Tradition Making Come Back In The Furniture Design

With the booming business and subsequent change in lifestyle people diverted to the new and contemporary designs of furniture from the traditional Indian furniture. At the present juncture of time, however, taste of people is again shifting to the ancient ones made in the 18th, 19th or early 20th century. These furniture are getting immensely popular in Spain, Italy, Netherlands and other countries.
The men in business are extremely anxious about the raw material, as there is no fresh hardwood available and thus trying to find out new resources. The hardwood made heavy furniture of the old havelis can be recycled according to the needs and demands. Designers are even trying to make furniture with the railway sleepers.
Old fashioned Rajasthani jharokhas, Barmeri tables, wooden arches, mehrab, gilt and wooden mirrors and the old ornate wooden seats, cupboards, bedsteads, bookshelves with traditional carvings from Patan in Gujarat and Renukunta and Mahabalipuram in south India are very popular both in India and abroad. Globally, there is a big demand for Indian solid and recycled wood like acacia, sesham, teak and rare mahogany, jackfruit, sal and deodar.
In U.S.A and other western countries the craze for colonial furniture is increasing gradually and thus o pening up new possibilities for the Indian furniture industry. However, despite the obstacles, different brands and several other designers are promoting the traditional Indian furniture.

       India - Archidply Sets Up New Facility At Uttaranchal (11.07.06)

Archidply, the pioneers in plywood, veneers and prelaminated particle boards have opened up their stateof-the-art factory in Pantnagar, Uttaranchal. With this launch, Archidply will be manufacturing plywood & particle boards with a total licensed capacity of 78,000 cubic meters per annum. The factory situated in the Sidcul Industrial estate is equipped with the best facilities and is the 3rd such plant for Archidply manufacturing plywood, block board, flush door, particle board and pre-laminated particle board from fast grown plantation wood material such as poplar and eucalyptus. On the launch, the Chairman proudly said that Archidply have always promised engineered wood panel solutions to their customers and would be investing over Rs. 50 crores to set up the plant. They would be manufacturing plywood, block board, flush door, densified film faced plywood and teak plywood in the first phase which took off from March. The prelaminated particle board and plain particle board plant will come into production in June 2006 and March 2007 respectively. The Pantnagar plant is expected to provide employment to 1500 people. Archidply uses renewable plantation timber like Silver Oak, Eucalyptus and Poplar grown on scientific short rotation basis by coffee growers in Coorg & farmers in Uttaranchal. All products are eco-friendly. With this project fully commissioned, the Archidply group’s total manufacturing capacity in various facilities including Mysore and Assam, amounts to over Rs. 200 crores, in estimated turnover. The group employs over 300 people. The Archidply Group has been in plywood manu-facturing for more than 25 years. The Group has grown from a small sawmill to a modern up-to date wood panel manufacturer with a network of braches and dealers all over India with a turnover in excess of Rs. 150 crores. Apart from using modern manufacturing equipment at their factories, the group has invested heavily in research, development and laboratory facilities. Quality processes are well defined and are implemented rigidly. Committed to preserving the environment, the group undertakes planting of saplings, distributes subsidized seeds to all its private plantations and optimizes the utilization of its wood. The group also has plans of putting up a Mica plant at the same facility in the near future.

      INDIA - PERGO has 50% Laminate Floorings Markaet Share in INDIA (08.07.06)

The Indian flooring market has witnessed a lot of changes in the last 50 years. From the traditional stone flooring, people have moved to granite, ceramic, marble and now it's laminates. Pergo, a Swedish brand of floor laminates, has been operating in India since 1999. "And now we have 50 per cent share of the laminate floor market in India which is about 4,00,000 sq m and worth about Rs 35 crore," says Mr K.R. Shivshankar, CEO, Pergo India Pvt Ltd. According to Mr Shivshankar, Pergo has been tried and tested in India and has stood the four seasons well. While domestic sales contribute to 70 per cent of their turnover, the institution sales comprise the other 30 per cent. Priced at Rs 130 to Rs 270 per sq foot, Pergo flooring is catching up in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, he says. "Mumbai is mainly a renovation market while Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad are new construction markets," according to Mr Shivashankar. Explaining the unique features of Pergo laminates, Mr Shivashankar says this flooring is glueless. In fact, Pergo has patented its SmartLock systems where the laminates have a tongue-and-groove system to ensure easy and accurate installation. "In fact, abroad, most customers install the floors themselves," he says. Pergo also has incorporated a sound reducing technology in some of its laminates. Soundbloc reduces sound in the room by almost 50 per cent, he adds. "Then there are the other advantages like it being stain-free, easy to maintain, scratch-resistant (unless abused) and has a 10-year guarantee," says Mr Shivashankar.
Pergo is planning to set up distribution centres in the country that will be equipped to handle all user segments.Currently the company has several Design Centres (one each in Mumbai, Gurgaon, and  Bangalore).

