Innovation is the key to success : Chirag Shah, Operations Head, Xylos India
Realty Plus in conversation with Chirag Shah, Operations Head, Xylos India. Chirag believes that success in business is achieved by continuously reinventing oneself. He ardently states that one must be a problem solver to go big. That is exactly what he aims to do with Xylos and every single one of their products.
Inception of Xylos
Xylos is part of the Malaysian conglomerate, Samling Global, one of the largest forest land owners in the world. They are also one of the largest tropical wood suppliers. Samling Global, 10 billion US dollar Malaysian conglomerate was established in 1963. Samling Global are leaders in the wood industry, they manufacture numerous types of wood furniture as well as modular kitchens.
Over a period of time, Samling Global thought of diversification. Hence, they moved into real estate development. Their real estate wing is known as Park City. So overall, there are close to 195 subsidiaries of Samling Global. Xylos is one such subsidiary of Samling Global.
Samling Global has also ventured into automobiles. They are in fact one of the largest distributors of Bentley and Lamborghini cars in China. We had also started distribution of Mitsubishi cars in India. So in this way, Samling Global is also big in the automobile distribution sector.
Other than these, Samling Global is into a number of smaller forest related businesses. One such example is their organic honey and bee farming business. Since they own huge forest land in Malaysia it is ideal to have these businesses. Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/success-lies-in-continuous-research-and-development-kushal-bajaj-executive-director-geeta-group/
Samling Global entered India in 2009 with the wooden flooring business. After establishing our foothold in flooring, we are currently looking at venturing into wooden furniture manufacturing. We have a pan India presence and our main focus in the country is the wood industry.
Current industry scenario
Looking at the overall flooring industry, wooden flooring per say is not more than 3-4% of the entire market. It is still a very small component in the industry. The acceptance of wooden flooring is growing nowadays. They only way to build this industry is to educate the client on the benefits of wooden flooring.
At present the scenario has improved as the awareness has increased. People are travelling across the world and experiencing these wooden floors in hotels and places they visit abroad. So when they return they too want these amenities in their homes. That’s when they come to us and we ensure they get the best.
We are currently working with almost 15 tops developers in Mumbai. We have a 60-40 ratio, where 60% of our projects are residential and 40% are commercial.We lean more towards residential as that’s where clients are normally more lenient with budgets and are ready to spend a little more for good products.
We have worked on World One, the tallest residential Tower built by the Lodha Group. This project was designed by Armani. So, how it panned out was that Armani selected our product and Lodha procured it. Omkar 1973 is another project we have worked on. We did this with HBA architects from London. We work closely with international designers, referred by the developers.
In this way we work with designers and developers who select our products for their projects. They often use it as a marketing tool as it sounds attractive for customers when they are being offered the finest Burmese teak flooring in their bedrooms. Everyone desires the best for their homes and developers often bank on that. Also read http://realtyplusmag.com/year-end-sentiments-on-the-state-of-affairs-in-indian-real-estate-5/
All the products we provide come with a 10 year guarantee and if there is any problem with the flooring we have a team which goes to the site and inspects the problem and solves it. After sales values is very important for us. It’s not all about making sales, ensuring the customers are satisfied with the products and providing them with a good service is crucial.
Factors for selection of wooden flooring
The market is changing and so are people’s demands. In the olden days people wouldn’t hire an architect to design their homes. However, now it has become quite a fad to hire an architect to design one’s home as per their budget. Since people have been abroad and experienced the excellence of wooden flooring they too want to incorporate in the homes. The most important factors that influence their decisions are-
- Weather conditions
- Application per area
- Personal choice
Technology and innovations
We have introduced a number of innovative products that are incorporated with cutting edge technology. One of our products is a coating known as diamante coating. The specialty of this coating is that it ensures nothing comes directly in contact with the veneer. This in turn increases the life of the product.
We also have environment conscious products that cause no harm to the environment. We don’t call these innovations but preserving the environment is very important for us and through these products we try to do our bit. We are always trying to get in more eco-friendly products.
The key to survival in this industry is innovation. One has to continuously be at the top of their game and provide the best. This is the only way to stay ahead of competition as well as keep the clients content. The best way to do this is to keep inventing one’s product ranges and bring in new products on a regular basis. If this is not done then the company will remain stagnant. That is not good for business.
2019 : The way forward
In 2019 we hope the government improves their stance on imports of wooden flooring. That will help us import faster and provide more products to our clients. The government has a very big role in lending us support. They can begin with making the system more transparent and digital. Digitization is the best way ahead.
In terms of business, we want to be the first option for all the wood resources in the industry. Anything related to wood, should immediately bring Xylos to mind. We aim to be the first and only option that comes to mind when people think of wood flooring, furniture or any other wood resources. Our tagline says it all, Touch wood Touch Xylos.