By Taruna Sondarva Published: Feb 2010
India is a land of wonderful and marvelous artistic work of wood. The rich handicraft and beautiful traditional attributes of art and design have established a reputation of Indian Furniture Industry in the nation and worldwide. The exceptional designs, rich, compact, and luxurious trends and, not the least, the supreme quality have given elegance to the furniture segment in the traditional as well as modern aspect.
However, the Indian Furniture industry has changed with the passage of time. It is no longer restricted to a production of a chair or a table or a bed but today it includes manufacturing of a range of furniture - home furnishings, designed interiors which spell class and elegance. It comprises not only the production of a wide range of products related to office, living room, bedroom, kitchen, garden, school furniture but also mattresses, furnishings, upholstery, parts of furniture etc. A wide variety of raw materials are used in production of furniture like wood, rattan, steel, plastic and metal and more recently silver. The furniture market in India is regionally concentrated according to the raw material used in manufacturing the furniture.
According to research by IKON Marketing Consultant, the furniture market in India is estimated at around Rs 70,000 crore. The market is highly fragmented where around Eighty-five to Ninety per cent of national production comes from regionally small size firms falls into the unorganized sector and remaining comes from the organized sector comprising of leading manufacturer, importers and dealer/distributors.
Home furniture is the largest segment in the Indian furniture market, accounting for about 65 per cent of furniture sales followed by office furniture segment with 20 per cent share and the contract segment, accounting for the remaining 15 per cent.
According to IKON's research estimates, there is boom time ahead for Indian furniture industry. The factors leading industry growth will be India's rapidly expanding economy at robust rate, the spurt in real estate and housing activity, burgeoning growth in the information technology and services sectors, growing affluence both in urban and rural areas, tremendous growth of the mass media resulting in millions of middle-class Indians aspiring for better lifestyles. In addition, Furniture-makers are catering to the urban middle class's need for stylish homes in compact apartments. In addition, the import of furniture is growing at considerable rate driven by the growing demand from urban affluent households.
Considering the market potential, several international brands are looking to enter the Indian furniture market. These are Arredo Classic, Art Design Group, B.T.C. International, Bizzarri, Cantori, Desirée, Girasole, Gold Line, Presotto and Refl ex. Germany, Italy, Korea and Japan have been the major suppliers of furniture, dominating the Indian furniture market for many years. Recently the trend seems changing with China having increased its market share significantly in recent years. Suppliers from Thailand, Korea and the UAE have also made a strong presence in India in recent years. Top domestic companies and international brands with a presence here include Godrej, BP Ergo, Featherlite, Hanworth, Style Spa, Zuari, Durian and Millenium Lifestyles. The entry of international brands and changing consumer preference has led to the emergence of furniture retailing in India. http://www.ikonmarket.com/furniture_market_in_india.htm
Sitting on the toilet seat, Edward Norton in the 1999 film Fight Club is browsing through the Ikea catalogue. In a narrator's voice he observes, "Like so many others, I had become a slave to the Ikea nesting instinct. If I saw something clever like a little coffee table in the shape of a yin-yang, I had to have it." It's this feeling, the 'Ikea nesting instinct', that Indians haven't...