In Conversation with Amit Sodhi & Vineet Chawla
Who is the target consumer for Rentickle?
Majority of our TG are young professionals in the age group 22-29 who are mobile and are moving across cities for work related projects etc. We have also been getting many orders from newly married couples setting up a home on low budgets, expats visiting India for a few months, students pursuing higher studies etc.
What are the opportunities and the challenges of being in a category of rental furniture?
We are in the business of renting lifestyle products - we started with offering trendy furniture, branded home appliances, high end cameras, air purifiers and we now plan to expand to many other categories like baby products, fitness equipment etc. Our vision is to be the first choice for renting of lifestyle products by clients across the country.
Like any company on a start up stage, our primary challenges initially were raising capital and building a motivated and committed team that believed in the business model and was hungry to make a difference rather than just do another job.
We were fortunate to have been funded by some very seasoned and senior professionals who not only have funded us but also have guided us with their knowledge and experience in the industry. Our team is from premier companies and from ace institutes like IITs, NSIT etc.
What will be the brand’s communication strategy, especially since this is a new area for consumers to explore and renting furniture, I’m presuming, doesn’t come easily to a market such as India?
Sharing economy is a growing concept in India and globally like never before. Some very successful examples of sharing economy are Uber, Air BandB etc. who have successfully built and grown this business globally. As the lifestyle rental industry matures with professional companies offering variety, convenience and a compelling value for money proposition, the industry is bound to grow exponentially in the times to come.
Our communication is clearly targeted towards our TG who are the "young professionals, well informed, tech savvy, value for money conscious" group. They can clearly see value in our offerings are delighted to enhance their lifestyles at a fraction of the purchase price of these lifestyle products, saving them the hassles of buying these products and then selling them when its time to move cities.
Among the clients we service are professionals, experts, newly married couples setting up a home on low budgets and even students away in new cities for professional studies. These lifestyle products are available in mint condition on rent to consumers at the click of a mouse, sitting in their home, delivered and installed free of cost with complimentary periodic maintenance provided by the company.
How did the idea of starting Rentickle come to you? What were the reasons behind starting the company?
Lifestyle rental category was till a few years ago ruled by largely unorganized, localized players offering little of no variety, convenience or even a value for money proposition. Rentickle is a dream come true for a whole lot of young professionals who are mobile, move across cities for work and are unsure about the tenure of stay in these cities. The whole rigmarole of finding new furniture and appliance shops, bargaining for prices, handling logistics, delivery, labor, installation and then later selling these products when it’s time to move cities was hitherto the biggest inconvenience and expense for these people, keeping them from enjoying a good lifestyle.
How does the model work? Where do you source the furniture/appliances from? How do you check on the conditions of the product before and after? How is it viable financially?
We have our in house design team and have our own dedicated manufacturing facilities where we fabricate our furniture. For appliances and water/air purifiers we have tie ups with leading brands like LG, Livpure etc. The products are supplied to our clients in mint condition by our efficient logistics team who deliver and install the products free of cost at the clients place. We have warehouses and logistics teams in Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderanad and are all set to further launch our services in other top cities of India starting 2018.
What analysis and data did the research bring out, which, in turn, allowed you to start Rentickle?
Renting of lifestyle products like furniture etc is an industry which was till a few years ago ruled largely by unorganized, localized players who would offer very few products with little or no focus on quality, variety or convenience to consumers.
While this industry is quite evolved in the Western world, in India there was this huge gap facing this upcoming demand especially from young mobile professionals moving across cities for short term projects, expats coming to India for a few months and even newly married couples looking to set up a home on low budgets.
This space offered a clear win win proposition in terms of fulfilling a latent demand and towards making a positive difference in people's lives. We offer the best quality by providing our products in mint condition, delivered to consumer homes free of cost along with complimentary periodic maintenance.
Offering the best quality products with a wide variety to choose from, providing a value for money proposition and enhancing lifestyles of our clients remains our guiding force in taking Rentickle to greater heights.
How has the prior experience of working in various industries allowed you to shape the vision of Rentickle?
We have a combined experience of about 40 years in large corporate houses. Amit is an engineer from Delhi College of Engineering and an alumnus of ISB Hyderabad. He has worked with Maruti Suzuki and later as Director with HT Media as head of strategic alliances.
Vineet holds an MBA from Mumbai and has worked as GM/ VP with Godrej GE Applainces, Whirlpool India, Oriflame Cosmetics and Future Group. Prior to founding Rentickle, Vineet was CEO for India and SAARC region, Hong Kong Winalite Group, a top business house from Hong Kong.
Having led large teams in diverse functions, we have been able to put together a winning team from top companies like Genpact, Amway, Jabong, Indigo and from top institutes like IITs, NSIT etc. An eagle eye focus on building strong business fundamentals and on cost controls has enabled the company to enjoy healthy financials very early on, hence attracting a fund raise of about USD 4 Million recently. The company enjoys one of the best recovery rates in the industry.
Could you share the growth plans of the brand in the next two years? How are you identifying the areas of expansion in terms of products, etc? Will a retail model be needed for the touch and feel of products?
We have aggressive plans of expansion across the country in starting 2018. Also on the cards is product category expansion like baby products, fitness equipment etc. Our website offers a 360 degree view of the products with clear dimensions, designs etc, thereby giving a fairly good idea to clients of our offering. Also we have top brands on offer in the home appliance category, all of these are on our website with pictures, features, specifications etc.
What is the innovation strategy for the brand?
Innovation is a constant endevour at Rentickle. Our product categories are constantly being evolved by our expert designers and by our fabrication team to offer the most trendy and functional designs to clients. Feedback from satisfied clients has helped us constantly evolve our product mix