Hyderabad: Hafele India, part of the Germany-based interior, furniture, kitchen fittings and accessories company, has set up a 10,000 sq ft design centre at Gachibowli, Hyderabad, making it the largest centre in India. The company has invested Rs 8 crore in the facility and employs close to 50 in the city.
The design centre will allow customers to experience architecture fittings, live kitchens, lights, bathroom ranges, digital locks and other products. Hafele is also offering engineered stones, as a unique offering. The company also provides installation services to its customers.
Jurgen Wolf, MD, Hafele South Asia & India Operations Head, told Telangana Today, “Going forward, we will look at expanding logistics and warehousing infrastructure in Hyderabad as the city is centrally located. We are betting big on our growth with this design centre and further expand the team here as there is adequate talent base.”
Telangana Industries & Commerce principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan who was present at the inauguration of the centre assured that the State government will provide all the needed support if the company plans to set up a manufacturing or assembly plant.
The company that primarily caters to the B2B segment including developers, dealers and manufacturers has taken its design centre count to ten in South Asia with the opening of the Hyderabad centre. There are design centres in Delhi, Mumbai (two), Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Colombo and Dhaka. It has a logistics centre in Mumbai and distribution centres in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Colombo. Hafele will come out with its 11th centre in the region at Ahmedabad next year.
The 1.5 billion euros company serves customers across 150 countries, and employs 8,000 people. The company’s global range includes 3 lakh products.
Having started operations in India in 2003, the company has clocked a turnover of Rs 706 crore during January-December 2018, while it is aiming for Rs 800 crore this year and has set an ambitious target of Rs 1,000 crore for 2020. The company continues to invest in India at a rate of Rs 20 crore every year. It is making 11,000 products available in the Indian market at present, with plans to expand rapidly. From three people in 2003, the company now has over 1,300 employees across the country.
Jurgen Wolf said, “India is a growing market. There is a growing demand for quality global products. There are opportunities in tier 2 markets as well. We are exploring opportunities to set up own manufacturing in the long-term and select contract manufacturing ties where there is a clear fitment. The manufacturing decision will happen once that enabling ecosystem is ready in India. After Ahmedabad, we will look at Chandigarh and other potential cities for our future design centres. We will also focus on investing in and strengthening our supply chain.”
India today accounts for roughly seven per cent of the company’s global sales, and remains the fastest growing market, globally. The biggest challenge in India is only market penetration and the company is taking steps to strategically spread its presence across key markets.
“Going forward, we will focus on built-in kitchen appliances space in India. We want to be among the top 2-3 players in India. We will also significantly focus on high-end lighting solutions and products, creating moods and ambiences in interiors. We have developed a state-of-the art range smart-lighting devices. We will aim to double our presence in this space. We are also going to integrate third party internet of things (IoT),” he informed.
In terms of technology adoption, the company is going to come out with an IoT app that will not only help the company but also external suppliers, automating the entire environment. The IoT app will be launched next year.
He added, “Residential remains a key sector for our business. But office space has been growing fast in the last three years, which is very promising. We act as a local company with global technology and expertise, and closely understand the nation’s needs and cater to them.”