Pepperfry.Com: Turning The Tables On Disruption
Case Study

Pepperfry.Com: Turning The Tables On Disruption

19 pages
October 2018
Reference: IMD-7-2023

The case discusses how Pepperfry, India’s largest online furniture retailer, disrupted the furniture and home decor market while overcoming the challenges of India’s weak infrastructure, age-old methods of buying and selling furniture from local carpentry shops, lack of consumer trust in e-commerce and a massive geography. By 2018 Pepperfry had grown exponentially to control over 60% of the online furniture business in the country. However, several questions regarding its current and future trajectory remained. First, despite controlling costs and significantly expanding revenues, it was not profitable. What could it do to achieve profitability? Second, in response to the demands of the market, Pepperfry embarked on an omnichannel strategy, establishing 34 studios in Tier 1 cities with targeted expansion to 70 studios by 2019. How could it manage this added online-offline complexity, while still staying on track to break even? Finally, the competitive space had significantly heated up, with the arrival of IKEA (September 2018), and with Flipkart’s (acquired by Walmart) growing focus on the furniture segment. Did Pepperfry have the systems, brand name and agility to respond to these challenges? Or will the disruptor be disrupted?

Learning Objective

– How platform strategy can be cleverly used to disrupt a fragmented and unorganized marketplace where customers demand significant variety. – The importance of a curated platform, compared to an open one. – The challenges of traditional supply chain and marketing channels in developing countries. – How firms in such markets can go about building a multi-sided platform. – The critical role of the offline channel and the challenges of managing an omnichannel business.

Keywords
Strategy, Furniture, eCommerce, Curated Marketplace, Long Tail, Disruption, Supply Chain, Logistics, Omnichannel, Franchise, Ecosystem
Settings
Asia
Pepperfry
2012 - 2017
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2018
Language
English
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Contact

Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

2019 John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition - runner up
2019 EFMD Case Writing Competition Award - Indian Management Issues and Opportunities
Looking for something specific?
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics