How Livpure managed to expand its product portfolio during the lockdown when other brands tightened their purse strings
- Livpure, a 2012-company known for Air Conditioners and Water Purifiers, has forayed into the
Sleep and Wellness category.
- We speak to Pritesh Talwar, CEO of Livpure, to find out about the challenges of launching during a global pandemic, plan to face existing competition in the category of mattresses, rising demand for Ayurveda and vision for the newest venture.
After putting in almost two years of research, 8-year-old Air Conditioners and Water Purifiers company officially announced its entrance into the Sleep and Wellness category recently.
Pritesh Talwar, CEO, Livpure, said, “There are a few facets of the business that are our guiding force. One of them is around health and wellness in general. The other two are around innovation, change and eco-consciousness. And in today’s fast-paced world, life is getting more hectic while sleep is becoming more disturbed. A lot of us do not know the consequences of less than ideal sleeping experiences over a prolonged period of time. However, this can cause several lifestyle ailments like backaches, anxiety, impaired immunity, etc. With
Since Livpure already existed in the home segment, Sleep and Wellness, as Talwar said, was an interesting extension to look at.
He said, “We eventually want to get to a platform where a lot of these smart devices (Water Purifier, AC, Mattresses) are talking to each other. It's an aspirational state. Given we are in the home category, we understand a little bit about the dynamics, we do have a very strong dealer distributor network, we thought that it would be a good experiment or a good business to look at. And the more we dug in, the more the principles not only on the product side, but also the principles of the brand aligned with this segment.”
But why did the brand take so long to launch its products? Talwar said arranging resources was a challenge during the lockdown.
“We have been working on internal R&D for about two years. Our plan was actually announced earlier but given the corona situation, a lot of strategic projects got pushed out. That's why we started in July. As you know, the money is not sitting in the bank, we have to liquidate different things and find different ways to invest money in this particular segment. Across the industrial sector, there was a lot of liquidity crunch. So, investments were stuck and projects were not getting close or revenue was not achieved. So we had to delay the launch. But R&D continued on a smaller scale. So we were able to at least crack a few interesting cloud projects, like the hybrid mattress, or the carbon pillow that you launched a couple of weeks back,” said Talwar.
Adding to the other challenges that Livpure had to face to set up its business extension, Talwar said, “We are building a new segment, which we want to be a core segment, in addition to scaling it at the same time. So in the first two or three months, our focus was to get some of the product landing on the platform, figure out the back end, which is operations and supply chain. We didn't really push hard on creating a buzz per se. We were doing soft launches through our own Marketing Channels but most recently, we signed up with Sachin Tendulkar. He will be endorsing our three businesses as well. So that will be a more soft launch for at least the remaining part of November and December. And then we'll do a little bit more detailed launch at some point early next year.”
Livpure smartly soft-launched the product into the market in June when lockdown was still in place through e-commerce and started creating a little noise in the market in September. The brand is planning to go slow this year and will increase its marketing noise in 2021 with brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar.
It has already allocated four different warehouses for its Sleep business in India and all of this amid a global pandemic. It also acquired 10,000 users for Livpure Sleep.
“I would say we have about 10,000 customers already in the last four months or so. And we are definitely experiencing double digit growth. And for the next four or five months, we plan to keep growing at least 40%,” shared Talwar.
Livpure has started by targeting metro and Tier-I cities but would eventually go deeper into the market.
Talwar said, “We are not going for a complete mass market. So we really do not sell below Rs 4,500 price point. But we will definitely go mass-premium. Later, once we start going offline, which is the 90% of the market in the sleep category, we have to go upstream and downstream. So then everyone who needs a mattress sort of falls into that bucket.”
Organised and unorganised put together, the mattress industry in India is currently worth Rs 10,000 crore and only about 40% of the market is occupied by organised players like Wake.fit, Centuary Mattresses, Duroflex who offer more affordable options.
Talwar is optimistic that their expertise in innovation and home products will give Livpure an edge.
“We have a little bit of legacy because of Livguard and the brand is already known in the market. If you look at our recent water purifiers, some of them are very innovative and one in a kind. So people understand and associate the brand with credibility and longevity. We are trying to hit that same note with our products -- not only via the legacy but if through our products and our own unique value proposition. So, at the end of the day, we want the product to talk. We spend a lot of time on R&D for each and every product and we tailor that to the key pain point of the customer suffering. And then get it in the right price point. So a lot of our products are very price competitive but we offer a lot more value in that product,” said he.
Demand for immunity-based products
Livpure announced its new product range launch with Ayurvedic Mattresses, a space it always wanted to experiment with. Ayurveda has also been the hot topic of discussion in 2020, much due to its usefulness as an immunity booster against COVID. So much so, that recently, The Rajya Sabha passed the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020.
Telling us the thought behind launching Ayurveda mattresses first, Talwar said, “Ayurveda is something that we were looking at, to introduce in some of our products. It has already entered various segments like food or cosmetics. So there was a white space we observed and especially in India, that there is no Ayurvedic influence in the sleep product category, you might find supplements but there is no product. So there was an opportunity we noticed in this category. And I think there's also growth in a consumer who is interested in organic and natural products. We have been observing that trend also. So those two reasons and it's all about timing. Aligning these two ideas, we thought that was a good time to start testing on the product. So the development has been happening for more than a year. We have also filed a utility patent for this product.”
It will eventually launch more eco-friendly products and smart mattresses that can adjust its temperature automatically by analysing customer’s changing body temperature.
Vision for the brand
The company will continue to launch more environmentally-friendly products and building a safer world for the future generations.
Sharing his vision for Livpure Sleep, Talwar said, “For our sleep segment, I would say that in the next three years, the guidance from our chairman, Mr. Rakesh Malhotra, Chairman and Founder of Livpure, is to make our category into the top five businesses in the country. So that's the target. We are not here to be small players. We have been investing not only in R&D budgets but we have Sachin onboard as well. So we are going to be among the top five players in the 3 next years as we grow.”
Livpure will also focus on increasing its offline presence by targeting one regional base in 2021, starting with metro cities.