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"Mr. Abhijeet Daga is with us in this exclusive interview. His journey from a jobber to an entrepreneur is inspiring. His venture Ingeniouss makes success by providing end to end solution for Kitchens to customers. He feels the market has a very huge potential as yet and that shows the level of confidence in these murky days. Just read it …."

   Tell us about your inspiration for entrepreneurship, learning and your professional journey?

I stepped into entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 19 while still pursuing my undergrad degree. Jumped into the plywood and timber trading business and was intrigued by its possibilities. In the year 2002, I realised that timber and plywood are just raw products, and lots of value addition and creation remained where there was opportunity. As a result, pivoted into the modular kitchens business where I still see an untapped market, and lots of ways to enhance value and wow the customers.

Earlier I was promoter of Timbor home ltd & was in-charge of the business development for the Timbor brand. Developed the Franchise model for Modular kitchens in INDIA, and created a pan-India presence of 80 exclusive Kitchen stores. Led from the front in creating the TIMBOR CUCINE brand,

Later, resigned Timbor home ltd in the year 2014 due to personal reasons and in 2015 started a new brand of kitchen “INGENIOUSS KITCHENS” & in short span of 1 year the company opened 11 exclusive stores spread in 10 cities and sold more than 600 + kitchens pan India.

   What is your design philosophy? What is your opinion on diversity in designs?

Modular or fitted kitchen is always a European concept, but while designing we need to keep Indian cooking habits in mind. The cooking in west is much simpler unlike in India where a cook, a maid or a mom, or a wife, everyone is involved. So we need to keep everything in mind while designing kitchen for Indian homes. In India the kitchen starts at 6.00 AM in the morning and ends at 11.00 PM that means its working for good 17 hours every day.

I always believe that a lady of the house is the best designer for her own kitchen as at the end she is the one who is going to use it, we are just here to guide her, what best will suit her requirements with form and functionality. 

The kitchen designer need to know that today it's no longer one family, but multicultural, multi –generational or rather nontraditional living. I believe that it's time for both the home owner and designer to understand the wide range of realm of new design possibilities which can be tailored or customised to one unique way of making a GREAT kitchen.

   What are options of designs and furnishing in a kitchen space? Tell us about some of your awards and accomplishments?

As “INGENIOUSS”, we are the only company in India which works on customised product range. We are not limited to only samples which we create for the stores but we give liberty to our customer to different material. At Ingeniouss we always want that kitchen should not be messy and everything should have a proper storage space. Even the smallest place should be utilised.

We are giving multiple options to choose right from Solid wood, veneered, lacquered, lacquered glass, seamless acrylic, ceramic shutters, laminates and much more. Since we work on customized solution and client can choose different raw product from the same product catalogue and we customise as per his requirement.

   What importance does a modular kitchen have in modern interiors? Are clients aware about modular kitchens, what do they demand in a kitchen space?

I don't believe only the term modular kitchen is important, I personally believe that form and functionality is more important in modular kitchen. A sales person or designer at the store need to educate the end customer about the technology being used to make a good kitchen and once they know about it I am sure they are bound to make fitted kitchen. We have grown seeing stone kitchens and it has created myth for every one that it's the best and by just fixing some drawers and decorative laminate, will make it look like a modular kitchen, but is it going to function properly?

 A Great kitchen is the one where everything is stored and placed properly. Kitchen should not be messy; it has to be the epicenter of home where family enjoys cooking,

People do demand a lot but we need to make them understand what will best fit into their kitchen without spending much. If you see all modern hardware is made as per European manufacturing standard and it is made as per fitted kitchen, it's difficult for the carpenters who are not trained to fix such hardware to justify it.

   Tell us about some challenging projects you are working on currently and introduce your core team @ INGENIOUSS KITCHENS and varied clientele served?

We are working through franchise route and each order coming from our network is a challenge. At INGENIOUSS we are not selling kitchen as a product but we give solution to end customer, taking order is the simplest job, but to make sure that it's executed properly is very important.

The biggest challenge for our company is to train our associates who are front face of the company at local level, In fact before we sign up with any franchise training is must for their staff and to the owner, till the time they are not aware about the product its difficult for them to convey same to the client. They learn right from base to designing process and estimation details,

At present in 1 year we have presence in 10 cities with 11 stores and my associates and their designers is my core team at INGENIOUSS.

For us any house which has a Gas connection is our market. These clients are our esteemed customers.

   How the winds of globalisation affected kitchen design and space and how to cope up with the limited resources like space, time and money?

Because of penetration of online space, the consumer taste has changed and they are now aware about new products. Infact the client comes with different design option in terms of material and specification. People are now widely travelled and are exposed to new products. Thus, we try to produce best product for them keeping space, time and budget in mind.

   What are the steps in the kitchen design process? What are the designing options with respect to modular kitchens?

Kitchen designing is not that easy. Firstly we need to understand consumer requirements, their taste, way of living, the kind of storage they do, and most importantly utilisation of space. Once these things are materialised, then we come up with designs by giving them options in different material and finishes. I always believe those who are giving quality will survive; kitchen is never purchased on impulse.

We give end to end solution to our clients, right from kitchen cabinetry, shutters modern hardware, counter top, sinks, faucets and lighting which give wow factor.

There are numerous design option we give to our prestigious customer as we do lot of customisation in terms of material is concern.

   Do you see a sustainable and eco-friendly solution for world class kitchen space? Does it fit into economic budgets alongwith the uber rich?

Irrespective of UBER RICH or ECONOMICAL constraints, form and functionality along with quality will always be priority for us. It will take little time for people to adapt eco-friendly solution for kitchen and we require lot of government support to promote such products. And I believe the more we educate the consumer the demand for such products will increase.

   What is your USP? What is that 'one' thing that sets INGENIOUSS KITCHENS apart from others with similar experience? How your family acts as a concrete support to your career aspirations?

It's a very interesting question. After I resigned from Timbor, I was not willing to get into kitchen business. But the major source of inspiration was my wife. And that's how I am back here again and today I firmly believe INGENIOUSS KITCHENS has a potential to become the largest retail chain for modular kitchen in India.

Today at INGENIOUSS, we're not selling modular kitchen as a product. We're providing end to end kitchen solutions from the shutters and the wood work, to countertops, appliances, flooring, backsplash, lighting and more. We believe, when consumers come to InGeniouss, we take the trouble out of their kitchen-creation process. As business has evolved, we're even more focused on customer satisfaction via a superior quality product, great experience with our partners, and on-time delivery and execution of kitchen projects.

We have partnered with two major brands in the market.

HETTICH, world leader, and India's largest hardware manufacturing company is a strategic partner with INGENIOUSS KITCHENS. HAFELE for their Iconic range of appliances like, “LIEBHERR”, “BERTAZONNI” “ASKO” & “FALMEC” are our appliances partner.

   What importance do you allocate to magazines like Kitchen Desire and Hardware Samachar in educating the business organisations and consumers at large and benefits of associating with it?

Today also 80 % of kitchen market is still in the unorganised space. So the untapped organised market is Huge and is waiting to get exploited, the shift from unorganised to organised has already started especially with young people. I firmly believe a lot can be done in way of educating the end customer and lot of other kitchen retailers. For consumer he always compare product with carpenter but never knows that fitted kitchens are made as per European way of manufacturing but keeping Indian cooking habits in mind.

Still, there is a lot of hard work that needs to be done and I believe that joining hands together with magazine like kitchen desire we need to  spread more and more awareness about the modular kitchen concept.

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