Being a film city, many small and big production houses are located in Mumbai and there is always a high demand for exquisite furniture, which make the serials and films appear more glamorous. There are many furniture manufacturers, traders and businessmen in Mumbai who have been providing all kinds, including new and old, traditional, attractive and heritage type of furniture to bollywood and small and big filmmaking professionals for years as per sets of their films and other requirements. Furniture Design & Technology (FDT) recently tried to understand the whole scenario related to the bollywood furniture market by talking to some relevant furniture makers and businessmen in Mumbai.
Each year many films and serials are produced in the country’s film city, Mumbai. Some films leave an imprint on the hearts of the audience with their story, screenplay, art, music, while some films are also remembered for their large sets, looks and decor.
There are many small and big furniture markets located near the film city in Goregaon (West) in Mumbai. These markets can be seen at SV Road, Jogeshwari, New Link Road, Bangur Nagar, Andheri, Oshiwara, Charkop etc. areas. Few of furniture manufacturers and traders have good business relation with people related to film production. Such traders have been supplying furniture to bollywood for many years, earning good reputation along with handsome money. Supplying furniture to bollywood is considered as milch-cow for traders because such furniture can be re-used or resold on good prices because most of the furniture is given for a specific time frame or duration on written agreement. The same furniture is returned to the traders after the completion of the shooting or the project.
Mr. Sadruddin Khan, who owns a mid-size furniture showroom at Ramjanak Singh Compound, SV Road, shares, “Once we were one of the oldest furniture buyers and sellers in the market but now we have changed our business model and most of our business has got shifted to supplying furniture to film production houses. Since then, we are getting good response from production houses and earning good money. It’s more sophisticated than selling furniture in retail. It takes time to develop the business leads and connection to related people. Reliability, commitment and fulfilling furniture requirement is the basic need of this business. Sometimes, we don’t have such furniture as required by the set designers, but we manage and hire the same from other people who are working in the same field in furniture fraternity. The price depends on duration, units and kinds of furniture required by the production houses.”
Mr. Shahnawaz Khan, a young entrepreneur and owner of the furniture shop, Haji Abdul Sattar and Sons located in Chaturvedi Complex, Jogeshwari (W) says, “We have supplied furniture to a lot of movies like Three Idiots and serials too and have been doing this job for bollywood since long. We are closely associated with art directors like Rajnish Hedao, Wasik Khan, Rajat Poddar, Arup Adhikari, Rachna Rastogi etc. We provide furniture to their sets which include modern, antique and heritage furniture. We recently rented our furniture for Dabang-3 set.”
“The charges of furniture depend on the requirements whether they are setting furniture in a bunglow or a big house including its quality and quantity. The charges are on per day basis and approximately 10th part of the actual cost of the furniture. Suppose the selling cost of the furniture is Rs. 50,000 then we charge Rs 5000 per day. We take advance cheque, DD, cash amount equal to actual cost against furniture. After getting back the furniture we return the balance amount.” Although, Mr. Shahnawaz didn’t disclose the total annual or monthly earnings from this exclusive business, he reiterated that its higher than normal retail selling.
Mr. Tariq Khan, owner of another furniture show room said, “Furniture is being supplied without advance deposit only to those art directors with whom we have reliable, long and continued association. There are lot of people in markets like Oshiwara furniture market, Chor Bazar, Jogeshwari, Bangur Nagar, Goregaon, Mira Road who provide their furniture for films. As lot of shops in Chor Bazar have dismantled, maximum people from production houses are now approaching other markets for furniture. But being the oldest markets many people still approach these markets.”