CUSTOMER IS THE KING- Quality is the Queen

Sleep is always the goal and every new technology that arrives, and every new innovation that is possible should be leveraged to the fullest degree in accomplishing that outcome. Mr. Archit Gupta, MD, King Koil India tells us how his company has been doing just that – creating better sleep experiences and quality, by using years of experience along with radical and fresh technologies and ideas.

New leaps like an ID that suggests personalised mattress options for a couple, or an index that helps to stretch the limits of quality parameters or software that makes ‘bodymatch’ something more than a word in the brochure – it seems that the company is all set for making huge strides with disruptive innovations.

It spends not just time but strategic attention when it comes to research and development. Mr Archit Gupta also tells us how that, when embedded with a global footprint, translates into ahead-of-the-curve offerings in the market. He also flattens the creases on the connection between health and mattress quality. Looks like, mattresses have to take health aspects like back, orthopaedic issues and other challenges with a whole new sense of gravity. Let us find out how all these changes and industry shifts are panning out.

What is it like to be a player that is over 120 years old? What advantages and challenges do this legacy and lineage bring? What makes your strategy unique and strong with the challenges and opportunities that have shaped up over the years, especially in the current market landscape?

King Koil, being a more than a century-old mattress brand, has got an edge over others with respect to sleep technologies and improved material specifications that lead to an improved sleep experience for our customers. The legacy of the King Koil brand is built over a wide spread of countries with top companies that have worked hard on the brand in their respective regions and have created a collective global brand image over time. This, in turn, helps everyone in their current market in terms of brand reputation.

Tell us something about the strengths and strategic edge that flow due to a global manufacturing presence? How do you leverage a global footprint as well-sprawled as yours? Any specific areas where this aspect brings in advantages that matter for this industry in particular?

The strategic edge of being a global powerhouse brand is exposure to the latest sleep technologies that every country is working on. With this knowledge, we are always ready for something new and more relevant every year. Recently, we launched a research-based body match technology called SLEEP ID which uses the body parameters of couples and based on a sophisticated logic code, recommends the most suitable mattress to that couple from a range of products, that too with up to 94 per cent+ accuracy.

What kind of opportunities and consumer behaviour factors do these segments exhibit: Ortho products, Premium products, Luxury segment? What unique upsides and flip-sides, if any, have you observed in the hotel segment?

The major segments of the market are the Orthopedic and Back-Support segments; while the Luxury & Premium segment is still comparatively small. With memory foam as a new and potent value-addition in the buyers’ market, it is very important for mattress brands to ensure usability in mattresses along with attention to an optimum mix.

What value do associations, like the ones with chiropractors and physiotherapists, bring in? How important are they for the new shifts that the industry is undergoing and for the needs that today’s customers are exploring?

Yes, it is definitely a very important association for our brand and the value additions are notable. Over time, chiropractors’ associations like ICA (USA) have helped us to create SleepID Body Match software through four years of research and development with King Koil USA. With the help of physiotherapists and orthopaedics, we have improved the specifications of our products – immensely over time – and the resultant value is clearly seen through the customer satisfaction reports that we get from the market.

Any latest insights that you can share from the Sleep Quality Tracking Index? It sounds like a disruptive and relevant concept. What started this idea?

Sleep Quality Index is a ranking system that King Koil developed to ensure fair rankings of our own product range on various key parameters by using processes like sleep trackers, body composition analysis, chiropractor’s evaluation etc. This has given us a fair evaluation of how our own product ranks within a range of comfort and support in an unbiased and scientific way.

A lot of debate and discussion throbs around the advent of technology in this industry? With the backdrop of a legacy environment and the future that is arriving with advancements in Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotics, Automation, Customer Relationship Management etc. what is your assessment of the role of technology from here and on?

I believe that the new slew of technologies has an unlimited scope of investments and returns in the longer-term horizon. We are always positive and upbeat on investments in technologies for improvements in sleep quality for our customers. It is going to accelerate the state of innovation in the industry in many ways. It is going to augment customer experience quite strongly. That’s a significant goal for industry leaders and innovators.

How strong are segments that you see with innovations like BODY MATCH technology and alliances like iOBED?

We are seeing a major shift in our sales happening through Body match technology selection by our customers. Our prime goal, since the beginning, is customer satisfaction through better quality sleep. Firstly we focused on making the highest quality products from all parameters to ensure top manufacturing standards, and then, we saw a huge gap in the sales process at retail points that leads to comfort issues. Our focus on body match technology is aimed to eliminate these comfort issues by letting customers buy mattresses that suit their body needs and requirements.

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ISPF is an industry body which promotes importance of sleep and role of mattress for a Indian consumers. ISPF plays very important role in connecting Indian bedding industry ecosystem. ISPF also acts as bridge between India and international players.