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Pepperfry reshuffles top management, expands product offering

Mumbai-based online furniture startup Pepperfry has reshuffled its senior management, as it looks to expand product offering.

Hussaine Kesury, former head of furniture vertical, will now act as the Chief Activation Officer. He will be taking care of the brick and mortar Studios, which enables customers to touch and feel products, before buying them. These studios contribute about 25-30% to the furniture e-tailers’ sales.

Mihir Kulkarni, former head of marketing, has now been appointed as the Vice President and will be heading the furniture vertical.

Alok Varman, who worked with Pepperfry from 2011-2017, and moved on to B2B e-commerce marketplace WYDR, is now back with the furniture e-tailer, as the head of Studios.

Ratika Bakshi, former design head at interior design cost estimation startup Nestopia, is set to head business expansion.

Both Varman and Bakshi will report directly to Kesury.

According to Ashish Shah, Co-Founder, Pepperfry, the startup will also be expanding into tiling, painting, ceilings, and flooring. These offerings will first be rolled out across Mumbai and Bangalore in the first week of November, before expanding to other cities.

The online furniture retailer has 35 offline studios, which it is looking to double in FY19, as the studios’ contribution towards the sales increases. The omnichannel strategy will enable it to provide an enhanced customer experience, further driving sales.

Earlier this month, it was noted that Pepperfry posted a revenue of ₹308.46 crore in FY18, growing at 20% from ₹257 crore in FY17.

Founded by Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah in 2012, Pepperfry provides an online platform to sell furniture and over the years, it has expanded to other home decor categories like wall art, lamps, mattresses, carpets, and kitchen, along with providing furniture on rent.

In March 2018, Pepperfry last raised ₹250 crores in fresh funding from an asset management company State Street Global Advisors.

Pepperfry’s main rival in the furniture retail business is Urban Ladder, while e-tailing giants Flipkart and Amazon are also expanding their presence in the furniture domain, further increasing competition.

In September 2018, it was reported that Urban Ladder was in the process of raising ₹36 crore in fresh debt funding from Trifecta Capital.

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