Unforgotten Brands – Kurlon

Kurlon logo

Thanks to their sixty years of experience and unwavering commitment to quality, Kurlon has helped Indians get a good night’s sleep

The origins of the Kurlon brand can be credited to Ramesh Pai, a member of one of Karnataka’s prominent business families. His father founded Syndicate Bank, and Ramesh Pai played a crucial role in developing the family’s educational and medical institutions, including the Kasturba Medical College in Manipal.

In 1960, while visiting Germany as part of an industry delegation, Ramesh Pai met a director of Dresdner Bank who suggested entering the coir business. At that time, Europe’s auto industry was booming, and coir was in demand for car seats, replacing horse and pig hair, which were expensive.

After discovering that high-end motor car seats used rubberized coconut coir fibre from Sri Lanka, Ramesh Pai saw an opportunity since India was one of the world’s largest coconut producers.

For the production of retted (soaked) fabric, cottage industries in India primarily used coir.

Ramesh Pai explored various uses for coconut coir and established Karnataka Coir Productions Ltd. in 1962, in Arsikere, which later became Karnataka Consumer Products Ltd. in 1980.

He introduced Austrian technology to extract fibre from husks and curl it into ropes, laying the foundation for Karnataka Consumer Products Ltd, the precursor of Kurlon.

Initially, the company manufactured cushion seats and bare blocks, but the nascent Indian automobile industry offered limited opportunities. After extensive trials and experiments, Pai conceived of manufacturing rubberized coir mattresses. In 1965, the brand name ‘Kurl-on’ was introduced.

Traditional Indian mattresses were made of cotton. Kurlon’s rubberized coir mattress, composed of fibres and latex compressed into a springy coir block, revolutionised the market. It allowed air circulation and prevented heat buildup between the mattress and the cot.

Kurlon studied people’s sleeping habits to offer targeted solutions. It educated customers about the importance of mattress density, strength, shape, and comfort for better sleep and health. This good night’s sleep concept quickly gained acceptance, propelling the brand forward.

By 1969, Kurlon had received its first railway order. That year, it introduced the quilted mattress concept and became the first mattress brand to advertise in print and on TV. In 1972, it pioneered the first moulded pillow in India and began supplying car seats to Hindustan Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra.

Kurlon continued supplying materials to industrial buyers but stopped producing bare blocks by 1987. The next year, it started in-house production of polyurethane foam. In the early 1990s, Kurlon expanded its product range to include towels, doormats, pillows, and cushion seats.

In 1995, the company was renamed ‘Kurl-on Limited’. The early 2000s saw the launch of the brand’s first retail attempt, ‘Kurl-on Nest’. More manufacturing facilities were established, and the product portfolio was expanded to include sofas and imported toughened glass. In 2010, the exclusive franchise outlet ‘Kurl-on Mattress Express’ was introduced.

Towards the end of the 20th century, Kurlon faced issues with counterfeit products. This issue was solved only by strengthening and expanding the dealer network in the 2000s.

Today, Kurlon boasts one of the most extensive and loyal dealer networks in the industry, with 10,000 dealers and about 70 branches and stock points. The company offers a wide range of products, including 150 varieties of mattresses (regular and orthopaedic), pillows, bolsters, bedsheets, curtains, carpets, doormats, and underlays. Kurlon also claims to be the sole producer of hospital-approved mattresses.

In 2023, Sheela Foams acquired Kurl On. Since Sheela Foam dominates in the western and northern parts of India and Kurlon is dominant in the southern and eastern parts, combining the two will allow Sheela Foam to expand its reach throughout the whole country and attract a more diverse set of customers. With their complementing manufacturing facilities, the two firms will be able to work together to improve production efficiency and reduce costs.

Thanks to their sixty years of experience and unwavering commitment to quality, Kurlon has had the honour of helping the people of India get a good night’s sleep.




For consultation and advice - https://topmate.io/vejay_anand_s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *