La Fleur, a floristry brand run by UK-based entrepreneur Hariharan Subramanian, is betting big to tap the India market.
The company, which will focus on supermarkets and markets, has tied up with retailers such as Big Bazaar, Godrej Nature’s Basket and Reliance Smart to provide locally-sourced and professionally-crafted bouquets to shoppers.
La Fleur will also offer corporate gifting, event management and wedding services. The company will start with Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad and expand to other 30 other cities later.
India consumed Rs 65 billion worth of flowers annually between 2009 and 2016, but the floriculture sector remains unorganised. Approximately 85 per cent of flowers sold in India are by roadside vendors, local florists and itinerant sellers. Online purchases account for less than 1 per cent of the revenue.
“Today, families shop largely in retail stores, supermarkets and multi-level malls, yet hypermarket chains and retail outlets do not stock cut flowers and bouquets on their shelves,” said Subramanian, CEO of La Fleur.
“Commonly voiced reasons for this include...limited domain knowledge, inefficient logistics networks, inconsistent supply and lack of monitoring systems,” said Subramanian, who has over 20 years of experience in marketing fresh-cut flowers.
La Fleur is backed by two parent companies Orion Flora and Indifresh which have been exporting fresh-cut flowers to the Europe for several years.Its range of products have been created by UK-based floral designer Jo Moody, who has over 15 years of experience in the horticultural industry, including teaching floristry at Hadlow College in Kent, U.K. The company said it sources flowers directly from Indian growers.
The firm said this entire endeavour is supported by La Fleur’s logistical arm, decades of commercial experience and dedicated facility in Pune.
The company said that the Indian floriculture market which was estimated to be Rs 157 billion in 2018, is projected to reach Rs 472 billion by 2024. While the lion’s share with regard to these numbers can be attributed to cultivation for export, there is a growing demand for quality fresh cut flowers for the domestic market. Apart from significant traditional spends during festivals, rituals and weddings, urban Indians are gifting flowers on occasions as varied as birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day and other events, said the company.
La Fleur said its online platform will be ready to roll out by beginning June 2019, supplying to cities where it has a physical presence and then at a later stage to the rest of the country.
The company said it is already seeing a fast growing trend in UK and Europe towards online sales, where more than 10 per cent of total sales have moved online and still growing. As part of the online business, the firm would also offer a floral subscription model, with different plans as per the needs of the customers.