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Home > Business > Special

A modular kitchen for Rs 25 lakh!

Aabhas Sharma | November 19, 2005

Ten years or so ago, the first of the imported modular kitchens began to make a foray into the Indian design market.

Far from being successful, several of them pulled out because either they took too long to import, failed to fit Indian requirements (and spaces) or were ahead of their time.

Today, with fewer players, the market has matured, and architects and interior designers are increasingly making space for them in their projects.

That there's room for them and more became clear with the entry, recently, into the north Indian market of Italian kitchen company Aram Cucine, which joins existing players such as Hacker Kitchens (Germany) Scavolini and Veneta Cucine (Italy) and Lispo (India) to whip up a great recipe by way of kitchen solutions.

Ironically, home owners are realising that it makes sense to invest in a modular kitchen that you can buy on an "afford" basis, adding pieces as and when you have the money.

And in case of damage to a unit, then only that one unit has to be repaired or replaced.

Says Ramesh Bohra, managing director, Bohra Kitchens, "They come in very attractive finishes and give the buyer a feel-good factor." Chennai-based Bohra Kitchens has a tie-up with Italian company Aran Cucine.

Bohra Kitchens set up shop in India around three years back and has showrooms in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Pune, Indore and, now, New Delhi.

According to Sajjal Lamba, regional head business development, Kaff Appliances, "To cater to the need of Indian markets, the kitchens have to be localised to a certain extent." Kaff Appliances supplies accessories like chimneys and burners to Lispo modular kitchens.

Compared to the European market, people still use sinks in India to wash utensils (dishwashers aren't too common), which is why they need to be hardier than those of their European counterparts.

Also, the dust factor has to be kept in mind. Says Bohra, "We provide rubber beadings on kitchen cabinets so they remain dustproof."

Aran Cucine, like Hacker or Veneta Cucine, offers around 25 models. Typically, modular kitchens are more likely to be fitted in high-end apartments than bungalows. The models range from the classic to the trendy in a wide choice of materials, colours, textures and finishes.

Quality control is given top priority by most of manufacturers and all the wood, laminates, varnishes, lacquers, hinges and hardware used in the units are non-toxic. In India, the most common models are the straight-line and the classic.

Pricec can range anywhere betwen Rs 100,000-25 lakh depending on the style and look, and of course the space you have. For instance, Hacker Kitchen offers a basic 8ft x 10ft kitchen for Rs 200,000. At the top of the scale a 15ft x 20ft kitchen could cost between Rs 15-25 lakh (1.5-2.5 million).

The price also depends on the kind of accessories you may want fitted; a chimney, for instance, could set you back anywhere between Rs 5,000-Rs 90,000, a burner by Rs 7,000-90,000. Installation can take up to 15 days.

The principal market for modular kitchens lies in the unorganised sector, and the organised market is worth only Rs 500 crore {Rs 5 billion (but growing at a 50 per cent)}.

Says Bohra, "The top-end kitchens available today offer a lot of classy features that appeal to consumers. Such as the high precision mechanics of the channels that ensure that drawers slide in and out smoothly."

With all that, it's a pity you'll be leaving the kitchen to the servants.

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