The year 2015 has been quite eventful for Tokyo-headquartered furniture fittings, architectural and decorative hardware major Sugatsune Kogyo Co Ltd. While on one hand it celebrated its 85th anniversary and opened its second logistics centre in Japan, on the other hand its Indian subsidiary Sugatsune Kogyo India Pvt Ltd started commercial activities and opened a showroom in Mumbai.
“We opened our company-owned showroom in Mumbai in the month of August 2015,” said Anil Rana, director-operations, Sugatsune Kogyo India in an exclusive interview. He further stated that the showroom that houses the company’s entire range of products for the Indian market, is located in Mumbai’s Andheri East area and is spread over 4,600 sft. “Our warehouse, spread over 10,000 sft is located in Bhiwandi,” Rana added.
In its 85 years of history, Sugatsune has accumulated massive technical and manufacturing know-how, enabling it to develop new solutions to fulfil the requirements of the ever-changing market place. “We promise what we can deliver,” averred Rana, adding that the company’s guiding philosophy is ‘providing convenience to people’ and each and every member of the company takes pride in keeping the promise. Highlighting the fact that Sugatsune seeks to have a long term business interest in the growing and dynamic Indian market, Rana assured that it is the company’s commitment to market the highest quality products in India. “Japanese companies are well known for the high quality of their products. Sugatsune is no exception to this rule, and with a series of stringent tests and checks in place, we ensure that only the very best comes to your hand.”
Talking about the Indian market, Rana accepted that “a lot of spadework needs to be done.” He explained that while awareness regarding furniture fittings, hardware, etc is there, the market lacks the skill sets. He explained that when dealing with hardware one can go wrong either during the selection process or in the course of installation; and this needs to be corrected. Much more needs to be done in terms of educating people about the products, its features and usage; and creating a trained pool of people who can take care of installation services, he said. “We need to bring in the know-how and the expertise.”
Sugatsune, that exports its products to over 60 countries across the globe, has seven overseas branches. In India it is opting for a city-wise distribution network. “In due course we will have distribution networks in 25-27 developed and developing cities across the country.” He also explained that Jyoti Architectural Products Pvt Ltd would be its one-window master distributor. “We are jointly working on distribution,” averred Rana, adding that there will be collaboration for furniture and architectural hardware. “The marketing, branding, and service support will be provided by Sugatsune.” To build in the skills-set, the company will be providing the much needed technical support. “We will be conducting two to three training programmes in every city,” said Rana.
The company is currently focusing on markets in western India; namely Maharashtra and Gujarat. “Our next focus market will be Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In the next three years, we will come up with one or two more display centres,” informed Rana.
There is no dearth of players in the Indian market catering to the furniture fittings and architectural and decorative hardware segment. What perhaps sets apart the Japanese company Sugatsune is manufacturing and technical know-how. “We are a R&D focussed company,” Rana asserts, adding that in the Indian context Sugatsune would like to position itself as a ‘solution provider’. “We have plans to have India-specific products in the near future.”
Gyanendra Kumar Kashyap