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‘Stainless Steel is environment-friendly, food-grade and best suited to replace Plastic’

Monday, September 16, 2019, 12:49 Hrs  [IST]

For JSL Lifestyle, a subsidiary of Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited, which has created its niche in bespoke and designer stainless tableware, home décor, modular kitchens, etc. under the arttd'inox brand in the consumer space, is slowly and steadily looking to tap the potential in the HoReCa segment. Although the company has done commercial kitchen projects in the hospitality and other industries, the focus has always been consumer-centric, says Mandeep Singh, CEO, JSL Lifestyle Limited. However, with their proven capacities and capabilities in terms of man-material-method-machinery, etc. they are keen to look aggressively the myriad opportunities in the commercial kitchen space with their stainless-steel products. Hospitality Biz speaks with Singh to know how they are planning to tap HoReCa segment in India.

Q How has been the journey of JSL Lifestyle Limited and arttd'inox as a brand since its launch in 2003?
Jindal Stainless is the largest producer of stainless steel in India. Stainless Steel is a metal and a commodity. JSL Lifestyle Limited and Arttd'inox is the result of an endeavour by Deepika Jindal, our Founder, to create impeccable products out of that metal which can deliver value to the aspirational Indian customer.
Arttd'inox means art in stainless steel.
We are largely a consumer-centric brand having home décor products, tableware, modular kitchens and plumbing solutions.
JSL Limited is also a business partner with global brands like Whirlpool. We are global suppliers of Stainless steel products for their KitchenAid brand. We also work with Indian Railways for lot of stainless-steel solutions.

You know that people adopted Plastic in a big way in the last few decades. Now they are trying to avoid it. What is the alternative to plastic? It's, no doubt, stainless steel. Stainless itself means spotless. It is a clean, environment-friendly, food-grade metal and therefore makes lot of sense to replace plastic.

Q What is your focus on HoReCa? What has been JSL Lifestyle's engagement with the segment so far?
As I mentioned, we are largely a consumer-centric company and brand. However, we have done a number of hospitality projects in the past. We have done kitchens for Cadilla Pharma, Belgium embassy, the number of hotels, hospitals, pantries, etc. Since we are part of a large company, we have also executed many kitchens for many companies under Jindal Stainless.

We understand the need of every kitchen ranging from a household to a hospital to a hotel. Whatever we do, we do it in a bespoke manner designed as per the demand and need of the customer. We don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions.

The advantage we carry is multi-pronged. We have best of base material, that is the Stainless steel; we have in-house designers; we have own production facilities, and the channel is exclusively ours. We have the capacity and capability to do any kind of kitchen.

Then we have our tableware and home décor range which can enhance the look and feel of any hi-end hotel, restaurant, etc. We provide a lot of stainless-steel façade option, beautiful stainless steel planters, etc. We have started approaching a lot of airport for using our décor products. All the good signature restaurants started using our designer tableware and dinner sets.

We haven't targeted the HoReCa segment in a focused fashion so far, but have executed projects whatever come to us over a period of time. But, now we are diversifying into these segments. We can offer solutions based on the positioning of the hotels and restaurants. We have international designers as well as Indian designers who can offer both contemporary as well as ethnic designs in line with the theme, concepts, positioning, etc. of the space.

Q India is a price-sensitive market. How cost-competitive your solutions are compared to the competition?
We use our own top-grade stainless-steel material, own design, etc., therefore price comparison and cost competitiveness are out of place. In this segment, you cannot do apple to apple comparison. But we definitely value competitive, because we are a one-stop-shop for our customers. The entire eco-system belongs to us – man-material-method-machinery – all ours.

Q What are the opportunities you want to tap in the hospitality sector?
Many hotels have suites and Serviced Residences which have kitchenettes. We want to tap into that market. Generally, Stainless steel modular kitchens and wardrobes are understood as greyish with uniform colour and look. Stainless steel can be trendy and classy. We offer our kitchens in 1,700 colours. All these colours are tested for 850 lux lights for quality. We use Italian paints and have our own German paint booth. Therefore, we are better placed to cater to any sort of design requirement on the modular kitchen space.

What we want to communicate to our customers whether in the household category or HoReCa is that we are capable of making kitchen a fun place to work on with enhanced efficiency. We have forged lasting partnerships with companies like Siemens, Miele, etc. to deliver fabulous and efficient kitchens for luxury hotels and serviced apartments.

Stainless Steel (SS) pipes are another product we have which has huge potential in hotels and restaurants. Water quality deteriorates in Plastic pipes and GI pipes over a period of time. Our Stainless-Steel pipes can address those issues.
Mobile kitchens is another area we want to focus now.

Q What is the market size and market share that you are looking at?
It's an open canvas we are in. It is difficult to define the market size and market share. Kitchen market is a massive market and within that modular kitchen market again is a vast market segment. And in the modular kitchen market, more than 90% is wood-based market. Wood is not environment-friendly nor termite proof or water-resistant. Wood is also not food grade. We can provide more aesthetics than any other material, and that is the market we are trying to target.

Q What are the innovative and futuristic products and solutions JSL Lifestyle is looking to develop?
Innovation is a continuous process at JSL Lifestyle. We keep on introducing innovative products and solutions in the tableware, home décor and modular kitchen space. Currently, we are doing hi-end kitchens. We will be introducing medium as well as early-stage modular kitchens in the price range of INR 1.5 lac to INR 3 lac. We are also contemplating introducing IoT based kitchen solutions which can collect data and can be controlled remotely.

Although we have in-house chefs, as part of our marketing agenda we have plans to engage celebrity chefs to enhance our engagement and communication with the market outside about the aesthetics and ergonomics associated with quality Stainless steel kitchen solutions.

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