Duroflex Focuses on Digital-Driven Growth Strategy: CMO Smita Murarka

Founded by the late PC Mathew in the backwaters of Kerala in 1960 for introducing coir mattresses to the Indian market, Duroflex is today one of the most trusted sleep solution providers in the Indian market, owning 21% market share. Led by the third generation of entrepreneurs from the Mathew family, Duroflex has now expanded across the country, built a strong digital presence and grown from just a seller of mattresses in South India to a supplier of holistic sleep solutions with an assortment of products on offer.

In today’s edition of the e4m “Pride of India Brands 2021” series, the brand’s CMO, Smita Murarka, talks about the brand, its decades-long journey and the way forward.

The company was born from the heart of the founder and evolved with consumers at the heart of all activities, explains Murarka. “Duroflex started as an owner-run business in the backwaters of Kerala and was mainly present in the South Indian market only for a long time before expanding to parts of western India. India But the pandemic has really pushed the accelerator on our growth and over the last couple of years we have expanded all over India.

Murarka points out that the pandemic has played a key role in spreading the “Make In India” story and it has really helped SMEs like Duroflex. The brand has grown from a simple offline regional entity to a pan-Indian, omni-channel, digital-focused company.

The changing market space also has a lot to do with the growth that Duroflex has shown over the past few years. “Mattresses, as a category, operated in a very traditional way. And because companies were already doing good, it was hard to disrupt the well-oiled system. This disruption has been brought by new-era, digital-focused brands, and the impact has also been felt by traditional players like us. And because our brand was built on strong products, we were able to maintain our position among these young players as well.

Murarka further says that the need to educate consumers continues to be the biggest challenge in the space. “Around 60-70% of Indian consumers still buy mattresses from local players or small brands and don’t really understand the importance of good products and restful sleep. As the competition grows , consumers become more aware of the brand space, and this is good for all brands that produce good quality products.

Emphasizing that a strong marketing strategy also plays a key role in building brands within the category, Murarka says: “Until now, Duroflex has been a local brand for most of its life cycle. I had joined just before the pandemic hit with a much reduced marketing team and we faced many challenges initially due to Covid. But marketing isn’t just about posting good, creative or whimsical content. It should be for consumers, helping them learn something new. It’s also about how well you understand the business and work as a well-oiled, well-oiled brand. And that’s what we’ve been doing for two years: putting the consumer at the heart of everything we do.

Murarka further shares that the brand has evolved tremendously over the years when it comes to its approach to marketing. “For a long time, the products were very retail and we were operating in a particular market because it is not easy to transport the mattresses due to their size and weight. So most of the marketing was also offline. , very dealer-centric. The category’s digital capabilities weren’t as mature as they are now. However, since the pandemic, we’ve really upped the ante on marketing. We’ve not only revamped our product portfolio to make it more expansive and include better sleep solutions, but we also hired a great brand ambassador like Alia Bhatt It was, in fact, a big bet that someone young like Bhatt would approve the category, which was previously promoted mostly by men, but it worked well in our favor.

She wraps up the conversation with insight into how the brand has worked hard to grow its product portfolio. “Over the past few years, we have added products like linens, furniture and recliners to our portfolio, and they collectively represent 20% of our sales. We want to increase this share significantly while mattresses will remain our bread and butter. But you will see many exciting new launches from us in the year. We have a very busy schedule ahead of us. »

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