Suresh Visvanathan: Driving Innovative Initiatives To Meet Modern Decor Needs | CEOInsights Vendor
Suresh Visvanathan: Driving Innovative Initiatives To Meet Modern Decor Needs

Suresh Visvanathan: Driving Innovative Initiatives To Meet Modern Decor Needs

 Suresh Visvanathan,   Managing Director

Suresh Visvanathan

Managing Director

The home decor industry in India is experiencing steady growth driven by factors like rising disposable incomes, urbanization, and an increasing focus on interior decoration among consumers. Lately, this industry has been shifting towards more personalized and unique home decor products, with a growing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable options. Catering to individual tastes and preferences, acknowledging that beauty is subjective and lies in the eyes of the beholder, Alkemi Decor Designs is a brand renowned for providing a wide variety of choices to its customers. Led by Suresh Visvanathan, MD, Alkemi Decor Designs has marked major milestones in the decor design industry, let’s hear more from him.

Can you share a brief overview of your professional journey and what inspires your daily routines?
I embarked on my career as a ‘shift-in-charge’ at Finolex Industries, working at their petrochemical complex in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Later, I transitioned to institutional sales at Bharat Petroleum Corporation. Eventually, I joined Asian Paints as a business development executive, focusing on new product lines. Over time, I progressed to the position of sales & marketing head for their industrial paints division, before eventually deciding to venture out and start Alkemi Decor. Each day, I embrace challenges as opportunities for personal and intellectual growth, bringing me closer to my life goals and aspirations.

Could you please share your academic experience at XLRI Jamshedpur? Additionally, tell us about the valuable lessons you learned on campus that extended beyond the academic realm.
For me, enrolling in XLRI Jamshedpur meant gaining exposure to various aspects of business, allowing me to develop a comprehensive understanding of each domain. The dual specialization in finance and marketing, along with elective courses, played a crucial role in building this foundation. These learnings have significantly influenced my professional journey, enabling me to make well balanced business decisions. The pedagogy, particularly the use of case studies and projects, provided practical
applications for our knowledge.

Beyond academics, XLRI offered a sense of camaraderie, discipline and the importance of meeting deadlines. It was an environment that instilled valuable qualities beyond textbook knowledge. Notably, I also found my life partner during my time there, which adds a special and joyful aspect to my memories of the campus.

Define Alkemi Decor Designs as an organization and its position in the market.
Alkemi Decor Designs is an organization that holds a pioneering position in the Indian retail market, having introduced the concept of 'customized wallpapers' initially. This innovative idea was further expanded to encompass an entire range of decor products, including window blinds, curtains, and upholstery, firmly establishing our presence in each of these categories. We understand the intricacies of the market, acknowledging that success may be accompanied by challenges. Hence, we are willing to adapt, reevaluate, and approach situations from a fresh perspective, all while keeping our overarching goals in mind. In the market, we are recognized as innovators and trailblazers, enjoying a substantial ‘mind share’ among retailers.

Recognizing that home decor is a subjective matter, we believe that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, & there are no fixed rules

What makes you an ideal choice for home decor products and describe the kind of craftsmanship or workmanship that goes into the manufacturing of each product.
Our brand stands out by continuously expanding our product range, providing customers with a plethora of options to suit their individual tastes and lifestyles. We take pride in offering an eclectic mix of designs, styles, and genres, avoiding any rigid constraints.

To ensure the highest quality, we have directed our efforts towards digital manufacturing', which grants us the flexibility to produce short runs, facilitate quick change-overs, and offer customizations tailored to each customer's preferences. Our commitment to exceptional design is reflected in the substantial investment we've made, with a dedicated team proficient in both handcrafted and computer-aided designs. With these approaches, each product undergoes meticulous craftsmanship, resulting in home decor that not only exudes charm but also aligns perfectly with your distinct preferences and personality.
In your role as MD, what factors do you consider when formulating effective corporate growth strategies for the company?
As the MD, my approach to developing effective corporate growth strategies considers several vital factors. Firstly, I carefully assess the organization's evolutionary stage, taking into account its current capabilities and resource constraints. Our growth model revolves around continual expansion of product offerings and designs, as well as broadening our reach through network expansion and exploring alternative channels.

Moreover, I view adversity as an opportunity, recognizing that challenges prompt a unique sense of urgency in executing alternative strategies that can lead to growth. For instance, during the pandemic-induced collapse of our retail business, we adapted by examining our available capabilities and overcoming resource limitations, ultimately establishing a thriving ‘point of purchase display unit business’ catering to major corporations. This resilient approach allowed us to achieve growth even amidst the difficult pandemic years.

How do you lead your team in handling customer feedback and implementing improvements?
In the realm of decor, numerous opinions abound. I advise my team to carefully sift through feedback, considering only those that hold merit.If there is no substantial feedback, it is essential not to be influenced by mere opinions. Instead, we focus on driving improvement initiatives based on statistically relevant feedback aggregation. This approach ensures that our actions are guided by meaningful data and insights, leading to more effective and purposeful enhancements in our products and services.

What lies ahead as the future destination for Alkemi Decor?
I see Alkemi Decor as a journey well begun with a strong dealer network in a variety of markets across the country. We will continue to expand range and reach strengthening our trade story. In parallel, using digital technologies, we will be building alternate revenue channels, customer acquisition plans and work on creating a consumer brand. Our dream is to make every home an Alkemi home!

Suresh Visvanathan, MD, Alkemi Decor Designs
Suresh Visvanathan is a trailblazing figure in the realm of interior design, who assumes the role of Managing Director at Alkemi Decor Designs. With an impressive career marked by innovation and creative prowess, Suresh has played a pivotal role in reshaping the landscape of interior aesthetics in India.

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