On behalf of the Board of Directors and the management team of the Company, I have immense pleasure sharing the Annual Report of your Company, Praxis Home Retail Limited, the independent listed avatar of HomeTown, the erstwhile division of Future Retail Limited. With the demerger that was completed during financial year 2017-18, we have started a new journey as an independent Company, with 39 stores in 26 cities catering to over one million customer visits annually, with a well-recognized brand - “HomeTown”.
India’s furniture industry is the 14th largest in the world in terms of value with the organised market expected to grow at over 20% per annum and cross Rs. 2.2 lakh crore by 2020. This growth has been fuelled by several factors namely Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Indian real estate sector, the government’s “Housing-for-All by 2022” initiative, development of 100 smart cities, the anticipated increase in tourism, hospitality, retail and hospital sectors etc.
Apart from sheer volume growth, the contours of the market are also changing, shaped by emerging trends such as growing preference for global designs-European and South East Asian, changing lifestyle choices, especially of the middle class and most importantly increased disposable income creating more eclectic tastes. We have robust plans to cater to this growing demand that will come from all segments of the Home Retail industry - residential, commercial, contractual and institutional.
At Praxis, we believe in customer centricity and to gauge customer loyalty, we have instituted a leading customer satisfaction measure, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) during financial year 201718. We are very happy to state that we achieved an average NPS of 82%, a high score which we want to improve further. Another measure of Customer satisfaction ‘On Time Delivery’ averaged 89%. We are confident that we will sustain this culture of continuous improvement in customer satisfaction measures that will spur sustained and profitable growth.
We opened 6 new stores in Noida, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Vashi, Nashik and Guwahati during financial year 2017-18 taking the total number of stores to 39, adding 1.3 lakh sq ft of retail space in the process to take the total to 8.6 lakh sq ft. We also plan to increase our retail footprint significantly during financial year 2018-19 and will continue to expand our physical presence wherever we believe our target customer resides. This will include opening stores in new cities as well as strengthening our dominant position in existing ones.
We believe technology is a strategically critical resource which will help us improve both customer experience and employee efficiency and will drive sustainable profitable growth. To tap this, we have identified several technological initiatives of which I will elaborate on the following:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) -
Our rejuvenated CRM will give our sales teams and customer service agents, amongst other features, a 360-degree view of the customer, leading to an enhanced potential for generating more effective customer journeys.
- Endless Aisle - This technology will allow customers to view and order products that are either out of stock or not sold in-store and have them shipped directly to their homes thus presenting the customer with a significantly larger product assortment.
- Digital Web Experience - Our revamped website and app will help us improve our sell-through, provide a better Pre-sales and Postsales experience and improve store guidance and discovery. Our fully functional ecommerce portal is a key step towards building an omni-channel presence and will initiate the digitization journey for us.
Good corporate governance is imperative to a company’s success and towards this, we have set up a 6-member Board of Directors, comprising eminent professionals. In keeping with the traditions of good governance, we have also ensured that the Board is predominantly independent. Additionally, the Board
Members have brought diverse perspectives that have added immense value to the process of strategically steering the Company forward.
We have also focused on setting up a complete leadership team and added the necessary positions to achieve this which has not only strengthened the talent pool but has also helped us imbibe the best practices from other industries, including retail and FMCG. We are also building an enabling, performance-oriented culture that focuses on the customer and ensures both Strategic brilliance and Operational excellence.
We are all committed to spending time and effort to consistently better employee engagement. We strongly believe that engaged employees know and do best to contribute to the organizational goals and stakeholder delight. With an intent to make your Company an employer of choice, we participated in the Great Place to Work (GPTW) survey and are now a GPTW certified workplace. The survey helped us understand and improve employees’ experience at our work place.
We are proud and grateful for our long-standing affiliations with all our partners viz. shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers, other business associates, regulatory authorities and all other stakeholders.
We believe we are focusing on the right building blocks viz; customer focus, right growth strategies, efficient operations and effective governance and will continue to strengthen these which will yield significant stakeholder value creation over the long term. We are also excited about global players like Ikea entering the Indian market which is not only indicative of the organized sector’s potential but will also help increase its size.
The year 2018 has been a great year for us and I am thankful to each one of you for your support and trust in us.
Chairman & Managing Director