Wooden Street: Success Story of India’s First Online Customized Wooden Furniture Store
India is a country full of diversity, which brings diverse choices and preferences in every single home. Although, there were already a few major e-commerce players providing furniture, their pieces were ready-made, which meant a compromise for the next-best thing, rather than the best, for the customer. Seeing this huge gap, Wooden Street began as a means to provide an easy way for customers to not only buy furniture, but also customize it to their liking.
“We design the dream furniture you desire,” with this promise, Wooden Street started with just ten members and a functional website.
After deep study and research of the market the seed of Wooden Street was sown by co-founders Mr. Lokendra Ranawat, Mr. Dinesh Pratap Singh, Mr.Virendra Ranawat, and Mr. VikasBaheti. These four close friends realized that customers are in search of compact and space-saving furniture. This is what prompted them to come out with the concept of multi-utility furniture that could serve more than one purpose to customers.
“The biggest challenge was setting up a supply chain for heavy furniture pieces, so that they can be delivered to various points across the nation, without any damage, and this required a lot of effort. But we worked hard and overcame all hurdles; the rest was a smooth sail,” says co-founder Mr. Lokendra Ranawat.
Wooden Street began its operations on 1st June 2015, with an initial capital investment of INR 5 Lakhs, and, within a span of 18 months, the annual revenue is INR 20 crores, with a current valuation of INR 60 crores.
Competitors and What Makes Wooden Street Different
Urban ladder and Pepperfry the main player of the industry are the direct competitors of Wooden Street.
Where other online retailers provide furniture to their customers as is, Wooden Street decided to provide more flexibility to its customers by allowing them to provide custom-made furniture tailored to their specifications. And not just that, they also provide a host of customization options on our ranges of high quality hardwood furniture, so that the customer always gets to tweak anything to their liking. With full transparency and interaction with the customer on each step of manufacturing Wooden Street brings you the right piece of furniture you desire with reasonable price. Wooden Street offers furniture in price lesser than its competitors by eliminating middlemen. Wooden Street has proved its worth with 100% customer satisfaction and various achievements across the Nation.
Manufacturing Plants and Process
The company has been built on the collective vision and creative craftsmanship of a team of artisans, designers and crafters. Every piece of furniture that they create, mould, shape and execute involves time and care.
Local vendors are less innovative with new ideas and technology for quality furniture manufacturing. Owning manufacturing plant is the wisest decision to get quality furniture at low cost, it also avoid middlemen that affects the overall cost of then furniture. Wooden Street started with its first unit in Jodhpur, now extended with manufacturing units in Jaipur as well.
Start-ups face new challenge everyday and overcoming each hurdle makes them strong; same with the Wooden Street.
Different furniture is manufactured through several operations. To manufacture solid wood furniture, several specific operations are needed for assuring that the furniture product has the quality which can be suitable with expectation of the customers since it will also influence the price of the product.
Wooden Street focuses on guided process steps like seasoning of wood, proper joining methods and smart adhesives. Wood seasoning is the key to strength and quality of wood; it also makes it lighter and gets a better finish after polishing.
“Being a B2C e-commerce portal, we cater to the wooden furniture needs of customers across India, mostly individual households. Our monthly revenue is around INR 1.5 crores, translating into around INR 20 crores of annual sales. The company is valued at INR 60 crores,” says co-founder DineshPrajapat.
“With around 10,000 visits per day, translating into a traffic of around 3 lakh users per month. So far, we have served around 10,000 customers,” joins co-founder Virendra Ranawat.
The company also provides a complete interior designing solution through various packages, including consultation for a customer’s home. Understanding the requirements is at the core, and Wooden Street always listens to what its customers have to say. Building up from that, a team of interior designers leads the project to refurbish your home, also dropping suggestions for things that go with each other, and utilizing their products to craft an interior décor that’s unique to you in every way.
Wooden Street participates in exhibitions with an objective to showcase its products to a wider market. The company showcased a new range of friendly floral fabrics at Décor India Show, held in the Amdroodon ka Bagh, in Jaipur. Décor India Show is Rajasthan’s best and one of the largest home furnishing exhibitions that makes a year-round appearance every January, bringing people closer to the new trends in home furnishings, so that they can adopt these into their lifestyle. Amongst the number exhibits, Wooden Street brought a new spectacle to behold by introducing its new range of fabric prints and furniture designs, ready to energize and boost your interiors.
Wooden Street is India’s first online customized eCommerce store. Apart from more than 2,000 readily available products, a customer has the option to get anything customized to their liking, the way they want. Through various means available on the website, or through getting in touch with the customer support, one can directly place an order, upload a reference, request dimensional changes or design changes to a pre-existing model, while selecting the final wood finish and the fabric colours/patterns to go with, all of which will be passed down in the pipeline to the designers.
A team of 20 designers puts their efforts into shaping the products to the customer’s specifications and satisfaction, even providing 3D renders so that the customer can understand visually how their order will look. After sharing these with the customer, the manufacturing process begins, crafting the furniture of their dreams using premium quality Sheesham wood, also known as Indian
Wooden Street is expanding in two fronts:
1. With four stores already set-up in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Jaipur, the company is planning to come up with ten more experience stores within twelve months across India.
2. Providing free delivery and installation facilities in fifteen cities, it is aiming to expand to twenty more cities soon.
Lokendra Ranawat holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics &Communication engineering from Gyan Vihar School of Engineering and Technology, Jaipur, and an MBA in Sales & Marketing from ITM, Ghaziabad. With 10+ years’ experience in sales and marketing and worked with Birlasoft Ltd, Axis IT&T in London and India.
Dinesh Prajapat is an alumnus of NIT- Jaipur and holds an MBA from IIM-Kozhikode. An expert of procurement and general management, he has worked with P&G and CSC.
Virendra Ranawat is an engineer with MBA from IIMM-Pune and has eight years of experience with TATA and Energo.
Vikas Baheti is a finance graduate. He has worked with firms like DELL and Vertex and brings an experience of 12 years of furniture sourcing and manufacturing to the team.
Apart from the founding team Wooden Street has an excellent team that looks after activities like designing, prototyping, order management, sales etc. Starting with a team of just 10 employees, we expanded our family to 125 members within 18 months.
The following is a list of Wooden Street achievements:
1. Selected among Top 10 startups at SINE IIT Bombay, 2015.
2. Won the Hindustan Times Excellence Award on 24thFebruary 2016.
3. Won the Times Entrepreneur Award from The Times of India on 27thFebruary 2016.
4. Covered by Facebook India in a documented video explaining the charge of custom-built furniture online in 23rdDecember 2016.
5. Awarded the title of India’s First Custom Furniture Store by YourStory.com
6. Selected among Top 3 startups for TECHSPARKS 2016 by YourStory.com.
7. Launched a CSR Initiative in 2017 to provide multi-utility benches to schools in rural Rajasthan.
Sky is the limit for Wooden Street!