                                           INDIA - Furniture turn cheap (23.05.06)

There’s never been a better time to shop for furniture. Imagine taking home an imported five- seater leather sofa set for as little as Rs15,000 when its price a few days earlier was Rs 40,000. Or, owning a plush easy chair, a la Joey’s in sitcom Friends, complete with electric massager and footstool, for merely Rs 40,000 when its original tag was Rs 70,000. With the MCD’s shut-or-seal deadline for shops inching closer, prices of furniture at the 100-odd stores in Ghitorni have dipped to an all-time low.

While some stores have begun clearing their premises, majority are staying on. A few have hired basements in Vasant Vihar and Safdarjung to store the furniture and are also advertising in the classifieds of city newspapers — here, they are cheaper than at the stores. Meanwhile, shopkeepers hardly have any relocation options. “I’m not sure where we go from here,” says Aman Khullar, owner of Designware in Ghitorni. Adding to their worries are the sky-high rentals. While Khullar has been paying Rs 8,000 rent for 2,000 square feet for three years now, the same legal commercial space in Delhi would require him to shell out anywhere between Rs two and Rs 8 lakh. Though malls are marginally cheaper, storeowners feel they won’t serve their purpose. “We need a huge space for furniture,” says VP Sharma, secretary, Ghitorni Market Association. “It’s just not available in GK 1 or Khan Market.” Some plan to move to Gurgaon where rents are relatively less. A few have workshops in Saidullahjab and Nep Sarai which they plan to use as showrooms for now. When MCD bulldozers had struck MG1 and MG2 malls, fashion designers had got together, hired a hall at the Grand Hyatt and held a massive sale. A word of caution: Be prepared to pay much more for furniture in the future, as the escalated real estate costs are bound to be transferred to consumers.

                                           INDIA - Time For That Bounce (11.05.06)

King Koil, a 118-year-old US-based brand is all set to open a exclusive mattress showroom in India. “So far,” says R Sundar Rajan, director, King Koil Sleep Systems, the Indian licensee, “there have been no exclusive mattress showrooms in India. We will create a particular decor and ambience, where people can experience our products before buying them.” The first of these is coming up in Bandra, Mumbai, a 2,500-sq-ft store which will showcase some of the 20 product ranges that have been selected for India. The company plans to set up about 40-50 such outlets within the first year of operations, proceeding from the western to the northern and southern markets in India, in that order. The next of these would be coming up in Pune. The Dubai-based holding company has been granted a two-year licence to import and sell these mattresses in India, at the end of which local manufacturing would start, by plan.

A mattress is a mattress is a mattress, you’re tempted to respond, so what’s the big deal? But it’s just the product which could do with a strong dose of differentiation, says Rajan. “King Koil is a spring mattress, a category which at present forms about 80 per cent of the overall mattress market globally. In India, spring mattresses contribute only about Rs 20 crore to the overall mattress market of about Rs 600-700 crore,” he says.

But can coir be overthrown? It can, feels the company, and now is the time, with so many new homes being built across the country. India’s big builders and interior designers are part of the target group, as also the bustling hospitality industry. Globally, the brand supplies mattresses to such hotel chains as Sheraton, Le Meridien and Hilton, an association it hopes to continue in India as well. In fact, Rajan expects the industry to contribute about 40 per cent to overall sales. In addition, the company is eyeing the furniture retail business which could also do with a makeover. Homemaking sensibilities have gone global at India’s upper end, but the retailing remains mostly shoddy. For now, the attention is on the mattresses. These have been customised to suit Indian markets. “In the US,” elaborates Rajan, “people prefer the softer mattresses that they can sink into, whereas in India people prefer the mattress to be slightly firm.” Firm, yes. But the bed-of-nails caricatures are long gone, thankfully.

