As the market for modular furniture including modular kitchens expands in India, so does the role of market leaders like Blum. The company, which started off by manufacturing horseshoe stud in 1952, is a name synonymous with the best in furniture fittings. Buildingandinteriors.com speaks to Mr.Nadeem Patni, Managing Director, Blum India Pvt.Ltd. for his take on the India market.
B&I: What is it that differentiates Blum from the other similar players in the modular furniture market?
NP: Blum being the market leader in the modular furniture fittings segment has always believed in the utmost quality of products. We are constantly committed to providing high-quality products and services to our customers, which has eventually helped us built a strong brand reputation. We have taken the initiative to build “Global customer benefits” philosophy, where every product and service should benefit manufacturer, dealer, consumer, and installer. Basically, anyone who comes across our innovation should benefit from it. Only if a product idea brings benefit to each of these four segments, it will be pursued further.
B&I: What new solutions will we see from Blum over the next 1-2 years?
NP: We’ve recently introduced AVENTOS HK top, our new range of HK lift systems to our product line. We own more than 90% of the global share when it comes to lift up systems, and so we’re confident that this new range will also pick up the pace in India. Along with this, next year we’ll be introducing new box systems in India called ‘MERIVOBOX’ which has been in development for more than 8 years. For MERVIOBOX, the focus is on four themes: the platform idea, the design, the function, and the advantages for manufacturers. We’ve received a very good response from the conversations with our customers in the last Interzum in Cologne, which has given us a more optimistic view.
B&I: You have this experience centre in Mumbai. What is the idea behind it? How do you get the visitors to this centre? Are you looking at more of such experience centres across other cities in India?
NP: We wanted all our customers to experience the functional and practical side of the kitchen and other areas and not just focus on the design aspect. This showroom is equipped with AGE EXPLORER®, which gives the wearer a real-time experience of the future, and DYNAMIC SPACE, which helps in creating a smooth workflow in the kitchen. We want to bring the focus equally towards the functionality aspect of this experience centre. Once a customer enters our showroom, he/she is usually amazed by the technology we offer. In the near future, as we’re growing, we’re also looking at expanding these centres in other metro cities.
B&I: How do you see the India market for modular furniture fittings shape-up over the next few years? What are some of the trends that you see would define the India market?
NP: India has been a trade dominated market for decades, but the share of this unorganized market is decreasing year by year. The new generation gets exposed to a lot of technology and innovations. This eventually paves the way for the immense growth of Modular furniture in the industry. With the digital transformation, it will be more realistic to say that trend is now shifting slowly but steadily. The awareness of modular furniture has been growing and the entry of online players like IKEA will also play an important role in this transition and in influencing the consumer mindset.
B&I: From India, you also are looking at countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. What are some of the typical differences and commonalities of these markets when compared to India?
NP: Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are very strong future markets for Blum. These market appreciate our product quality and we have quite an established brand presence. In these countries too, the trend is shifting more towards modular furniture.
B&I: Blum is into an application oriented-solution. This requires training interventions. What are your plans for training programmes for the business value chain?
NP: Our products do require training in terms of installation. Hafele, our sole distributor for many years provides this training. However, we also have our own training centre in Mumbai, which helps us to give more in-depth trainings to installers. Providing the necessary services and training to our customers has always been our key focus. Currently, we’re extending our training programs to the students of Interior Designing and Architecture institutes. As these young minds enter this industry, it becomes important for them to get familiarized with our products and technology.
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