K Madhavan revolutionising the Indian Spring Matters Industry

K Madhavan Lead

Peps Industries under the guidance of the founder and Managing Director, K Madhavan rules the Spring Matters Industry in India, and continue writing the success story.

With more than 30 years of experience in the mattress industry, K Madhavan started Peps in 2006  along with his two partners Mr. G. Shankar Ram and Mr. P Manjunath. The professional experience that he had gained over a period of 3 decades serves as a catalyst to the fast and steady growth of his company PEPS.  Currently Mr. K. Madhavan serves as Managing Director at Peps Industries Pvt. Ltd. He shared his success story with PEAKLIFE over a tete-a-tete.   

PEPS Industries Pvt. Ltd. a leading player in the spring mattress industry with 55% of market share. From manufacturing 8700 mattresses during the year of its inception, the company has come a long way of manufacturing 2.25 lakh mattresses during the 2016-2017 period. Within a short period of 10 years, PEPS has secured a massive retail presence in the country. Today Peps is has a turnover of approximately Rs. 250 crores.

Tell us about yourself and how did the initial idea of entering the spring mattress business come about for you?
My professional career has always been centred in and around the mattress industry. Before starting Peps, I was employed at one of the big names in the mattress industry. Having given me my first break, I then rose to serve as President of Operations in the same organization. Through this, my subject matter expertise of the mattress industry broadened and I noticed a worrying trend: the mattress industry was dominated by a small group of highly consolidated wholesalers and there was a huge market that was yet to be tapped in.

Yet another trend noticed was the fact that the mattress market was dominated by coir and foam mattresses. At that time, out of the total mattress market share, spring mattresses had a share of less than 2%. This further encouraged me to bring about the rise of the Indian spring mattress industry.

Q. In a short duration of time, you have successfully established your brand as a recognized name in the industry. How did it all come about?
In 2006, my partners and I took over a sick mattress unit based out of Coimbatore. This was the genesis of Peps as a brand. Our goal was simple – To do something simple and do it our way “really well”; and this was to help Indians sleep better.

I became conscious of the fact that a revolution of the global economy had begun, and India was starting to become a part of the world community. The demands faced by modern Indians and their 24/7 life was immense. Coupled with the huge market potential, our secret to a successful growth was laid before our eyes.

From the start, I understood the importance of sleeping on a quality spring mattress and ensured Peps dedicated itself to educating the consumers of this. Across the country, regardless of geography, Peps has focused its efforts on imparting information about spring mattresses and its benefits that allows a consumer to sleep better. And they can do this only if they are able to make well-informed purchase decisions driven by quality access to product information.

One important factor for success was Peps’ product offering, catering to all consumer categories. Peps’ products fall into 3 categories: Affordable Luxury, International Luxury, and Ultra Luxury. This ensured that access to quality sleep was given to all and not restricted to any particular economic group.

Q. What according to you was the turning point in your business career, or the one decision that changed it all for you?

Ever since I began my professional journey, I always knew that I was meant to be more than a follower. The passion to lead and drive growth was instilled in me from a young age. I realized that in order for me to reach my maximum potential, I will need to be my own boss and it was that epiphany which helped me take my first steps towards an entrepreneurial journey. This decision, albeit a major life-altering decision, was what I have understood to be the turning point in my career.  Although I initiated my entrepreneurial career at (the age of 55), a time which most consider to be of retirement, my need to be more than a hired hand is what pushed me, and I have absolutely no regrets about it.
 
Q. What does the future hold for your brand… what’s next? 
Since we began Peps, the dream has been to transcend what is conventionally known as a “mattress brand” and be much more than just a mattress brand. We knew that in order to impact lives and change the way people sleep, we will need to cater to the entire gamut of sleep. Sleep is one of the most basic human requirements and we have been disrupting the industry built around it ever since we stepped in. Going forward, our future plans are to not only expand our product portfolio in the sleep space but also to raise the bar by moving out of the bedroom and introducing accessories/home decor products and comforts in all aspects of the home.
 
Q. Who has been your role model? And, why?
I consider my wife to be my role model, as clichéd as this might sound, for her ability to offer immense strength and support around critical decision-making time when I decided to follow my entrepreneurial calling and not just remain a hired hand.

The advice, the wisdom imparted and most importantly the support provided has been inspirational. At the age of 55, when I wanted to leave a highly reputed job and begin my entrepreneurial journey, I received unconditional encouragement and invaluable motivation to pursue my dreams. She helped me realize that in order to get out of the restricted cycle of working for someone, I would need to spread my wings and take a leap of faith into entrepreneurship.

Further, my 2 partners in Peps, Mr. G. Shankar Ram and Mr. P. Manjunath, have been nothing less than inspiring role models from an entrepreneurial vision point of view. The belief and trust placed in me by them is what made me the visionary I am today.

Q. What was the moment in your life, or an instance, when you felt that you’ve achieved what you’ve set out for?  

As an entrepreneur, your success and the brand’s success are closely intertwined. Over the years, as Peps grew, we made sure to be exclusive and different from the other players in the market. The moment Peps became the industry standard which all the other well-established players aped, was the moment I felt that something special has been achieved. This sense of achievement was further fuelled by the establishment of Peps as India’s top-selling spring mattress brand. 

Q. As a connoisseur of luxury, what is your favourite holiday destination?
The Hague, a city in the Netherlands, would be my go-to holiday destination. Colloquially known as Den Haag, the city is famous for being a hub for 2 of my greatest passions – Art and Nature. I fell in love with the city ever since I set foot there, so-much-so that I own a palatial house there. I make it a point to spend one month in a year at Den Haag, nourishing my creative and cultural passion while spending time with my son, who is also settled there. My annual vacation there helps recharge my batteries, giving me the much-needed break and vitality to work the rest of the year. 

Q. What’s your favourite material possession?

Hobbies such as painting, and gardening are an integral part of my life and help me channel my free-time into productive outlets. It was only natural that some of my favourite material possessions stem from those hobbies, specifically art. I am incredibly proud of my collection of artefacts and paintings and rustic paint materials. My most prized possession is a custom, hand-crafted goat hair paint brush which I purchased for 130 Euros.

Q. What does luxury mean to you?

By definition, luxury is a state of great comfort which goes above the ordinary human needs. According to me, luxury is a mindset and one’s definition of luxury is experiential. Any object, material or otherwise, which gives you sublime happiness is luxury. Luxury for one may not be the same for the other; It is what we understand to be happiness. It is important to know who you are as a person before knowing what luxury is.

Q. What does success mean to you? 
Humility and Values. Success can be a fickle thing which can easily be torn away if you are not true to your values, beliefs, and humility. Despite materialistic possessions, if one forgoes qualities like their values and humility, they are not truly successful.

 

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