Canadian Wood will focus on reman applications of sustainable wood species at IndiaWood 2022: Mr. Pranesh Chhibber

Mr. Pranesh Chhibber – Country Director, Canadian Wood on participation in india wood 2022
Mr. Pranesh Chhibber – Country Director, Canadian Wood on participation in india wood 2022

Wood in India has been traditionally used in reman applications such as furniture, millwork, doors/windows, door/window frames, interior finishes, etc. Structural application of wood has been small and infrequent on account of many factors including limited local skill and the cost against the concrete, which enjoys an unfair advantage since the cost of natural materials such as water, sand, and gravel are mostly charged just for the labour, logistics, and margins of the suppliers. However, the market is evolving steadily and moving towards sustainable wood products & other materials sourced and manufactured sustainably. This will be clearly evident at Canadian Wood’s booth in IndiaWood 2022.

According to a study by Televisory’s Research, the Indian wood panel industry is estimated to be around INR 28,000 crore and is growing at the rate of 10-12% annually. Forestry Innovation Consulting India (FII), better known as “Canadian Wood” is actively engaged in creating awareness in the market and educating the wood industry about the conifer species which provides softwood from B.C. Canada that it promotes in India.

In this interaction with BuildingandInteriors, Mr. Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, FII India, talks about Canadian Wood’s participation in IndiaWood 2022, the measures taken by the brand in building an eco-conscious industry, and the evolution of wood in the Indian market.


Mr. Pranesh Chhibber – Country Director, Canadian Wood on participation in india wood 2022
Mr. Pranesh Chhibber – Country Director, Canadian Wood


Canadian Wood at IndiaWood 2022

Our focus at this edition of IndiaWood will be on reman applications of the 5 distinct species of Canadian Wood from the sustainably managed forests of B.C. Canada, such as furniture, doors/windows, door/window frames, and wood interiors and outdoor. In addition, you’ll see some elements of structural applications as well.

You will see innovative furniture designs created by Indian manufacturing companies using sustainable Canadian wood species including bedroom, living room furniture, kitchen, and outdoor products, showcased at the brand’s booth in IndiaWood.


Douglas fir dining table by Mas Furniture
Douglas fir dining table by Mas Furniture


Building an eco-conscious industry with sustainable wood products

Canada and its province of British Columbia (B.C.) are the global leaders in sustainable forest management practices. Careful consideration is given to protecting the ecosystem of the forests by limiting the harvesting of trees to under 0.35% and reforesting by planting three saplings of the same species in the harvested area for every single tree harvested.

Detailed technical analysis and public comments determine a sustainable quota, the allowable annual cut. This helps ensure that the ecosystem of soil, waterways, animals, and birds co-exists in harmony and remains undisturbed. This commitment to forest regeneration results in 200 million new seedlings planted every year ensuring replenished forests for future generations.

It is also important to note that forest harvesting is essential to maintain forest health. Old and decaying trees are less efficient at capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and releasing oxygen (O2) into the atmosphere, hence harvesting trees helps keep the forest healthy and efficient.


Why do customers need to care about the source of wood?

Given the worldwide concerns about climate change, it is essential to take necessary actions to mitigate global warming through ecological protection and regeneration at the earliest possible. One-way customers and retailers help if demand furniture or any other wood product manufactured from legally harvested and certified wood sourced from sustainably managed forests. This pressure group will then ensure that manufacturer’s source and make products from sustainably sourced wood.


Western Hemlock, living room furniture by Mas Furntiure, canadian wood manufactured products, sustainable wood products in india
Living room furniture in Western Hemlock by Mas Furntiure


Creating a brand out of a commodity – The success formula

Over time marketing techniques and tools evolve and marketers keep coming up with newer ideas to position their products to their target customers. Early on, we understood that if we were to get noticed, we had to do something different to create a pull for our 5 distinct species amongst the wood products manufacturers so that timber traders will start considering buying, stocking, and selling our species, till then they were happy to mostly import hardwood logs and custom cut them locally for their clients. We, then, created the brand logo of Canadian Wood and moved away from the identity of just another promoter of a commodity.


