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The Dream Builder Our aim was to transform the way Indians accessed sleep and home solutions, said Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, director and co-founder of Wakefit

By S Shanthi

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Company Handout

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, director and co-founder of Wakefit and Ankit Garg, CEO and co-founder of Wakefit were driven by the passion for creating a digital-first brand that focused on providing holistic sleep solutions in the then-emerging D2C market. Recognizing a gap in the market, they seized the opportunity to sell directly to customers, thereby increasing accessibility and optimizing costs.

"Our aim was to transform the way Indians accessed sleep and home solutions. We started with two mattress variants and eventually expanded to include multiple variants based on user feedback and demand. With the addition of sleep accessories, furniture, soft furnishings, lighting and home decor, we have evolved into a home solutions company and aspire to become a one-stop-shop for all home needs in the near future," says Ramalingegowda.

Wakefit was launched in March 2016 in Bengaluru as a sleep solutions startup with the aim to revolutionize the way Indians sleep. During the first few years, the primary challenge was building customer trust in a brand that was new to the market. By absorbing insightful information about the gap in the industry, the founders broadened their horizons and improved their ability to compete in the D2C space.

The first-mover advantage also came in handy. "In a previously unorganized industry, we have backward integrated our operations and cut down middlemen by following a direct-to-consumer, factory-to-doorstep model. We also introduced industry-first policies such as 100-day buy and try, 10-year warranty, and more for our mattress category," he says.

In 2020, Wakefit forayed into the home solutions space and expanded its portfolio to include a wide range of furniture, furnishings and home decor offerings. The furniture portfolio now contributes to a significant share of its revenues.

In the past year, it has also doubled down on its omnichannel strategy and opened 22 retail stores across the country. Marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, and the company's own website generate a major share of revenue and serve as key growth drivers. "As a high-involvement category, it is important for a brand like ours to be present across multiple touch points. To enable this, we have invested not only in the purchase journey but also in the post-purchase experience for our customers. We have a robust customer experience and retention team that uses data and analytics to understand the needs of our target audience. We also believe our recent foray into offline retail will bring us closer to our customers," says Ramalingegowda.

The company now aims to open close to 100 stores across 15 cities over the next three years to expand its omnichannel footprint. "As we move forward, our aim is to strengthen our expansion plans across categories and bolster our omnichannel presence to reach the Tier II and Tier III markets in the country. In addition to this, we will further boost our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities while also enhancing our brand-building initiatives," he adds. It also aims to reach INR 1100 crores in revenue by the end of FY 2024 with an eye on profitability.

FACTSHEET

  • Online platform resulting in maximum revenue: Company website
  • Turnover for FY 2022-23: Undisclosed
  • Year of Inception: 2016
  • Team size: 1500
  • Customer Repeat ratio: 30%
  • Amount of external funding raised: INR 770 crores
S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 

 

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