver?
Lokendra: Woodenstreet’s manufacturing units are located in Jaipur, Jodhpur & Udaipur, with our local offices in Delhi (NCR), Mumbai,Bangalore,Pune,Hyderabad,Chennai & Kolkata
Cristian: I bet most of the people outside India don’t know how the furniture market is in India, including myself. But I bet you have a lot of antique, a lot of beautiful hand-made furniture and the mass-market furniture.
Lokendra: India is known for it’s marvelous artistic work of wood that is acknowledge across the globe. The industry showcases exceptional furniture designs, rich & compact in nature, not the least; the premium quality & durability have added elegance to this segment in the both traditional as well as modern aspect. Also, India is accounted as the largest furniture manufacturer of solid & antique furniture, which is exported to major locations in the US & UK.
Cristian: I wonder, what is the best selling furniture item? And once a piece of custom furniture is created for a customer, does it become available in the shop for others?
Lokendra: Speaking of the best selling furniture item so far the Dining Table Sets, Beds & Sofa Cum Beds have topped our list. The second part of your question regarding a custom made furniture it again depends, if something unique is constructed we would add it up to the list of available products but, on the other hand, modifications in size or nothing great in resembles doesn’t stand a chance of being worth to be enlisted.
Cristian: What happens if the furniture does not match the room? Let’s say the customer did a mistake while taking measurements?
Lokendra: We have made sure to scrutinize our process end to end so detailed that we bypass such situations and scenarios. The process, which I explained above, being crystal clear that there are rare chances a customer could complain of a mistake. However in case, a team receives an immense customization request regarding a larger space we even send our team for physical verifications of measurements.
Cristian: I see that you place a lot of efforts into creating videos and pictures to showcase the furniture in an environment as close as the real one. How is this done? Do you setup a stage and photo session for each piece? This must be huge!
Lokendra: We believe in creating a virtual furniture buying experience very close to that of real time. This adds more comfort to your customers while they don’t pull up second thoughts when they already have an ample to trust for. Studios are setup for photography & video shoots covering ten different angles of each. So a lot of dedication is delivered to each furniture unit from the manufacturing till its dispatch.
Cristian: What would be your elevator pitch for Wooden Street?
Lokendra: We specialize in customizing furniture as per specific requirements. We work on innovative furniture concepts to offer exclusive multi-utility range.