Direct interaction with manufacturers backs up the marketing effort on the ground. Sharing information on the product’s properties and handholding during product trials creates a comfort level. It also must not escape mention here of our sustained effort on educating the market on sustainability, by highlighting legally harvested and certified wood from sustainably managed forests of B.C. Canada.


Western hemlock furniture by Bramola, canadian wood sustainable furniture products in india
Western Hemlock furniture by Bramola


It has been a great decision for us to have adopted this innovative method to reach out effectively to our target audience with a credible message, where dark and heavy tropical hardwoods ruled. It also helped us navigate the challenge of a highly fragmented industry beset with sorting of wood upon arrival in their yard due to no standardization, by positioning our duly graded, consistently sized, and seasoned Canadian Wood lumber as a solution to one of their pet peeve.


Evolution of the Indian market w.r.t. to using sustainable wood products in buildings

In the last 7-8 years, the market has seen many significant changes. Amongst others, the conifers have outstripped tropical hardwood import volumes and garnered a market share of over 55%. Similarly, lumber imports are increasingly outpacing the logs as the woodworking industry is fast appreciating the benefits of softwood lumber.

The international brands and buying houses sourcing furniture, handicrafts, and wooden artifacts from India have also been instrumental in moving the wood products manufacturing industry towards sustainability by insisting on certified wood used as raw material as a prequalification for placing orders. Responsible architects and developers in India, too, have begun to specify certified wood from sustainable sources for their projects. Therefore, Canada is now a world leader in sustainability.


Western hemlock bed set by MAS furniture Mysore
Western Hemlock bed set by MAS furniture, Mysore


With reference to building with wood, the market’s response to Canadian Wood’s demo projects has been very positive. Going forward, it has positioned the brand very well with high credibility. It holds credibility to share best practices, help expand local skillsets, and assist in commercial projects. The growing enthusiasm of stakeholders and HNIs in building with wood is notable. They, now, ask for Country Homes, Farmhouses, and Resorts along the shore and amid the hills using Canadian Wood species. Reputed architects, developers, and hospitality professionals also specify and recommend the use of Canadian Wood species in structural applications. This is due to the product’s stability, ease of working, excellent strength-to-weight ratio, and aesthetic values. The outstanding demo projects at Mysuru, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, and Himachal, continually attract interest from stakeholders and HNIs alike. They inspire more such commercially conceived and executed projects.


Achievements so far & future plans

Needless to mention, the recognition of Canadian Wood as a well-respected and credible wood brand in the woodworking industry and the timber trade is most satisfying. The brand contributes significantly towards popularising softwood lumber among wood product manufacturers and the timber trade. Perhaps it is among the few organizations that regularly conduct seminars/webinars and training workshops; it helps enhance the local skills of the woodworking community in India. In the process, we have created awareness and high visibility about our Canadian Wood species such as:

  1. SPF (spruce-pine-fir)
  2. Western Hemlock
  3. Douglas fir
  4. Yellow cedar
  5. Western red cedar in the Indian market.

Additionally, reputed architects, manufacturers, contractors, and developers across India execute numerous projects in reman and structural applications. These include wooden homes, furniture, doors, windows, door/window frames, etc. Thus, it is rather unfair to divulge a few names and not talk about others. Executed across major cities in India, these projects include resorts, hotels, restaurants, country homes, farmhouses, and private villas.

Going forward Canadian Wood will consolidate its gains. The brand plans to continue to engage with its key stakeholders in India through a focus on reman applications. It will also support structural applications in commercial projects besides continuing to provide technical support and handholding to all its stakeholders to help increase their comfort level with Canadian wood species in newer applications.


Sustainable wood for Architects in India

Architects form a highly enlightened community that keeps abreast of the latest developments. They have knowledge of the raw materials and finished products both for building and interior segments. “I would, thus, share the information on the availability of legally harvested and certified wood from sustainably-managed forests of B.C. Canada as a duly graded, sized, and seasoned lumber from 41 stockists in 23 cities across India”, says Mr. Pranesh Chibber.


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