                       INDIA - Die Mould India Expo Evokes Good Response (08.04.06)

The 5th Die Mould India International Exhibition, organised in Chennai to help the tooling industry understand and explore new technologies and look for possible tie-ups and joint ventures, concluded on Saturday. The four-day exhibition was organised by The Tool Gauge Manufacturers Association (TAGMA). About 150 participants showcased their products which included a range of dies, moulds, press tools, machinery, CAD/CAM systems, machine and cutting tools and accessories, among others.

The participants included 42 foreign companies from 11 countries including Australia, Japan, China, Malaysia, Phillippines and Pakistan. According to a release, the home production meets about 65 per cent of the demand for dies & moulds.

The imports relate to intricate moulds like those in furniture and critical components, most of which are not manufactured indigenously in adequate quantity and quality. Moreover, even if the local production can meet the demand, imported products are preferred. There is a need for Indian tooling industry to develop its competency in high speed machining, rapid prototyping systems, shrink fit tooling, 3D solids based on automated design and programming, ERP systems, and CRM systems, it added. The main hubs of the tooling industry in India are Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Delhi-Noida area, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Jamshedpur, Indore and Pondicherry.

                                 INDIA - Furniture Spending To Grow 23% by 2010 (03.03.06)

While imports have kept prices low, demographics continue to favor growth in furniture sales. During the five-year period, baby boomers, known for their acquiring ways, will be in their peak earning years. Their kids, sometimes called echo boomers, other times called Generation Y, are entering their household formation years and, with better educations than their parents, frequently have more money to spend at an earlier age.

As in recent years, the best prospects for sales growth for furniture are in the West and South. In both regions, sales are expected to outpace the national average. In the West, spending is expected to rise by 25%; in the South, by 24%. Sales in the Northeast and Midwest are expected to lag the national average, growing by 19% in the Northeast and 20% in the Midwest. Of the 18 states expected to exceed the national average in growth of furniture and bedding spending, only one, New Hampshire, is outside the Western or Southern sphere. Eight are in the South and nine are in the West.

As it has for the past several years, Nevada is expected to have the greatest sales growth, reaching $837 million in furniture and bedding sales by 2010, a 36% increase over 2005. The bulk of those sales will be in the Las Vegas-Paradise area, expected to grow by 39% and hit nearly $600 million in 2010 sales.


          INDIA -Italy Wants To Strengthen Ties With India's Wood Industry (01.03.06)

Italy, the second largest exporter of wood work machineries in the world, is not only keen on investing more in India, but also further improving relations with its wood working industry, Association of Italian Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers Managing Director Dr Poula Zanibon informed. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of 'IndiaWood-2006,' Asia's biggest exposition on wood working industry, he said the wood working sector in India was growing, especially with regard to furniture, and Italy could extend better co-operation in this direction.

He pointed out that the wood trade volume of Italy to India was growing every year and it had already touched 3.8 million Euros in the last eight months. Appreciating the Karnataka Government's new Industrial policy, Dr Zanibon said Italian traders would take advantage of it and forge close ties with the state. He said the Advanced Woodworking Training Center, a technical school on Woodworking technology, a first of its kind initiative in India, was launched by the Italian Trade Commission and the Association with the support of the Indian Government. More than 35 courses were being conducted at the Institute, an Indo-Italian Project, and already over 1,200 artisans had been given training in woodworking technology. Dr Zanibon said taking into consideration the success of the training school in the premises of the Institute of Wood Science and Technology in the city, the Association planned to open more such institutes in North India. He announced that the Association would be organising the Xylexpo-May 2006, the world's largest wood machinery fair held in even years, at Milan. Over 90,000 business visitors were expected to visit the mega event. He said Xylexpo, the 20th edition of the International exhibition of woodworking technology, was not only an important stage in the history of a show that had always been a unique reference, but also a first step towards the redefinition of the exhibition as a business event able to meet the changing needs of exhibitors and visitors. In the last edition, over 1,200 exhibitors and 87,000 business visitors had participated in the event.

