The Greeks’ reverence for beauty made them derive the word ‘esthetics’, which meant concerned with beauty and appearance. Although throughout the millennium the word went through many variations only to be today known as ‘Aesthetics’. We try to maintain these ‘aesthetics’ in our lives and our surroundings and it also has an impact on our mood and the way we feel.
Interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people occupying the space. A front-runner in this craft is Danube Home.
Welcome to Danube Home
Founded in the year 2008, Danube Home launched with big aspirations and with an aim to provide customers with everything they could possibly need to make their dream home a reality. It soon became the leading home improvement and home furnishing retail brand with a strong, vibrant, ever-growing presence in the Middle East, Gulf Region, and the Indian Sub-Continent. Danube Home is also known for its unwavering commitment to the highest standards of customer service, unmatched quality, strikingly beautiful designs, and innovative retail services, and leadership across a bewildering range of product lines.
The portfolio of Danube Home includes over 50,000 products in different categories like furniture, luxury bathroom fittings, ceramic tiles and accessories, garden products like gazebos, outdoor sofa and dining sets, swings, loungers, BBQ sets and kids play area, modular kitchens, dinnerware, kitchen tools and appliances, lighting solutions, mattresses, bedding, carpets and curtains, home decor as well as hardware like doors. The products are sourced from more than 20 countries like USA, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and China. Danube Home has consistently seen an average growth rate of 25% since 2011 owing to its vision to improve the lifestyle of customers by providing innovative products and services. Over 1250 employees are currently associated with Danube and it is one of the most sought-after employers in the entire Middle East.
Vision: To operate 200+ stores globally by 2025 and become the most preferred brand across divisions with a global diversified multi-national customer and supplier base.
Mission: To improve the lifestyle of their customers and consistently set the highest standards in services and quality while focusing on sustainable and environment friendly products and services.
Danube Home’s core values revolve around integrity, teamwork, service to society, commitment, and accountability with an employee as well as consumercentric approach.
The Franchise Model The company has three types of franchise concepts that cater to the budgets of different investors –
- Danube Home
Danube Home is a one-stop-shop for all home needs under one roof. The average store size will range from 10,000 to 30,000 Sq ft. offering lifestyle products like furniture, home décor, homeware, home furnishing, garden, lighting, blinds, carpets, curtains and wallpapers as well as various functional products.
- Danube Home Express
Danube Home Express is the go-to destination for all home improvement products in the lifestyle category like furniture, home decor, homeware, home furnishing, outdoor garden accessories and DIY (do it yourself) ‘Grab & Go’.
- Milano by Danube Home
Milano by Danube Home houses all the functional products that are required in every home like sanitary, electrical, hardware – DIY and lighting.
After establishing its foothold and redefining the landscape of home interiors and exteriors through the Danube Home stores in multiple locations, Danube Group launched its new tech-focused online market – uae.danubehome.com.
DanubeHome.com, much like its physical counterpart, also offers a wide range of products in different categories and is well on its way to becoming the go-to online store for all home needs across UAE.
Since Covid-19, there was a major shift in consumer buying behavior. DanubeHome.com saw a 500x growth in business during this period due to most customers shifting to buying online as opposed to physically visiting stores.
DanubeHome.com currently operates in UAE, Oman and Bahrain but will be looking to expand to other regions as well.
Leading the charge
Mr. Sayed Habib is the General Manager for buying, business development and e-commerce at Danube Home. While managing the strategic and business development division, Mr. Habib has played an integral role in the growth of Danube Home. Under his watchful eyes, Danube Home has expanded its global footprint in countries like UAE, Oman, Bahrain, India, Nepal, Egypt, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Malawi, Seychelles, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.
He is known for his innovative ideas that have led to the rise and growth of danubehome.com even during the pandemic. Under his steadfast leadership, the website has seen a steady rise in revenue owing to several new initiatives and strategies that were tactfully implemented at every stage after carefully studying data and market trends.
He is also the man leading the team that is responsible for bringing the vast range of products from different categories, sourced from different parts of the world, both offline and online.
Under his dynamic leadership, Danube Home has won many accolades which include winning the ‘Retail Excellence Award 2019’, ‘Great Place to Work Award’ and ‘Dubai Quality Award’.
Mr. Habib’s drive to seamlessly adapt to changes in technology and all other aspects of running an e-commerce business has earned him spots at several webinars and conferences on this topic, latest one being the Seamless Expo, 2020.
Meet the Core Team
Rajat Sharma joined Danube Home as an International Franchise Development Manager in 2015, bringing over 12+ years of professional experience as a franchise consultant across multiple industries. He spearheads the franchise function in both multinational corporations and family-owned businesses across India, Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
He mainly emphasis upon New Franchise recruitment, Business Development, P&L management and Business expansion with high performance culture and leadership excellence development with a focus on digitization of systems and processes that will lead to better business results.
Sambit Sahoo is currently with the company as International Franchise Development Manager, spearheading the franchisee recruitment, expansion, and retail operation of all franchisees. He played a key role in making Danube Home franchisee business more sustainable and relevant to today’s business environment.
From Traders to Titans
Starting something from the scratch is never easy and Danube Home too had its share of ups and downs when embarking on this journey.
Firstly, Danube Home was venturing into an industry that was already saturated with several international and local players in the market. The competition was fierce, and the main objective was to stand out in the clutter. Secondly, when starting out, the knowledge about the retail industry was limited. Danube Group started out as a trading company and transitioning from trading to retail was a challenging one.
Danube Home’s focus on employees and their customers is what made all the difference. Investing in the right talent was a driving a force behind the establishment and growth of Danube Home.
Understanding the market and identifying the right products that the customers will like as well as providing everything one might need for their home under one roof ensured that Danube Home slowly became a sought-after household name for all home needs in the region.
Safety and Care
Danube Home has always prioritized on giving their customers the best service and the highest quality products. The pandemic saw Danube Home coming up with the most innovative ideas to still give their valuable customers the best shopping experience whether they are shopping online from their home or shopping in-store.
All the Danube Home showrooms had the Covid-19 safety protocols in place as per government guidelines to make sure that customers are presented a safe and secure shopping experience. Since face-to-face sales was not an option during the Covid-19 lockdown period, Danube Home started a virtual selling service where customers could book an appointment with their sales team on Zoom and check out the products, they are interested in real time, giving them the feeling of actually being there.
Since there was a rapid boost in online sales during the pandemic, Danube Home completely revamped and improved the capability of their online business. The Danube Home website now features the first ever virtual showroom in UAE.
Time for aggressive expansion
Some of the strategically driven plans implemented by Danube Home includes strengthening its online offerings and expanded its presence in other parts of the GCC. They have also started a design and development department which takes care of complete home design, customizable product offering as well as installation.
“We have also started home services department to cater the need of home care and maintenance with services like upholstery cleaning, pest eradication, carpet deep cleaning and a lot more.”
Danube Home international aspires to be present in 50 countries by 2025, and expand e-commerce, home service, design and development business in Asia, Africa, and European countries.
Clearly, Covid-19 has created massive challenges for retailers around the world. In its wake, some retailers will thrive while others struggle to survive.
The franchise business at Danube Home has grown this year in double digit due to change in business model and investment plans that its team has adopted as a business. In a recent study, it was noted that franchised businesses in the U.S. is expected to grow by 1.5% this year. It all indicates to the fact that Danube is truly on to something.
Apart from providing products at very competitive price the company has improved its quality of offering, introduced new technologies, and streamlined the operations and revenue management system. A highly notable industry disrupting move is the fact that Danube Home will now not be charging any royalty for any franchisee.