Deepashree BanerjeePublished: 21 Jul 2019, 6:41 PM

Sustainable kitchenware, is that a thing yet?

We spoke to the founder and digital head of Ellementry on the brand's recent creative...

A series of frequent full-page, front-page ads in The Times of India from a rather new home décor brand - Ellementry - piqued our curiosity, given the extremely pricey nature of the media. A little bit of digging on the internet reveals that it's one of the brands that Brand Capital, the strategic investment arm of The Times Group, has invested in.

Sustainable kitchenware, is that a thing yet?

A recent Ellementry creative
Click on the image to enlarge

The homegrown brand, run by Jaipur-based Dileep Industries (which manufactures and exports wooden handicraft items), offers a range of products including kitchenware, tableware, wall and home décor along with accent furniture and lighting. The brand initiated operations in September of 2018.

We spoke to Ayush Baid, founder and Vibhas Sen, digital head, to find out about their marketing challenges, targeting customers, expansion plans and more.

Sustainable kitchenware, is that a thing yet?

Ayush Baid

For the 23-year-old Baid, a University College London graduate, the entire idea of creating a sustainable kitchenware brand started during a college break, which led to his year-long stay in India. Playing around with his father's business data and studying various e-commerce businesses simultaneously, Baid decided to sell products manufactured in his father's factories online. And, that is how Ellementry was born.

Every product is a blend of mind and soul; a fusion of senses keeping sustainability at the core of its design approach, at least that's how the brand sees it. Baid elaborates, "At Ellementry, we see the beauty in doing things and not just things that are beautiful. We design with purpose and craft with beauty in mind. Machines are not our artists, artists are."

Sustainable kitchenware, is that a thing yet?

Vibhas Sen

Being an omnichannel brand, its sales approach has been to provide customers with an integrated approach. "We are trying to bring uniformity in the customer experience across all platforms, including desktop, mobile, telephone, and in-store. And to make the experience seamless, we are focusing on an omnichannel marketing approach. As an e-commerce company, our primary communication mode is digital. And being a new brand, we are currently using print for building brand awareness," Sen sums it all up adding that the industry is currently seeing a growth of 22 per cent, compared to last year.

Throwing light on the current number of standalone outlets and projects in the pipeline to establish a pan-India footprint, Baid reveals that they're planning to convert the brand's business model into an O2O model (offline to online and online to offline) soon.

He explains, "Like Zara, you can buy anything online but get it exchanged/returned at any of the physical stores."

About the offline aspect, he adds, "We are planning to open around 20 retail stores across India in the next two years. Stores in Bangalore, Delhi and Jaipur, are already functional."

Brand sources claim it to be the first Indian brand to focus on such a niche category of just kitchenware, serveware and tableware products. As far as dealing with competition is concerned, Baid's basic mantra is just to figure out how they can be different from the rest of the players when it comes to product quality and experience.

Being an e-commerce and retail brand, its TG is multi-layered. As a lifestyle brand, female buyers are primary. "We have two sets of target customers - one is a group of fashionable and trendy consumers who see shopping as a social activity providing pleasure in their daily lives. The second set includes the next-gen population who make informed choices," Baid outlines.

He also agrees that the existence of e-commerce majors like Amazon and Flipkart in the Indian market has given internet consumers confidence in online shopping. However, he does point out, "Given the fact that the range of products are a visual treat, we are currently seeing a trend of new customers opting to check them out in our retail store."

Sen thinks there is still ample space for new players to thrive, more so with the recent news of Jabong being absorbed into Myntra post the Walmart deal as bigger brands move into consolidation mode.

"Google has reported an almost 31 per cent drop in CPC (Q1'19 vs Q1'18 ) in the kitchen and dining category - which means lesser competition," Baid signs off on a rather hopeful note.