- Tarun Lala, director, Fanzart feels that offline market for designer ceiling fan has a larger scope than the online one
- Fanzart had recently launched a ceiling fan priced at Rs 95,000 in India
Tarun Lala (TL), director, Fanzart India, in an exclusive conversation with EFY shed light on the ceiling fans market in India. He is of strong view that ceilings fans and designer ceiling fans market are two different things. Fanzart has collaborations with various architects and interior designers in India. There are more than 60 Fanzart experience stores in India.
“Our ideal customers are not those people who consider our fans to be expensive. Our ideal customers are happy about the functional elements; they enjoy the superior quality that we offer, they enjoy the complete package,” shared Tarun Lala.
Here are some more interesting excerpts from the conversation around premium ceiling fans market in India.
ACE – How has Fanzart’s journey been in India so far?
TL – It’s been good and a very interesting one. When we started off, fans were considered as electronics products and sold through retail counters, distributors, so on and so forth. We were surprised to find that nothing decorative really existed in the market, especially for a country that has a huge number of fans. It was a little hard when we came out with our product. People bought fans towards the end of the home renovating process.
Our product wasn’t really a home interior product, let alone be it a luxury product. So, when we started out people didn’t adopt it very easily. But they did see the aesthetic appeal of the fan. After that, we had to educate the consumer a little.
In fact, it wasn’t just decorative, but designer as well, which was not just aesthetically appealing but functionally as well. We went to end consumer via architects and interior designers, builders.
Little by little we found more use cases for fans. Now, we have fans specifically designed for dining tables, walking wardrobes, kitchens and bathrooms, bigger places, wall mounted, outdoor mist fans, corporate offices, retail showrooms and chandelier fans. Today we have over 80 unique models on designer fans, both for residential as well as commercial uses.
ACE – Why just luxury fans? Why not go below or beyond it?
TL – If you really look at our market, then you will find that we are the largest designer fans brand in India. When we started, we were looking for trends in terms of what the consumers wanted. The gap in the market we found was that certain designs accentuated the design element of the room.
When we looked at those products, we found that there manufacturing wasn’t happening in India. Seven and a half years later, even with the manufacturing happening in India now, the quality and the finishing of the final product is not as nice as our manufacturing, which happens in Taiwan.
Our ideal customers are not those people who consider our fans to be expensive. Our ideal customers are happy about the functional elements; they enjoy the superior quality that we offer, they enjoy the complete package.
ACE – If manufacturing takes place in Taiwan, where does the R&D take place?
TL – Some R&D happens in India, while some of it happens in Taiwan. We have testing centres in Bangalore where we do R&D. We also have a R&D centre in Taiwan and testing units in six different locations. Based on R&D, testing and trends we have launched a ceiling fan at a retail price of Rs 95,000 in India.
ACE – A lot of new and old players are entering the smart ceiling fan segment. How do compete against these?
TL – Most of the other ceiling fan brands are completely different from. These leverage their distribution from their retail counters. So, the people they sell to are slightly different. Every stand that the household brands sell fans over Rs 10,000, is collectively less than ours, in terms of distribution. Even new players have the same problem.
Companies like Automate and Atomberg and their DC motor fans, also sell through similar channels but in terms of design they are slightly nicer. Their whole USP is having a BLDC motor-based fan which absorbs lesser power and can be remotely controlled.
So, these companies look at higher end older millennial market which is okay spending Rs 3000 to 4000 per fan. Example, Atomberg and Automate sell their fans for Rs 3000 to 5000. If you have a 35 to 36 year old person who has moved to a tier-one city and has a very good job with a very big company and is making a nice home somewhere, then they are okay with Rs 3000 to 4000 price range for four rooms plus living room and so on and so forth.
If you look at the channel to market, then we go for either exclusive or through partnered showrooms. There are standalone Fanzart showrooms across cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Bombay and Chennai. In Delhi, we have partnered up with 16,000 square feet showroom whose primary brands are Fanzart and another luxury recliner brand from Norway. We also have collaborations with interior designers and architects.
Now our fans are not electrical products; they are home interior products and more importantly, they are luxury products. All our fans are up till Rs 50,000 – 55,000. All the other products above that price range are what we call as chandelier-cum-fans. For every product that you buy in the above Rs 55,000 to Rs 60,000 bracket, it comes with beautiful Austrian crystal led lights. All these fans come with radio-frequency remotes and BLDC motors. We have over 80 unique designer fan components.
Out of the 80 models, 31 have BLDC motors. Compared to conventional fans, which takes about between 80 and 95 watts, ours only take 26 to 28 watts. We like to educate our customers about the functional elements of it. But the first and initial parameter is the design.
ACE – As your strategy is largely offline, can you please tell more about your presence in the online channel?
TL – In online, we have a very small presence. We don’t sell more than a few fans online. But that’s because our brand is new and people don’t buy luxury products without that touch and feel aspect. However, I believe that at some point in time, we will get to where people will like our products more because of the great design and superior quality. There are already enough people who are trying to copy our products and illegally selling our products online.
So, online is primarily being used for education purposes, where we’re spreading awareness and branding. This is bringing people to our showrooms. The buying behaviour of people is rising in terms of money they are spending. Earlier a person used to spend maybe Rs 13,000 to 15,000 per fan. Now, we’re seeing a person even buy a 30,000 fan online without having that touch and feel concept to it.
We have managed to get some very nice projects from outside of India through the online medium. Through partners, we are now present in about six countries. These include Nepal, UAE, Sri Lanka, France, Nigeria and India.
ACE – How many exclusive showrooms does Fanzart operate? How many co-branded ones?
TL – We have 60+ exclusive Fanzart showrooms across the country. Fanzart has also tied up with the Future Group which a chain of 100 furniture showrooms called HomeTown. Additionally, this presence is in the premium space.
Our economical models are on display in about six HomeTowns now. And we’ll be going up to about 30 showrooms by later this year. In total, our products will be on display in 90 showrooms across the country.
ACE – What’s your next big launch?
TL – We keep coming up with new products. Our latest is the Bold series by Fanzart which go up to 316 rpm, are a lot more minimalistic, modern and have a Scandinavian look with beautiful matte finishes. We have 3-blade, 4-blade, 5-blade fans with multiple colours, looks and materials and are all in Rs 10,000 to Rs 11,000 category.
Sometimes people want to buy the fanciest stuff for outside and want to buy the simplest stuff for inside. This Bold collection of ours will be going directly against it.
ACE – How much role do you think technologies like IoT and BLDC will play in the evolution of fans from here?
TL – I think IoT is definitely here and will play a fair role. For us, it is yet to be seen whether it will play a big role just from a marketing standpoint or will it play a technological role.
ACE – Anything else that you would like to tell the ACE industry?
TL – We are coming up with newer stuff later this year. We are spreading a little bit of automation in our Bangalore showroom as well. We already have a virtual room for architects and engineers to use. We are coming up with an augmented reality app. And we’re going to be integrating our designs into architect software and stuff like that.
On that front, we are creating a lot of buzz and taking care of a lot of technological stuff that comes into creating 3-d models, virtual and augmented reality and things like that. We also do customisation of fans where we are now able to laser print or 3-d print the name and logo of our company. We are also able to screen print your family pictures or kids’ faces on fans and stuff.