Austrian woodworking technology major Felder Group inaugurated its fourth Experience Centre in India last week. Located in Noida, a part of Delhi NCR, the centre reflects the company’s expanding footprint in the country. Felder aims to strengthen its presence in north India and address the furniture and woodworking sector’s technology and service needs. Its other centres are located in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Even as Felder’s experience centre comes up in NCR, it will consider manufacturing in India in the coming years.
Speaking at the inauguration, group CEO Hansjörg Felder highlighted the significance of the new centre. “Our latest experience centre is reflective of our intent to be part of the Indian furniture industry’s growth story. During the 19 years of our presence here, we have developed a very competent and dedicated sales and service team. And this centre in Noida is part of our growing infrastructure in India, through which we aim to bring our technology and great service closer to our customers.”
The 10,000-sft Noida experience centre displays the Felder, Format-4 and Hammer branded equipment for mass production, small modular batches and solid wood furniture. All the equipment has been laid out sequentially, to enable customers to visualise optimum plant layouts. The centre also highlights the ingenuity of Felder Group’s technology to streamline the pneumatics, electrical, and dust collection installations such that the plant layout remains modular.
Responding to the question of setting up a manufacturing plant in India, Felder hinted that there was a distinct possibility. “We have a strong presence in Europe and North America, with around 2,500 people serving customers at 270 locations worldwide. I believe that Asia is a market where we need to make greater investments, as having a manufacturing facility in this part of the world will enable Felder Group to grow sustainably. It is also important that our investments happen in a geography where there is a large market, policy stability and economic growth. By these criteria, India appears to be the appropriate option and we are exploring the possibilities. But first, we need to train the local teams in our global practices of production and business management. We also need to ensure that before we even begin to manufacture, all the locally sourced materials and components should pass muster with our strict Austrian quality parameters.”
In the presence of visitors from the woodworking and components industry invited to the inauguration, Felder also expressed gratitude to his Indian team members for their commitment to the company. “I am grateful to each of my colleagues for Felder’s growth in India. As a company, we are also thankful to our customers, many of whom we have partnered in their growth journey right from the start. I feel proud that many of our initial customers are industry leaders today.”
Felder Group was founded in 1956 at Tyrol in Austria and is currently in its third generation of ownership. Its products range from combined standard woodworking machines to high-end 5-axis CNC machining centres, as well as smart software and fully automated robotic solutions for wood and composite material processing.