Monday, August 23, 2010

Kurl-On Eyes 100 Cr, Franchisees 'Nests',Shop In Shops and Flagship Showrooms for its expansion

After diversifying from sleep comfort to providing end-to-end home comfort solutions last year, Kurl-on Ltd will invest around Rs 150 crore in the next couple of years on setting up three mattresses manufacturing plants, one in Saudi Arabia and two more in India.

In Saudi Arabia, the Karnataka-based company, part of the Rs 2,000-crore Manipal Group, is looking to invest around Rs 60 crore, and expects to initially sell nearly 12,000 high-end mattresses a month, Mr T. Sudhakar Pai, Chairman, told Business Line here. Kurl-on is a well-known brand in West Asia.

The company's aggressive plans are aimed at giving its expansion activities a definitive direction. It is repositioning itself as a player in India's Rs 1 lakh crore home comfort industry. Thus, operating on a bigger canvass, it would manufacture a whole range of products for home comfort also.

Furniture business

Kurl-on is also focusing on furniture and furnishing. It has already signed a joint venture agreement with Mr Cesare Giacomuzzo for the manufacture of furniture and is looking for partners across India to manufacture other products.

To fund its expansion and diversification plans, which includes finding partners and franchisees across India for making various home comfort products, Kurl-on may also raise funds from the capital market next year. Based on the current market evaluation of Kurl-on at Rs 1,600 crore, the company could raise up to Rs 400 crore via an IPO and get listed on the bourses. “We have the shareholders' nod. And many a private equity (PE) player have also approached us,” he added.

India plans

In India, where the company currently has five manufacturing units, it will establish two more plants with an investment of around Rs 90 crore, to double its current production capacity.

One of these plants will be in the Jhagadia industrial hub, near Ankaleshwar, in Bharuch district of Gujarat, where the company will invest Rs 60 crore. Last week, the company was allotted 25 acres at Jhagadia for the purpose.

Mr Pai said Kurl-on is also planning to set up a new plant in the North-East, preferably in Assam, with an initial investment of Rs 30 crore. Kurl-on is expecting to increase its turnover from Rs 417 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years. With this objective, he said it aims to expand its network to a total of 150 exclusive company-owned flagship showrooms, called “Kurl-on Nests”, on a partnership or franchisee basis, and also 500 other outlets on the shop-in-shop model in the next three years.

Tags:Kurl-on, kurl on, kurlon, kurl-on franchise, T. Sudhakar Pai, furniture franchise, cesare giacomuzzo, kurl-on nests, shop in shop franchise, furnishings franchise

Source:Virendra Pandit, Ahmedabad, The Hindu Business Line, August 2010.

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