Four questions that are on the mind of Urban Ladder’s founder as he battles competition from Ikea and Pepperfry

Ashish Goel, co-founder and CEO, Urban Ladder
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Ashish Goel, co-founder and CEO, Urban Ladder talks about the company’s expansion plans and the rough patch it had early this year.
  • Urban Ladder had to let go of 90 employees as a part of an organizational restructuring in early 2019.
  • However, it is present in 13 cities, and now looking to expand to 10 new cities in a year.
Online furniture retailer Urban Ladder is in an expansion mode as it hopes to turn profitable by the end of 2019. Moreso, it also intends to go for an IPO in two years.

The startup is now present in 13 cities. It also has physical retail stores in (Bangalore and Delhi, and is looking to expand offline as well.

The startup however had to face a rough patch between February and March 2019, when it had to let go of 90 employees as a part of an organizational restructuring.

“The online furniture space is one that is constantly evolving. As we evolve, the organizational focus, and structure will also evolve to cater to the needs of the sector. Because of the restructuring, some functions become more important while others were not the need of the hour at the time,” Ashish Goel, co-founder and CEO, Urban Ladder told Business Insider in an interview.

This decision to restructure decision was backed by its investors.. “This, by no means, is a sign of the business being in trouble, but more so a sign of the business evolving and growing. Our investors are firmly backing us,” he said.

Reports also say that although Urban Ladder’s losses reduced from last year, they were still high. Its losses were ₹4.59 billion in 2016-17 and ₹1.17 billion in 2017-18. However, Goel is confident that they will turn profitable this year.

Rising competition from Ikea and Pepperfry

Now, more than ever Urban Ladder which has been around for seven years, has to spruce up its business. Giants like Ikea from Sweden along with homegrown Pepperfry are turning the market competitive.

As the market constantly evolves, Goel has these questions on his mind – How will they stay ahead of the curve given that there are multiple players in the market? How will they map and subsequently service the evolving needs of the Indian consumer base? How will they build a customer friendly support chain that will help deliver great post purchase experience?

“It is a matter of balancing the relevance of our brand with a deeper and passionate understanding of our customer,” he said answering them himself.
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