Mr. Snehal Vasani could certainly be considered as one of the most respected personalities in India when it comes to kitchen technology and know-how. With his state of the art manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Pune, he brings to life world class modular kitchens for the best in the business, including his very own brand Kitchen Grace. Home Review gets candid with the kitchen “specialist” and founder and CEO of Kitchen Grace.
After a four hour sojourn from Mumbai, it is almost noon when we reach Gat No. 116, Alandi Markal Road on the outskirts of Pune. We are greeted by a well-dressed sexagenarian who guides us to his conference room and after a brief round of introductions we proceed to take a look at Mr. Snehal Vasani’s world class facility.
Amidst the constant humming of automated machines, most of which have been imported from Italy, Germany and Austria, Mr. Vasani, a qualified architect from the prestigious Sir J.J. College of Architecture, spills the beans on his fascination for designer kitchens, “After my graduation I worked for 10 years in Bombay following which I did a stint with a construction company in the Gulf which built semi furnished apartments; it is here that I came in contact with an Italian designer and another German individual who were at the helm of affairs; my regular discussions with the duo on design, processes, machinery, etc., inclined me to move into the business of manufacturing kitchens once I returned to Pune.”
One look at the facility will convince the observer that Kitchen Grace certainly has its act together where manufacturing of kitchens is concerned. The birth of this beauty happens through the utilisation of state of the art machinery and raw materials procured from the best in the business, guaranteeing the look, quality and feel of the end product. It also espouses the drive and grit of their CEO to ‘make it’ in the kitchen industry – a space he is both passionate and optimistic about.
While we are busy getting charmed by his production facility, Mr.Vasani goes into flashback mode.“The inception of my dream happened with a couple of portable machines on the 1st January 1988. I had one single employee back then who continues to work with me till date. This initial set up was in Pune city, but as the business grew it became evident that I needed more space, more machines and more people to mass produce the objects of my desire. Today, I can confidently say that I have one of the most efficient set of people working with me, which makes my job a tad bit easier.”
Kitchen Grace manufactures kitchens for the best names in the business in the same world class facility. Though there are other companies with manufacturing capabilities similar totheirs in the country, Kitchen Grace is the only facility which is whole heartedly dedicated to the manufacturing of kitchens – right from the automated machinery, processes, global procurement and skilled labour that work tirelessly to ensure a world class product.
In fact before setting up his facility Mr.Vasani travelled for about a year checking out similar plants and machinery manufacturers in Europe who could deliver on his dream. ‘Quality’ is the keyword for his enterprise and he believes that commercial gain is bound to follow suit if he stays true to his guns.
“A kitchen manufactured right here in this facility is nothing short of a kitchen manufactured in another world class facility abroad. What you can be assured of is excellent quality, raw materials and processes; we are only limited by the design someone may select.”
Mr.Vasani also believes what works for kitchens in Europe may not necessarily work in India. Similarly, what works for an urban setting may not find favour in a rural landscape. Likewise one has to understand the nuances of a kitchen needed for a sprawling bungalow compared to one in an urban flat.
Talking about his own brand Kitchen Grace which is manufactured in the same facility, Mr. Vasani asserts, “Kitchen Grace addresses the needs of an Indian consumer upfront. There are numerous aspects like efficient pest control and safe guarding your kitchen from a watery grave which are some of the practical realities in Indian homes. These are just some of the details we address with our customised design solutions.”
A constant optimist, he believes that improved and more functional kitchens are slowly finding their way into the minds and homes of Indian consumers. “With better quality homes today people have a lot of expectation from their kitchens as well. A standard kitchen has outgrown the 6ft x 6ft mentality. People are demanding bigger kitchens, some even want it to be a part of their drawing room, this trend will only advance and that makes the future of kitchens promising.”
Kitchen Grace also has the capability to manufacture beautiful cabinetry and wardrobes, but its heart lies in kitchens. When askedwhether he would expand his enterprise to manufacture furniture in addition to his beloved kitchen, prompt comes the answer, “No, I guess it’s a different ball game altogether,”signs off Mr. Vasani.
Text By Vikas Bhadra
Photos By Snigdha Hodarkar