Reawakening the Sleep Industry
In conversation with a CXOToday journalist, Priyanka Salot, Co-founder, The Sleep Company, shared the journey behind the brand and its business outlook for 2023.
- What is the USP of The Sleep Company and how is it different from other mattress companies?
The mattress industry is one that has for decades remained stagnant. The last innovation in the sector was that of memory foam which was done in the 1960s. We noticed this and started The Sleep Company in 2019 to reinvent the wheel.
What sets us apart is the patented Japanese SmartGRID technology which is the biggest innovation in sleep technology currently. It is specially developed by a DRDO scientist to help you sleep better and smarter. It is the only technology which gives you softness that relaxes your pressure points and firmness that supports your back. Also we aim to offer the highest level of quality and durability of products to the customers and therefore source all raw materials meticulously from Japan.
The mattresses at The Sleep Company are a radical shift from what’s been the industry norm for decades, i.e. making spring-based or latex mattresses or the more popular memory foam. Instead, our SmartGRID technology uses cutting-edge developments in the fields of material and sleep science to give users a science-backed comfort-tech sleep experience unlike none other.
- What is the benefit of SmartGRID technology? Do you envision any further advancements in your sector in the near future?
Our patented Japanese SmartGRID technology, which has been developed in collaboration with ex-DRDO scientist Dr. Tripathi, is the primary differentiator between us and our competitors. Below are some of the standout features of SmartGRID that set us apart from each and every other player in the market.
- Superior ergonomics: Intelligently designed to ensure that it is both soft and firm. Soft in certain places like your hips and shoulders while firm in places where it should be like your back, giving you advanced levels of posture support. This is the only technology which gives you softness and firmness at the same time.
- Motion isolation: Cancels out any kind of disturbance caused by the person sleeping next to you. Enjoy movement-free, zero partner disturbance.
- Temperature control: The patented Japanese SmartGRID technology, with 2500 air channels, is a temperature-neutral technology that doesn’t trap body heat like a memory foam mattress and keeps one cool. The premium cover ensures further softness and a cool touch.
- Extreme durability: Doesn’t sag or sink like other foam, latex, or memory foam mattresses. The ultra-elastic material will ensure that you experience zero sagging.
According to 2019 research, India is the second most sleep-deprived country after Japan. This has created a huge market for sleep and sleep-related products. With the world becoming more digitised, it is only safe to assume that the next wave of innovations in the sleep and mattress sector will be heavily dependent on Sleep Technology. Touted as one of the top 10 trends of the decade, Sleep Technology is what brands are turning to expand their value offering to consumers. In the near future, one can expect to see mattress brands offering sleep monitoring and tracking or even temperature-controlled systems that would further elevate the sleeping experience.
- Are there any new product launches happening by The Sleep Company
Currently we have our range of SmartGRID mattresses, pillows and recliner beds that are doing well. We have a robust R&D team who is working aggressively on expanding our product portfolio to move beyond mattresses, pillows and beds. In an effort to upgrade the quality of comfort in India, we plan to expand into furnishings and extend the application of the SmartGRID technology to include all seating solutions such as office chairs, vehicle seats, gaming chairs, and much more.
- What digital transformations have you implemented in your business to improve sector growth?
As a brand, we at The Sleep Company, have technology as the base of all our products. We leverage technology effectively to develop and design better products for customers. We started off with our patented Japanese SmartGRID technology, mattresses and have over the years, through focused consumer listening and targeting, expanded into reclining beds and other accessories.
Also, we are a proponent of automating processes that will enable our consumers to have a better customer journey and enjoy the entire buying experience. To that effect, we have adopted an omnichannel model where consumers can have a connected experience when interacting with products whether in the comfort of their homes or in the retail outlets.
- How has the Series B funding helped the brand to grow?
We recently closed our Series B round at Rs. 177 CR which was led by Premji Invests and saw participation by Fireside Ventures and Alteria Capital. These funds will be instrumental in growing our D2C business and expanding our retail presence. Our vision of opening 25+ physical stores by March 2023 will also be augmented by this round of funding. Additionally, we are now in a better position to further build on our team which will support our aim of becoming a global business.
- Could you kindly elaborate on the anticipated business plan to generate Rs 1000 crore in revenue over the next 4-5 years?
When we started in 2019, we were a digital first brand and had envisioned becoming a global brand and every decision has been made with that milestone in mind. Today, in the industry where the average growth rate is roughly 40%, we have already reached a 400% growth rate for this year. We have a multi-pronged strategy that we are following to reach this goal.
Firstly, there is our aggressive omnichannel expansion. The Sleep Company started off as a digital-only brand with a focus on creating a vast online presence, however, in 2022, we started setting up our phygital stores across the country. Currently, we have 6 stores, two each in Mumbai and Bangalore and one each in Pune and Hyderabad. The aim is to open 25+ stores across Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas in India by the end of this fiscal year.
Additionally, we are on a path of strengthening our international presence which will further support our target of bringing in 10% of the business from international markets by this fiscal year. We have been successfully operating in Japan and UAE for the past 2 years now and are entering the UK market soon.
Also we are working on diversifying our product range to also include comfortable furnishings and all seating solutions within our portfolio like, office chairs, vehicle seats, gaming chairs etc. All of these steps together is how we are confident that we shall achieve or rather overshoot our revenue targets by the stipulated time frame.