             INDIA - Hafele Sets Up Hospitality Division, Eyes 35% Growth (22.02.06)

Hafele India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Euro 650 million Hafele Gmbh — a global supplier of furniture fittings and architectural door hardware — has set up a hospitality division to cater to the growing demands from the hotel industry in India. The company, which has a distribution alliance with Blum, a German manufacturer and supplier of kitchen fittings, in the Indian market, is targetting a 35 per cent growth in the present year. Set up in 2001 Hafele India reported a turnover of Rs 220 crore, its managing director Jurgen Wolf said. “India is a growing market with immense potential for kitchen fittings. We want to grow our business by reaching out to a large number of consumers,” he said.

He said that the company generates 45 per cent of its revenues from the hospitality sector and 35 per cent from kitchen hardware fittings business in India and to grow the business further, it has carved out a new division to cater to the demands of the industry. The company, which completed 43 hotel projects including the renovation of some of the Taj Group of hotels, Hotel Leela in Mumbai and Bangalore last year, presently has orders from 30 new hotels in the country.

“Hospitality and kitchen hardware are priority business for us in India. Our aim is to become a one-stop solution for all kitchen hardware, furniture and door hardware in the Indian market. Our staff are trained in India and Germany to cater to the demands of Indian customers who are increasingly demanding world class solutions,” he said. Wolf, who was here to participate in the just-concluded Indiawood 2006 exhibition, told Business Standard that Hafele will further expand its business in India by setting up four new design centres and branch offices in the next two years at Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata at an investment of Rs 4 crore. During the present year, it plans to open a design centre in Pune, while the remaining three centres will be opened in 2007. Presently, it has design centres in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.

To supply the kitchen fittings and furniture early to the customers, Hafele also plans to set up a dedicated manufacturing facility in India. It plans to have its manufacturing facility in Delhi. “We are in the process of setting up our own manufacturing unit here and are looking for partners in India. To begin with, we want to tie up with existing manufacturers of kitchen hardware and furniture. We will supply them our the entire blue print to manufacture our products and conduct quality check periodically,” Wolf said. Hafele’s products include architectural hardware fitting, furniture fitting, handles, glass fittings, kitchen fitting, sliding fittings. With over 40,000 articles for architectural hardware items alone, Hafele is the largest supplier in this category worldwide.

      INDIA - US Body Targets $20 Million Of Hardwood Exports To India (18.02.06)

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), a joint venture between the US government and hardwood manufacturing companies in the US, is looking at India as the next big market for exporting hardwood. In an effort to tap the huge export potential in India, the council is setting up its India office at New Delhi in the next six months.

“We are coming to India for the first time with the intention of promoting hardwood exports. What we understand about India is that the growth here is explosive. We want to make use of the huge and growing construction industry here,” said Peter King, vice chairman, AHEC. King, who is in Bangalore to participate in the Indiawood 2006, an expo on woodworking machinery industry starting here on Thursday, told Business Standard that AHEC is looking at India as its next growth market after China and the EU. The American hardwood industry is valued over $2 billion, 12 per cent of which is exported. AHEC, which promoted $100,000 worth of hardwood exports to India in 2005, aims to increase the exports to over $20 million in the next five years. To promote hardwood consumption in India, AHEC is presently organising workshops in Mumbai and Bangalore on American hardwood lumber grading to the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) standard. The first workshop was held in Mumbai on Wednesday and the second is being held in Bangalore on February 17, King said.

Eight companies from the US will display their products at the Indiawood 2006. “Though American hardwood exports to India are relatively limited at the moment, the future opportunities are vast for US hardwood exporters, particularly in the high-end interiors sector and among the highly-skilled Indian manufacturing base,” King said. The American hardwood industry can help Indian wood companies by offering a reliable, consistent supply of high quality products which are already well-established in high-end markets the world over, he added. Hardwood is sourced from trees like oak, walnut, cherry and poplar in the US. The wood being exported to India will be kiln wood and dried wood which is suitable for making furniture, staircases, flooring and kitchen cabinets.




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