Having established its presence in the B2B space, the US-based membrane door manufacturer Masonite is now looking to strengthen its B2C presence in India. The company also wants to replicate the top-of-the-mind recall that it enjoys in the B2B segment, in the end consumers’ mind. Besides promoting through print, hoardings and various other BTL activities in shopping malls, the company has now opened up its first experience centre in India, at Saket in New Delhi, in an endeavour to meet this objective.
The Masonite Experience Centre, covering an area of 2,630 sft, has on display exciting concepts for various home applications including kitchens, wardrobes and panel products, office furniture/partitions, home interior aesthetics like wall and roof panelling, wall mouldings and furniture such as TV cabinets.
Speaking to Sourcing Hardware on the sidelines of the launch of the centre, Rahul Sharma, Masonite’s director–Asia/Pac & Middle East said, “This orientation centre is our logical next step to service the B2C business. We have a pan-India presence with sales offices and three manufacturing facilities, but the idea was to connect with the customer directly, and so the Masonite Experience Centre. This is a dynamic and inspirational space that offers the ability to envision, feel and select materials while inspiring design with endless possibilities for homes and offices.” Sharma added that the company plans to roll out such experience centres all over the country on its own and along with its 23 partners, so that it can service its vast footprint in tier II and III metros.
In addition to experience centres, the company will also develop a trade and franchise channel and set up mini-experience centres. “Already more than 50 mini-experience centres have been opened in Kerala and Karnataka, which are on a smaller scale and generally done up by franchisees. This August we are opening more such stores in Ghaziabad and Chandigarh in north India.”
According to Sharma, the company is looking for franchisees for this expansion. On the desired franchisee profile, he shared, “We are looking at franchisees with sound financial background, credit worthiness, and those who are willing to slog for the long haul. Given the nature of the business, it is really important to remain invested for a longer period of time and we can’t keep on changing partners.”
“Masonite products are created to the highest standards using solid and durable wood backed by world class technology and superior manufacturing processes. Certified by Bureau of Indian standards, ISO 9001:2008 and FCS, they are long lasting, low on maintenance, weather resistant, boiling water resistant and termite resistant. Masonite’s unique ‘One Lakh Slam Test’ gives it the ultimate stamp of durability. Right from chemical treatment, kiln seasoning, hydraulic pressing, cutting and finishing to final packaging, quality checks at all stages of manufacturing result in the creation of world class products that make homes beautiful, safe and secure.” Sharma asserts that Masonite doors are energy-efficient, sound proof, wind resistant and environment friendly. “All our products are made from 100% harvested wood, which translates to a better environment, a greener world around us. Our ‘Go Green Policy’, for more than nine decades has made us a truly environment-friendly and ecologically sustainable company, today and for generations to come.”
Masonite sources the door skins from its plant at Malaysia, where it has a capacity to produce 10 million door skins a year. In India it has manufacturing operations in Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Kochi where it manufactures doors and other components.
Admitting that doors remains largely an unorganised industry and unethical practices of tax evasion hurt large scale manufacturers, Sharma is looking forward to the GST regime. “As soon as GST is rolled out, the large manufactures will become competitive, especially in the construction materials industry. The future is bright, not only in new construction, but also in the replacement market.”