Mr Suresh Goyal, Director, USP Trading & Manufacturing Pvt. Ltd. is an interesting combination of being an Architect by training, running successful businesses of the distribution of decorative furniture components such as edgebanding and modular furniture manufacturing unit. BuildingandInteriors.com caught up with him to understand his take on his long association with REHAU – one of the most prominent furniture components (edge bands and more) brands in India, and on what makes the brand it is.
Our business association with REHAU
We have been in the furniture industry since 1998. Today, we deal in the entire range of REHAU products related to the decorative furniture components and woodworking industry. REHAU has a very wide variety of products including uPVC edgebanding (RAUKANTEX) – an important part of any decorative modular furniture today.
The company also has other innovative solutions like plinth covers – an essential component in modular kitchens. Then, there are various kinds of high-quality acrylic laminates -available in various finishes, starting from high-gloss acrylic, super matt and glass.
In my opinion, the innovation and depth of the range available with REHAU are what makes me keep growing my business with the brand. For example, there are thousands of permutations and combinations available for colours and sizes in edgebands. No other company can offer it. And the company is well-tuned to manufacture to specific requirements at their own production facility here in India. So, even if some special colour or size is required, they can do it. The flexibility in their range makes REHAU what it is.
50 years is a long time in the life of a product. REHAU RAUKANTEX edge bands have delighted the industry through its innovative solutions. Initially, there were limited design, colour, and size options. Only a handful of manufacturers knew about these REHAU uPVC edge bands. But REHAU has been a game-changer in this segment. They have always been one step ahead of the market with their flawless colour and size ranges.
As REHAU celebrates 50 years of RAUKANTEX edge bandsglobally, we feel pleased to be a part of this great journey of the brand in India.
I am an Architect by training. We undertake architectural and interior projects. In addition, we also have our own decorative modular furniture unit in Manesar, near Delhi. We have supplies going all over north India. We have customers and projects in Maharashtra and Gujarat as well.
In our distribution business, we cater to the needs of Contractors who make kitchens or other projects. We are also working with Interior Designers, Architects, and OEMs. And, of course, there are end-users like people making his or her own.
Other brand partners
Since we are in the furniture components business, we work with brands like 3M, Hettich, and more. REHAU has been one of the earliest brands that we have been associated with. Other brands have been added as we moved along.
REHAU has ‘Out of the box’ edgebanding solutions for the furniture industry
There are many solutions in the furniture components industry that try to compete with REHAU. But I would say that in my long experience in this industry, there’s no comparison between REHAU and the others.
As I said earlier, we also have a decorative furniture manufacturing unit. We use REHAU furniture components in the furniture that is made in our factory. I can say, quite confidently, that REHAU has never let me down. The quality of components, variety (like with the edgebands – ability to match laminates variety available from top manufacturers in India) and product innovations make the brand stay ahead of the competition.
Moreover, REHAU has its own manufacturing facilities here in India. So, they are able to manufacture REHAU is able to give the Indian furniture market a product that comes from their German lineage.
So, my experience of REHAU furniture components is from both the consumer (as a furniture manufacturer) and as a re-seller. No surprise that if I feel satisfied and confident of the quality of furniture made using these components, it would be the same experience for the other furniture manufacturers. And this ‘satisfaction index’ keeps growing in the Indian market – both for manufacturers as well as for the re-sellers.
REHAU (edgebanding & other components) support
One of the most widely used components in the furniture industry is edgebands. By the very nature of the furniture business, modular kitchens included, there are various shades and sizes of substrates used in the manufacturing of furniture.
The use of colours and designs is a very subjective matter – with preferences changing across geographies. And with edgebanding being an integral part of any furniture item, the ability to be able to come up with colours, finishes and sizes to match the furniture is surely not an easy task.
REHAU manages this with ease. And that makes our lives as their business associates, much easier! Also, since they have a manufacturing facility in India, if they don’t have the stock, they are able to produce to a requirement fairly fast.
The company also has a strong technical staff that helps with other products such as their rolling shutters, small tools, and modular kitchen components. So, anyone, right from a Carpenter to an Architect, who faces any challenge in this line of business, can seek help from REHAU’S technical support team.
An Architect, Furniture Manufacturer and a Reseller – An all-in-one perspective
As I said, we have had a long association with REHAU. We have grown with the brand in India. With my architecture background, we started our modular furniture factory in 2010. We could’ve easily switched to any other brand for our furniture manufacturing. But REHAU doesn’t really have competition.
Often, manufacturers go for cheaper furniture components options to save a little money. Doing that in a factory would have been feasible for me. But I have consciously chosen to use REHAU products because once you use them there is no problem in the future.
Also, as an Architect, I would never compromise on the functionality of the furniture made in my factory. And I know that in furniture, furniture components play a role far greater than their size and value. REHAU products almost never fail. So, the maintenance cost or the repairing cost is almost zero which is a win-win for both me and for the customer.
Trends keep changing, so does REHAU’s response
Trends are constantly changing. In the current scenario, acrylic, high-gloss, super-gloss, and solid colours are greatly in trend. A few years ago, wood-textured edgebands were heavily in demand. So, the best thing about REHAU is that it always remains ready with the ever-changing demands of the trends.
Your challenges in the furniture components (edgebanding) business
The greatest challenge has definitely been the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two years have been severely affected by that. We all had to stop our businesses and then resume them. It remains the most obvious challenge. Thankfully, the market has picked up well. I hope that we don’t have to face the third lockdown.
Other than that, the biggest challenge remains to convey to the customers the importance of a hardware product. The hardware remains a not-so-glamorous element. That said, it is the fundamental unit of furniture. So, making the customers, especially the end-users, understand the significance of the functionality and usage of these items remains a task.