At BuildingandInteriors.com, it’s indeed a pleasure to speak to some of the top retailers in the Indian building materials market. This not only helps our valued readers connect with these remarkable retailers but also celebrates the success that they bring to themselves and to the brands they represent in their respective regions. In our latest conversation in Retailer Talk, we speak with Mr. Ankit Jain of Levante The Design Route, popular sanitary ware and bathroom fittings dealers in Pune. They are also the exclusive dealers of Villeroy & Boch in Pune.
Mr. Ankit Jain, Levante The Design Route, Sanitary ware dealers in Pune
How Levante started
Bathroom fittings and sanitary ware has been a family business for us. Our family’s oldest firm in bathrooms and sanitary ware retailing is Gulab Associates which is a more than 40-year-old establishment. A Rose Bath Solutions is another family concern which is about a 15-year-old business.
When I joined the family business, my father was dealing in basic to mid-level brands. But to me, luxury bathrooms and sanitary ware solutions have always been of great interest. This keen interest resulted in Levante. Here, we are dealing in the exclusive bathroom and sanitary ware solutions. Villeroy & Boch is one such brand in our portfolio, in fact, we are the exclusive bathroom fittings and sanitary ware dealers for this brand in Pune.
Levante – The store format
Levante is located in Pune and its location is very central for all our customers. The store is spread over 4 levels and offers its customers a retail experience spread over 14,000 sq. ft. As I said, we deal in brands like Villeroy & Boch which are premium and offer an unmatched user experience. We also back up the brands we deal in with our very own technical support staff. This helps us to address customer service areas right from pre-sales to after-sales support. Needless to say, we are quite pleased with the support that the brands offer as part of our association with them.
Typical challenges faced by dealers in premium bath fittings & sanitary ware retailing in Pune
Traditionally, Pune is a slow and relaxed market. Once the customer visits a store like Levante, he/she takes anywhere between 10-15 days to finalise his purchase. So, we need to constantly follow up with our customers to close the orders. On the brand side also, we face challenges, but that’s to do with typical lead times for imported solutions. Sometimes, we lose orders just because the material cannot be delivered within the required time frame.
Also, customers in Pune don’t like products which may need maintenance over and above the normal solutions. So, solutions like sensor faucets, which require things like batteries, etc. to be replaced, and serviced at regular intervals, have a slow offtake.
And the opportunities…
Customers in Pune are quite comfortable with their budgets. They look for the best solutions and don’t mind spending that extra buck if they like the product. I would say that this is typically true for a post-pandemic market. In Pune, the customers, when renovating their homes or building new homes, give maximum importance to their bathrooms. They now feel that bathrooms are an integral part of the ‘hygiene’ ecosystem in their home. So, solutions like premium bathtubs, coloured sanitary ware and bathroom fittings are gaining good popularity.
Levante with Villeroy & Boch
At Levante, we have been dealing with Villeroy & Boch for close to 2 years. We have had a great start with this premium bathroom brand. We are the only dealers for Villeroy & Boch in Pune and have been getting very good demand for their solutions. The good part about them is that the brand is very well-known in the Architect and Interior Design community. So, there’s not much convincing required. As dealers, we are now generating good demand for coloured sanitary ware and bathroom fittings of Villeroy & Boch in Pune.
Sustainability as a selling proposition in the premium sanitary ware market in Pune
Sustainability is surely a very important criterion when it comes to any building solution and bathrooms are no exception. Since bathrooms use one of the most precious natural resources – water, its conservation is high in the minds of discerning customers. At Levante, we experience that on a fairly regular basis. For example, Villeroy & Boch’s flushing systems use as little volume as 4-4.5 litres for a full flush is a case in point. Such innovations also bring us closer to our customers.
|To get in touch with Mr. Ankit Jain of Levante The Design Route, Pune, contact below: