Furniture is found everywhere but exotic and traditional furniture made in India that reflects our rich heritage is hard to find these days. Three days ago, this misconception of mine was broken down when I learnt about Saraf Furniture. Instead of just expanding and taking care of the family furniture export business that was serving global markets like Germany, England, and others, Raghunandan spotted the dire situation in the Indian market. But being aware of the era we are living in, Raghunandan decided to open an online furniture store. In 2014, Saraf Furniture ventured into the online furniture space as insaraf.com to offer value-for-money furniture made of Sheesham wood(Indian Rosewood) to Indian consumers.
Furniture occupied a space in Raghunandan’s life since his childhood. His family has been associated with the furniture business as well and he has been well acquainted with the furniture business since his school days. As a teenager who wanted to help his father, he recalls assisting him in several business meetings, client interactions, and overseas trade shows. After completing his MBA from SRCC in Delhi, Raghunandan moved back to his hometown Sadarshahr in Rajasthan to take over his family business. However, his growing desire to revamp the traditional furniture exports business ultimately made him start Saraf Furniture. Shortly after launching the venture in 2014, Raghunandan was then joined by one of his brothers, who has been since taking care of the production and the employees.
“As I was growing up and started to observe our traditional business more closely, I realized that with numerous players entering the market, which is pretty unorganized, there was little room for visibility in our family business of furniture exports. Being a tech enthusiast, I was greatly fascinated by the online medium and decided to launch Saraf Furniture as my own independent venture,” he adds.
The game-changer when it comes to Saraf furniture is that they provide customized furniture to the buyers. The platform offers pieces starting from Rs 999 to Rs 1,89,990 across a wide range of categories like bars, beds, boxes, drawers, tables, clocks, and many others. Talking about affordability, Raghunandan claims that the Saraf Furniture products differ by 30-60 percent from online and 60-130 percent from offline sellers.
Revamping their traditional furniture export business and starting India operations came with its own share of challenges.
“While setting up in the initial phases, we did face some challenges related to customer awareness regarding the difference between regular furniture and furniture made of solid Sheesham wood,” he adds.
To overcome this challenge and create awareness among customers about Sheesham wood furniture, the company decided to step into the offline market as well by opening experience stores in cities across India, where customers that are hesitant to buy the furniture online can touch, feel, and buy the products.
Currently, the brand has offline stores in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, and Surat. The company is positive that it will expand its offline footprint to Chennai, Mumbai, and Pune soon. In terms of online presence, Saraf Furniture is not only selling via the website but is also available as an app in the iOS version. The Android version is currently under development and hopefully will be out soon! Go to www.insaraf.com right now to buy artistic furniture that comes with a summer discount!