EYEING GROWTH IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
Demand for design products remains strong in Southeast Asia, confirms Mr. Ottaviano Borgonovo, co-owner of MisuraEmme. Latest data from FederlegnoArredo, the sector association that brings together Italian wood and furniture companies, indicates that Italy is the third largest supplier to Singapore, with 52.2 million euros, as well as to Thailand and Vietnam, behind China and Malaysia, he cites. “This trend should continue in the years to come, granting even more importance to Italy as one of the leading players.” Demand is going through decisive transformation with respect to the past, Mr. Borgonovo observes, as the new generation prefers modern design, with rational lines, visual lightness, and strong, dramatic presence based mainly on the use of precious materials and warm tones, he says. “MisuraEmme responds to these needs by evaluating and customizing products in all their aspects, without setting the limit of a single market, but interacting with an international clientele that has different requirements.” Mr. Borgonovo adds that a large segment of MisuraEmme audience comprises architects working on contract projects whose requirements drive the original projects that are then inserted in the catalog later.
Southeast Asian markets, which register strong growth, are key to MisuraEmme’s internationalization policy. “At the moment, we have identified Marquis Hqo and Magran Living as two strong partners, capable of communicating our lifestyle to the clientele of the countries in which they operate; these are also the two largest showrooms, given the fact that they are both mono-brand facilities with an area of 350 square metres.” In the parts of the region, specially in the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan, MisuraEmme operates through dealers in multibrand spaces. “In the coming months we will open another mono-brand in Vietnam, but many windows are opening and there are many possibilities for business in this vast, dynamic territory. I am also thinking of Australia, a nearby market that offers very interesting opportunities.” In Southeast Asia the boundary between retail and contract businesses is very fluid, says Mr. Borgonovo. “The retail projects for which we are commissioned are often of remarkable size, and require an exceptional effort that makes them comparable to true contract operations. I believe this is a classification that in certain markets, in a very near future, will no longer be taken into consideration, as the focus shifts towards the project itself rather than the category to which it belongs.”