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Indian Furniture Fittings Industry: Times They are a Changing

The Indian furniture fittings industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, and I attribute that to four key developments.

Before talking about the Indian furniture fittings industry, here’s a bit of context.

Government of India has identified Furniture as one of the key industries for making made-in-India goods available across the globe. This is part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, based on PM Modi’s ‘make in India, make for world’ mantra.

According to Invest India, the Indian furniture market was valued at $17.4 billion in FY21. It is predicted to reach $37.7 billion by 2026, growing at double-digit CAGR of 13.37% during 2020-2026. India is the fifth largest furniture producer at a global level, and the fourth largest consumer of furniture.

The main drivers for furniture consumption are:
  • 40% of India’s population will be living in urban areas by 2025, up from 31% in 2010, and will account for more than 60% of consumption.
  • Consumption expenditures will rise by a factor of three to reach 4 trillion by 2025.
  • There will be a 2.5x increase in income per capita from 2016 to 2027.
  • The proportion of nuclear households has reached 70% and is projected to increase to 74% by 2025. They spend 30% more per capita than joint families.
Now for the Indian furniture fittings industry. The developments I believe will change the landscape in India are:

#1 The launch of International Furniture Park in March 2022 by Tamil Nadu government. This is a 1,156-acre facility, to be set up near Tuticorin harbour. The vision is to place India on the global furniture map.

The aim of International Furniture Park is to make it much more economical for the furniture industry to procure materials. It will concentrate the manufacturing of furniture and allied components, and service providers within close proximity.

#2 The arrival of Blum, a premium kitchen and furniture hardware specialist, as an independent entity in India. This, after the company has been marketed by its distributors for over a decade. Blum is a global leader and a deeply integrated manufacturer based in Austria.

#3 Last week’s announcement by Bhavana Bindra at Indiawood, that Rehau India has entered into a marketing alliance with UK-based Titus Group. Titus is a global leader in the premium furniture hardware, connectors and damping categories with presence in over 70 countries. Through this alliance Rehau will be the exclusive distributor for Titus.

Indian Furniture Fittings Industry

I believe that hardware has long been an overlooked category in the furniture industry: Bhavana Bindra, REHAU

In October 2021 Bhavana told me that Rehau was transforming into a retail-oriented and customer facing brand, from its earlier pure B2B avatar. Till now the industry has known Rehau to be an OEM supplier of the finest edgebands, besides several innovative polymer-based components. But now it has expanded its portfolio to include furniture fittings, and even modular furniture.

#4 This is probably the most significant development in MHO. It is the announcement by Hettich India, the elephant in the room so to say, that it will invest Rs 1,000 crore in the next 4-5 years. The money will go into setting up another manufacturing facility, ramping up existing plants, and strengthening its wood working skill development infrastructure across the country.

Indian Furniture Fittings Industry

We have to continuously improve the space efficiency, aesthetics and functionality of furniture by developing newer fittings: Anil K Goel, HETTICH INDIA

Industry watchers will know that Hettich already has three production units in India – two in Vadodara and one in Indore. But many may not know that the Indore facility is the largest production facility in the Hettich world. It has come up with an investment of Rs 400 crore and is fully automated. Managing director Anil Goel told me that last year hinges worth Rs 50 crore were exported to China from this plant. “This is the first time that India is exporting hardware to China,” he said.

And my reasons for citing these developments are:
  • The International Furniture Park is a sign of things to come. It is likely that global and Indian furniture makers will set up mega plants here. Taking a long-term perspective, Hettich has already committed investment of Rs 750 crore in the Park.
  • Hettich, Blum and Titus are all global leaders, positioned in the premium segment. Their presence is going to give a major boost to the qualitative aspect of business for furniture makers, specifiers and the trade. That means there’ll be increased emphasis on design, education & training, customer experience, skilling, retailing and digital.

So, expect the cake to get significantly bigger in the medium to long term. The times are indeed changing.


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