Aran World picks up 49% equity in KitchenWorld; eyes 15% mkt share

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New Delhi, Jun 8 (UNI) Eyeing a 15 per cent market share in the country's Rs 600 crore modular kitchen business, Italian firm Aran World has picked up a 49 per cent equity in KitchenWorld.

As a part of the deal, the brand name will be changed to Aran KitchenWorld.

The company is now looking at expanding its presence across the metros and tier II cities. ''We have launched our flagship store here. This is the 10th store and we plan to set up 50 more stores across the country by 2010,'' Aran KitchenWorld CMD Rajesh Bohra told UNI.

The company will also set up a manufacturing unit in Chennai, the location of which is yet to be decided. ''We are looking at SEZs as well. We will invest Rs 48 crore in the unit and raise a similar amount through FIIs and debts,'' Mr Bohra said.

The plant is expected to be operational by 2010.

Currently, the units are being imported from Italy as completely knocked down units. A reason for the high price also remains the 32 per cent import duty being paid by the company.

The company also expects to double its revenues this year. ''We expect to double our revenue to Rs 36 crore for this fiscal from Rs 15 crore reported for the last fiscal,'' said Mr Bohra.

Aran World, a 100 million euro company, has a presence in 118 countries.

Asked where India ranks in the company's global business, Aran World President Renzo Restelli said, ''currently, India contributes a mere two per cent to the overall business. But we expect to increase to 10 per cent by 2010.'' Aran World expects this growth as its 'contracts' division gets more business. ''With more and more real estate developers going in for modular kitchens, we expect to ship about 1,000 units by 2010 from the present 200-300 units a month,'' Mr Restilli said.

A few years ago, the whole concept of modular kitchens would have sounded alien. But with real estate prices soaring and spaces shrinking, more and more people are now moving toward modular kitchens, even though they come with a huge price tag.

The market is dominated by the unorganised segment comprising of local players and carpenters, but with increasing demand, many foreign players see the segment as an opportunity.

Names like Aram Cucine, Germany's Hacker Kitchens, Scavolini and Italy's Veneta Cucine have already established themselves in the country.

KitchenWorld already has showrooms in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Pune and Indore.

Prices can range anywhere betwen Rs 1-25 lakhs depending on the style and look, and of course the space one has. The price also depends on the kind of accessories one may want fitted like a chimney, oven, burners, dishwasher etc.

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