Ananya Pathak

Wakefit on-boards local carpenters for doorstep installation of furniture

With its ‘Artist Babloo’ campaign, the mattress brand has announced its entry in the furniture segment, providing free doorstep delivery and installation.

Since its inception in 2016, Bengaluru-headquartered mattress brand Wakefit has been in the business of selling ‘sleep’. However, the brand seems to have taken a step away from its core offering (of mattresses and pillows) with the launch of its own furniture wing.

With its latest film ‘Artist Babloo’, the brand has announced its entry in the home furniture segment, with free doorstep delivery and installation. The delivery service of the available range of furniture (wall shelves, coffee table, study table, chairs, cabinets, etc.), which is priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 50,000, is currently live in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The brand plans to extend the service to Delhi and Pune within this month.

Over a call, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, co-founder, Wakefit, told afaqs! that the brand had ambitions to expand into home solutions this year. “We’d planned that throughout 2020, we will do the prototyping and R&D (research and development), and launch sometime post-Diwali.”

“During the lockdown, through customer interaction and analysis of data, we found that people are looking to make their homes a comfortable place. What this meant was that homes were no longer only a living space – it is also an office, it’s their entertainment space, and much more. Once the initial panic around the (COVID) pandemic settled, people realised that this situation was going to last longer and they looked at their homes with a new perspective. We used this opportunity to speed up our R&D and expedited our launch process,” he added.

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda

Babloo carpenter (played by actor Vijay Raaz), in the film released by the brand, refers to himself as an ‘artist’. In the ad conceptualised by Spring Stories, the in-house content arm of Spring Marketing Capital, he quips, “Consumers seek cheap ‘expensive looking’ furniture. Consumers reach out to local carpenters with pictures of furniture downloaded from the Internet, asking for a similar finish, but in low budget.”

As the film rolls, he mentions that the consumers have now moved on from just seeing furniture on the Internet, to booking it online. Artist Babloo then explains that when booked on Wakefit, the unassembled furniture is installed at the home (of customers) by the carpenters, who have partnered with the brand, at the time of delivery.

Speaking about this partnership between the brand and carpenters, Ramalingegowda reveals that the brand has brought them on their payroll as regular employees. “We wanted to make the delivery and installation process hassle-free. Therefore, we are onboarding carpenters on our payroll, and in the same vehicle that we use to deliver the product in, carpenters will tag along to install the product at the time of delivery. This also helps us provide employment to the carpenter community, who might have lost their jobs due to the lockdown.”

The brand is looking at partnering with around 30 carpenters per city. They will be paid a fixed monthly income and will not be carrying out any side (personal) projects.

"Onboarding local carpenters, who might have lost their jobs due to the lockdown, will help us provide employment to them."
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda

“The product delivery vehicle will leave from the factory to the consumer’s home, deliver the product, install it and return,” says Ramalingegowda. The time of delivery will vary, depending on the item and the (delivery) address.

The idea behind the campaign, Ramalingegowda says, was to establish Babloo carpenter as the character associated with home solutions. “It was to talk about how great quality design at the convenience of a local carpenter are both now in one place.”

Ramalingegowda agrees that the move – delivery of unassembled product followed by easy installation - is in the same domain as that of IKEA’s. IKEA products are often delivered flat-packed, and are designed to be easy-to-assemble so that the consumers are able to do-it-themselves.

Wakefit has set up its own team of designers to design the furniture. “The focus of our company has always been on scientifically designed products. Whether it’s our mattresses, bed sheets, or now beds, we take the angle of science,” Ramalingegowda states.

In sleep solutions, the focus of the brand is to enhance the quality of sleep. In home solutions, the focus is to give ergonomically designed home furniture so that consumers don’t end up with neck pain, back pain or any other discomfort, he shares.

While Ramalingegowda did not share numbers, in terms of expenses incurred to set up the team, he did say that the brand has imported machinery that cost over crores to set up the R&D lab.

The brand’s co-founder Ankit Garg will oversee the R&D team’s functioning, and will be devoting 60 per cent of his time on it.