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Sleepsia’s Dheeraj Kapoor decodes the tremendous growth in the sleep aid market

Adgully is back with a new edition of its annual feature – TRENDING NOW – where we present the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of the pandemic period.

Over the last few weeks, Trending Now has been bringing insights from industry leaders on how their organisations are geared up to seize the opportunities in 2022, break through the Covid disruptions and find growth and remain resilient.

In conversation with Adgully, Dheeraj Kapoor, Director, Sleepsia, speaks about the emerging trends in the sleep aid industry in 2022, the tremendous growth that this industry has seen in the pandemic and post-pandemic period, and more.

What are the trends that you expect to dominate in your sector in 2022?

The sleep aids market is growing at a rampant pace. In fact, according to a Marketwatch report, the global sleep aids market is forecasted to grow from $64,002.1 million to $111,930.10 million between 2020 and 2030, growing at a CAGR of 7%. There are several trends that we expect to drive the growth of this niche market further in the upcoming years. This is primarily due to their strengthening health-conscious mindset.

For instance, while the increasing exposure to digital technologies and gadgets was already making the improper posture issue prominent, the pandemic-forced work from home has escalated it. To address this problem, Sleepsia has developed unique sleep aids like cervical pillows that help people fight against such issues.

In fact, over the last few years, we have witnessed a considerable uptick in demand for posture correctors, cervical pillows, and lumbar support pillows. We are 100% sure that the need for sleep aids that help prevent sleep-related health issues will scale up further.

Moreover, considering that this demand is already over the roof, research and development to introduce upgraded sleep aid products will gain prominence in this sector. Even established players are increasing the range of their offers. At Sleepsia, too, we have gathered data using surveys and studies to enhance our product portfolio further.

Apart from product development, the certifications will also gain prominence. Consumers have become more aware of the importance of quality products and therefore prefer to check the credentials of the products before purchasing. In this context, certified products and certifications like CertiPUR-US will become more mainstream.

What are the challenges and new opportunities that you see emerging in the year ahead?

There are several opportunities in the sleep aids market. As per our research, it is anticipated that due to a significant rise in the prevalence of sleep disorders, the sleep aids market is going to expand by leaps and bounds in the next couple of years. Moreover, as people mostly resorted to 'work from home' in the last two years, their bodies have gone through a heavy toll and improper sitting posture.

In addition, smartphone usage causes many health issues. Often people are not aware of the effects of hours spent looking down at a gadget, leading to issues such as forward neck posture, slouched posture, or rounded shoulders. However, due to increasing awareness, more and more people gradually realize these issues. They are on the lookout for sleep aid products to help them correct their sitting postures. This has contributed to the rising demand for back support pillows, lumbar pillows, and similar other products.

At the same time, with the growing interest of investors and VCs, the competition scale in sleep-aid has also risen. At this juncture, businesses need to have a clear point of differentiation to separate their products/ services from the abundance of competitors in this space. Customers are demanding products with proven results today. The focus should be on manufacturing products that deliver the promised benefits without compromising.

In this context, at Sleepsia, we have made significant progress. During our initial days, we were sourcing products from China. But, now we have established our manufacturing unit in India. We have absolute control over our quality parameters, allowing us to provide only high-quality products to customers.

How is this year's turnout to be in this sector as compared to the last two years? How strong the recovery will be?

Arizton Market Research expects the global sleep industry to grow at a CAGR of over 6.11% from 2020 to 2026. While the pandemic disrupted the market to a certain extent, like almost every other industry, things are gradually coming back on track. Due to the increasing awareness among new-age consumers, there is a spike in demand for sleep-tech and premium products. Pain relief pillows, mattresses, and sleep aids are gaining prominence like never before.

Compared to the last two years, our sales and revenue have scaled up manifold. Sleepsia’s international sales are flourishing at an unprecedented pace and have the potential to grow majestically. As of now, the share of our international sales is more than 80% of the total sales. While this is a matchless achievement for Sleepsia in the existing sleep industry, we aspire to strengthen our footholds in the Indian market now. For this, we have made several noteworthy plans by accessing the recently raised money.

What are the changes that have happened in this sector in the last two years?

The sleep industry in India is currently split between the organized and the unorganised sectors. While the unorganised sector dominates it, we are now witnessing a shift towards the organised sector. The current Indian sleep industry is evidence of consumer evolution. Many well-informed customers today are willing to pay for top-notch quality products. The customers have also become relatively more digitally savvy, choosing to use technology to meet all their needs.

In the future, the organised sector market share is likely to increase. Supply chain inefficiencies will reduce, and cost-efficiency will ramp up. The sleep aid sector has witnessed assured growth in the last two years, thanks to the rising awareness among people about sleep disorders and the ill effects of sleep deprivation. The increasing usage of social media and the growing adoption of sleep clinics are also boosting the market.

How strong will this sector’s growth be compared to the last two years as well as the pre-Covid period?

The last two years have witnessed several health problems. Most of which were caused by the COVID-19. These health problems were not necessarily physical. Many people who were not infected by the virus were suffering from anxiety and stress. However, a silver lining of the pandemic effect is that people have become more health-conscious. Consumers today understand the need to keep their immune and other body systems strong to fight against sudden infections. And while eating right and doing regular exercise are essential, having a stress-free and peaceful goodnight's sleep is equally crucial.

This notion of fulfilling the need for a relaxing six to eight hours of sleep has boosted the demand for AI-based sleep-tech products, pain relief pillows and mattresses, and posture correctors. The sleep aid market is stronger than ever before and will continue to evolve, more so because we have learned many valuable lessons from the horrific pandemic. The improved business models and agile approach will help the sleep-aid sector become more productive and efficient.

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