We’ve long since moved past the time when looking for furniture was a strenuous and exhausting activity that forced us to go from room to room in search of the furniture we needed and whose quality and design met our needs. We had to have it created if it wasn’t available. However, with the rise of the internet furniture market, the procedure has recently undergone a transformation. Now that furniture is readily available online, we can easily choose the type we want, place an order, and have it delivered and assembled in our homes without any hassle.
Pepperfry was founded in 2011 by Ambreesh Murthy and Ashish Shah, and it is currently one of the top online furniture retailers in India. The website concentrates on elements of home design such lighting, furniture, cleaning, dining room appliances, and many more.
There is a wide selection of products on Pepperfry. Its straightforward and sophisticated distribution system for goods has enabled it to take the top spot in the market. According to Times Now, the e-commerce network has three warehouses and 21 distribution centres, with more than 8 million individuals who have enrolled. Repeat customers complete about 58% of its transactions. According to the Economic Times, the solid wood furniture category accounts for 80–85% of the company’s sales and generates an annual income of Rs 500 crore.
In the beginning, Pepperfry was a horizontal online marketplace that concentrated on facilitating products across a range of categories like fashion and lifestyle. However, in 2013, the platform changed its focus to securing a position in the category of furnishings, home decor, and related products. With its corporate office in Mumbai, Pepperfry has established more than 60 Pepperfry studios in various cities. Each of the studios features a large selection of furniture on display, allowing customers to see and sit down with the pieces before placing their orders.
Founders of Pepperfry
The platform’s CEO, Ambareesh Murty, holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. He formerly held positions in Britannia, ICICI Prudential, and Cadbury. Ambareesh served as the vice chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in 2009 and was also the country manager for eBay in Malaysia, the Philippines, and India.
The platform’s COO, Ashish Shah, holds an Advanced Diploma in Materials Management from the Institute of Management Technology, located in Ghaziabad. He also graduated from the University of Pune with a degree in chemical engineering. In 1998, Ashish started his career at Tradox Pigments & Chemicals, where he held the position of Branch Sales Manager. Before partnering with Ambareesh to create Pepperfry, he had worked at ChemB.com India, C1 India Pvt Ltd, Baazee.com, and eBay.
Origin of Pepperfry
When Murty and Shah met for lunch in Mumbai at the workplace of a mutual friend, a conversation over lunch served as the catalyst for the entire situation. The two realised during this chat that there was a critical need to bridge the industry gap that existed when it comes to attending to client lifestyle requirements. Simple tissue paper was used as the strategic foundation for the future plans of the leading furniture company at the time. The two decided to launch in early 2011 after spending ten years at eBay India, where Murty oversaw country operations while Shah was in charge of sales and operations.
Business Model of Pepperfry
The platform’s primary business strategy is one of a managed marketplace, where small and medium-sized business artists and merchants use the site to sell their products. In this type of business, the platform’s category team works with the sellers to obtain certain items through the sellers after thorough inspection.
The objects are then delivered to studios to do picture shoots. The images of the things are then arranged and placed on their website. An item is transported from the sellers to the platform’s warehouse once it has been requested for sale. After the item’s quality has been checked, it is packaged and sent from the vendor to the buyer.
Recent Growth & Future Plans
After its Series F financing, Entrackr calculated that Pepperfry’s platform had a current estimated valuation of $462 million. The platform’s online revenue has increased to 120% of its pre-lockdown levels, demonstrating the customers’ increasing use of e-commerce facilities.
Because of the widespread practise of working from home, there is currently a high demand for home office equipment, which makes up over 25% of Pepperfry’s total sales. Prior to the shutdown brought on by the epidemic, it had contributed to 10%. As consumers spend more time at home, they have begun to concentrate on improving the environment of their houses, striving to make them both more aesthetically beautiful and useful.
The Pepperfry platform has created stores all throughout the country of India and has delved into both online and offline operations. Despite the intense competition it has experienced from all the other platforms researching this area, the online ecommerce enterprise has been able to create a strong presence in the market for the furniture industry. The platform has enormous potential for future growth and advancement.