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“Revolutionizing India’s Carpet Industry through Innovation and Affordability: The Story of Sapana Carpet-Mats”

Published: August 8, 2023
Author: TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN

Sapana Carpet-Mats is India’s leading name in the arena of carpets, mats, and related products, with approximately 50% to 55% of the market share among the branded Plastic mat labels in India. It was founded in 1984 by Mr. V B Gupta, a qualified botanist, who decided to transition to his entrepreneurial journey after working as a professor. Mr. Gupta wanted to introduce beautiful and affordable home décor products for the Indian masses.

He understood the difference between Indian homes and local sensibilities. Not only are the typical homes in India smaller, but there is also a lower propensity to spend on home décor among Indians compared to the west. Therefore, he decided to explore the world of plastic mats as they were much more affordable than conventional carpets. He imported the technology and know-how from Japan and set up the manufacturing plant in Aurangabad.
Being a visionary, Mr. Gupta planned to expand the distribution and create a strong customer pull. While he had planned to name the company Sapna Carpets, a spelling error at the advertising agency led to the name being highlighted as Sapana. Since the mistake was noted later, they decided to stick with the name. The company’s first ad campaign featured an iconic TV advertisement that showed a magician flying on a mat. This ad still has a significant brand recall, and Sapana’s customers recall it fondly. The robust product quality and aesthetics of Sapana Mats have led to robust market growth for the products over the years. Sapana has focused constantly on catering to all types of
customers, and the product range has expanded to carpets, doormats, bathmats, etc., as per customers’ lifestyles and home décor needs. The carpets and rugs sold by Sapana are of the highest quality and at par with global standards in quality and design.

The company is being steered forward by Mr. Nishith Gupta, who joined the company as Managing Director in 1996. He is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification. Sapana has won the Top Mat exporter award for 15 years. However, in the last few years, much emphasis has been on refocusing and paying more attention to the well-traveled domestic audience with awareness of global fashion styles. To meet the expectations of this audience, Sapana has introduced products that it imports into the domestic market. This has led to a strong brand presence in a traditionally unorganized market, where there needs to be a clear market size demarcation.

The company is now operating through an omnichannel distribution model comprising over 30,000 retail stores all over India. Several strategic tie-ups exist with organized retail customers like Army Canteens, D’Mart, and Reliance Retail outlets. Thus, no matter where a buyer is, they are never far from the point of sale. There is also a robust online presence through their website and aggregator websites such as Amazon and Pepperfry. Sapana currently has a workforce of 150 people, and about 600 workers are engaged in manufacturing practices. The employee-centric operations have led to a significantly lower churn, and the average tenure for the workers is over ten years. In fact, some of them have been with the company for more than 25 years. The 100% family-owned business clocked a registered revenue of about 135 crores in 2022.

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