One’s home is a sacrosanct place, a private sanctuary of sorts where one can experiment and think about themselves and the world around them, for good or otherwise. In short, enhancing and beautifying the look of one’s home by investing in the relevant products – from indoor plants, advanced electronic gadgets and art to world-class, simplistic purpose-built furniture – not only serves to make an individual happier but also more productive by enhancing one’s mood.
The Fan serves as an integral part of one’s home. It is a necessity. Its history begins in the hand, for it served one individual to be comfortable amidst nature’s vagaries since nature was concerned about the bigger picture, a palette of all living organisms so to speak, rather than focus on just human beings. The modern fan, which used electricity as the source of energy, as we know it, as we watch them rotate speedily above our heads, was born in 1882.
So ubiquitous they are that we often take the fan for granted, like an ignored friend, but not exactly a friend, an acquaintance of sorts who could be turned on and off according to our whims and fancies. It’s difficult to understand how the fan, an electronic device, can jump aboard the internet-of-things revolution that will sweep across the world in a few years as every device becomes smart and optimized for humanity’s needs.
Today, at Bangalore Insider, we spoke to Nisha Kukrejah, the founder of Luxaire, who intends to change the way we look at fans. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
Give a brief info about your start-up?
We have stepped into times where fans aren’t just bound to ceilings, but have become an essential aspect to our Home interiors. Yet, over 90% of one’s focus is invested in home décor and fans are given very less thought to. When we were looking out for fancy grandeur fans for our house we discovered a huge market gap, where others saw a problem here, we saw an opportunity. We then set out to bridge this market gap by starting Luxaire in 2012. We started off by dealing into fans with European aesthetics, which at that time was rarely dealt in India. Soon, we expanded our portfolio and started providing high end Luxury Designer Fan from all over the globe to India.
Today, we proudly have over 500 unique & few customizable designs and cater to all Indian cities along with South Asian countries for their Hotel projects. We are the sole distributors of the maximum range of Quality, Patented, and Original Designer Fans that stands pretty distinctive in the market. LUXAIRE has been the only brand in the market to provide fans with a maximum warranty of 15 Years! We have also introduced fans with high end technology with no compromise in design. We have brought several new technologies in India and we have again been the first in the industry to introduce fans with green technology, BLDC, IoT, etc and we are set to introduce fans that would take Luxury Fan Market up a notch.
What made you start your start-up and what problem does it solve?
We were redecorating our home and everything looked perfect but we still felt a void as though we were missing out on something. Later, it clicked that our fans didn’t do justice to our interior and we decided to upgrade it with designer aesthetics but we could not come across any in India that could woo us with its appeal. We researched further and discovered that despite fans being an essential commodity in India lacked in terms of appeal and technology. So, to bridge this gap we started Luxaire as a Luxury designer fan brand into the Indian Luxury market. We wanted to introduce the market with a new wave of fans that were not only supremely technological but also breathtakingly exquisite. Earlier people had to go from pillar to post to find fans that accentuated their interiors and now with Luxaire they can explore a wide range of Fans with chromatic aesthetics without breaking a sweat!
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start-up?
Before foraying into the Luxury Segment, I’d pursued my graduation in MBA Marketing at TAPMI Manipal, thereby engaging into various Marketing roles in the corporate sector. I have Marketing experience in the Hospitality & the Financial Industry – from IHCL (Taj group of Hotels) to ICICI Bank.
Where is your start-up based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Since we are based out of Bangalore, so is our start-up. Bangalore has been the epicentre of the Lifestyle market bearing a lot of opportunities for us to outreach our target audience being the HNI’s and the UHNI’s. Besides, Bangalore is a metropolitan city having abundance of well established businesses which is a testament to its wider market space. Hence, developing our niche in this market
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The Luxury Segment for fans has been an ever changing environment and we are trying to build a category that’s never existed while entering the business, so there were a lot many things in my mind. Additionally, when you’re trying to disrupt the industry there are a lot of elements to look out for right from the product distribution to the availability to the reach. So to cumulate it all together in one place does require extensive and improvising planning. A lot of our products are defined by the trends and in the Indian market trends are always changing. If yesterday it was smart phones today it might be foldable screen smart phones, so that is where you have to address the consumer needs at the right time and space. We therefore had to align our products keeping in mind those keystones.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We are in a different league altogether when it comes to Luxury Market, so singling out a competition brand does not do justice to the work we do and the products we offer. We have fans that have revolutionized the market in a sweep. This market though is very niche, the competition now has increased. Not only do we have newbie brands entering this space advertising and marketing themselves aggressively but are also providing products with substandard quality and cheap pricing. However, the market that we work in is not a price conscious but a price determinant market. Additionally, there are also several established brands of the industry like Havels, Crompton and Orient that have tried to enter the space brought along several new technologies widening the market. Other Brands are now realizing that, which is one of the reasons why this market has become dynamic. However, we still stand firm because our products and services surpass the industry standards.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?
Not at all, I believe in the cliché – all women are born multi-taskers and it’s easy for us to demarcate our work lives from home. Of course, having a solid family support system helps a great deal.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are a self-funded business.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The biggest misconception people have is that they think Luxury is unaffordable. However, we have addressed this issue promptly with our portfolio of Designer/Luxury Ceiling Fans offered premium quality with affordable pricing. So, our starting range is very much cost-friendly suiting a couple redecorating their house to real estate biggies to 5 star boutique hotels & Resorts starting at just Rs. 18,000 with better designs & warranty.
What gets you excited about this company?
To be well established in the industry as the brand that revolutionized the Luxury Fan Market, is reason enough to be excited. We work alongside leading architects and designers and cater our services to consumers not only in India but internationally too. Each day we keep growing towards being the one stop destination for Luxury Fans and that brings me immense joy for having being close to the vision we had aimed to set for Luxaire. We are the ones that set the bar and we are the ones raising it too ☺
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Well my typical day starts at about 7 followed by a 45 minutes workout. Thereafter I scroll through news and get ready for work preparing a To-Do for the day. Rest everyday has a different important task that needs to be addressed so that’s always fluctuating. Around 3 pm, I get started with Conf calls or Meetings with Prospective Clients & Architects / Interior Designers and other operational co-ordinations followed by checking up on the team members and organizing activities for the next day. Later in the evening I review the daily activities, reflecting on progress made during the day. Post dinner I chat up with family followed by reading a good book before sleeping.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Luxaire is a family venture started by me and my husband Mr. Sachin Kukreja. Sachin comes from an entrepreneurial family legacy of 60 years in the commercial Indian Fans and electrical segment. At Luxaire, Sachin is the channel head and responsible to drive the B2B and channel sales pertaining to dealers and franchisees, and the fact that Luxaire has seen immense growth and increasing demands is all credited to him. He has also been an influential force in terms of recognition and fondness garnered by Luxaire among architects and interior designers all over the world. I head the Marketing at Luxaire and look into building opportunities for Luxaire in the challenging Indian market.