Ply Reporter and Furniture Design & Technology (FDT) organised an e-Conclave on 'Innovation & Possibilities in Furniture Hardware during COVID Era', on 31 May 2020. The e-conclave focused on the emerging opportunities for dealers and furniture - kitchen OEM segment to meet post pandemic consumer needs. The webinar was powered by Greenlam Laminates.
The panelists included Jurgen Wolf – Hafele India; Raman Koul – Assay Abloy Group, Rajesh Bansal – Dorset Group, Alok Aggarwal – Ozone Overseas, Vivek Deshpande – Spacewood Furnishers, Tarek Utturkar – Utturkar Wood Culture, Bharat Kawedia – Modulinea Modular Systems, Ar Amit Murao – Ashray Design Consultants, and Shantilal D Nishar – Nishar Hardware. The session was moderated by Pragath Dvivedi – founder Ply Reporter & FDT.
While a detailed report on the specifics of the webinar will be covered in the upcoming issue of Ply Reporter and FDT, here is a summary of what was discussed during the webinar.
The panelists were of the opinion that the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown had brought the Indian hardware industry to a grinding halt. With gradual unlocking in process, the industry veterans felt that it is time for the industry to infuse confidence among its channel partners – dealers, distributors, OEMs - and hand hold them till business gets back to pre-COVID days. However, the panelists on board could not come to unanimous view as to when businesses will be back to normal; the timeline varied from six months to around two years.
The industry veterans were firm that the industry simply cannot wait for good times to come back and that they should take the crisis head on and turn this into an opportunity. A lot of emphasis was laid on the importance of product knowledge, training the channel partners on product specifications, technology, uniqueness, etc, on a continued basis. To know more about how the industry plans to turn this crisis into an opportunity, their specific initiatives for the dealers, etc, you’ve to read the upcoming issue of Ply Reporter and FDT.
Make in India was widely discussed and the manufacturers on board felt the need to strengthen the manufacturing prowess of the Indian hardware industry. The reliance on import needs to come down and it is the right time to invest in setting up of manufacturing units in India, felt the panelists. The products manufactured by the Indian hardware industry meets the international standards both in terms of quality and design, and it’s time to work on the volumes and cater to the export markets.
An interesting suggestion that came up from the OEMs was that of focusing not only on the luxury segment but also on the affordable luxury segment. To this, the panelists agreed to work in collaboration and cater to the emerging market segment. Many more of such interesting suggestions that came up during the course of the webinar will be published as a part of the story in the upcoming issue of Ply Reporter and FDT.
The panelists concluded that it’s time to remain upbeat, work shoulder to shoulder with the dealers & distributors, give due importance to training and spread the manufacturing base of the Indian hardware industry. Read the upcoming issue of Ply Reporter and FDT to know more about the suggestions that the industry veterans have for the furniture hardware industry.