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‘Our goal is to reach out to Indian restaurants and hotels in next two years’ - Ashish Shah, CEO and Co-Founder,, an online shopping website in India, offering products across categories like Home, Furniture, Decor, Furnishings, Kitchen and more, plans to target the hospitality industry in the coming years. In an interaction with Shweta Ramsay, Ashish Shah, CEO and Co-Founder, shares more information about the company, its offerings and future plans

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 11:00 Hrs  [IST]

ashish_shah.jpgQ. Can you tell us about Pepperfry and its USP? What are your offerings?
Ashish Shah:
Pepperfry was founded in July 2011 and opened for business on January 3, 2012 to give customers a wide selection of amazingly priced furniture and home merchandise. Today, we are offering 55,000 distinct and unique designs in furniture and home products to customers in India and across the world. This has been possible due to Pepperfry’s strong relationship with craftsmen, small businesses and entrepreneurs across India. We have ensured that employees, communities, craftsmen and businesses who work with us, grow with us and enjoy being part of the journey. Pepperfry also won the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award in 2012 and the Home and Lifestyle Retailer of the Year Award in 2013.

Q. How many brands or businesses are you associated with?
We are working with hundreds of small and medium businesses across major furniture hubs in the country. Pepperfry offers over 10,000 furniture designs which is larger than any offline store in the country. As of March 2014, we have shipped over 60,000 furniture items and serviced customers from over 1000 Indian cities. Besides, Pepperfry’s owned marketplace label Mudra, leading brands like Nilkamal, Housefull, Zuari, @ Home, Durian, Cello, Gebe, Ventura, Spacewood are also showcasing their collections on Pepperfry.

Q. Can you tell us more about Mudra, the in-house furniture brand of Pepperfry?
Mudra furniture epitomises its Sanskrit roots of authenticity and reliability. Each piece of Mudra furniture is hand-crafted by the finest craftsmen in India with the highest quality of solid wood and paying close attention to detailing along with great pricing. There are several collections of Mudra furniture which span multiple genres from traditional to contemporary, pop-art to hand painted collections. All Mudra furniture on Pepperfry are made to order as per your specifications and can often be customised to the dimensions and colour palette required by clients. Like all furniture on Pepperfry, Mudra furniture will be carefully packed and delivered to your doorstep at no additional costs.

Q. What potential do you see for your company amongst hospitality industry clients in India? What are your offerings for them?
The entire range of solid wood furniture on Pepperfry is ‘made to order’ hence, can also be customised to customer’s requirements for size, design and colour. Since we directly source from small businesses, craftsmen, artisans, we are able to bypass the intermediaries and great variety of products and amazing prices to the hospitality industry. Pepperfry today exports furniture to large retailers in around ten countries and has also provided great furniture options to restaurants, small hotels, hospitals, service apartments and other institutions in the country.

Q. How do you plan to reach out to hospitality industry clients in India?
We reach out to our clients in the hospitality industry through one-on-one meetings and through the ‘Design Gurus’ initiative on Pepperfry. Design Guru is our community platform that invites participation from architects and interior designers from all over India. Pepperfry’s Design Guru community is a great medium to connect with millions of internet shoppers who can see their work and connect with them individually for their design needs. Each architect and interior designer has a dedicated profile page, which features their profile, achievements, projects and their favourite products on Pepperfry.

Design Gurus also helps us reach out to hospitality industry clients who are looking for a large variety of good quality solid wood furniture for their new projects, renovations and expansions. We also participate regularly in industry trade shows like India Design Show to showcase our offering and also advertise in relevant trade and B2B magazines to reach out to our target audience in the hospitality business.

Q. What are the goals of Pepperfry in the next two years in India?
Our goal is to become India’s largest retailer of Home and Furniture products in the next two years. Home and Furniture in India is a USD 20 billion market, which is largely fragmented with very few national brands. Pepperfry has managed to create a fantastic mindshare in this market with absolute zero investments in large format offline stores which operate on high rental costs and infrastructure. With a strong focus on displaying variety coupled with value, Pepperfry has created a catalogue of over 55,000 designs through excellent merchandising, multiple images, accurate dimensions and more. In the next two years our goal is to reach out to India’s leading restaurants, small hotels, builders and other institutions to offer them great quality furniture and furnishings products at amazing prices.

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