Interview with Naresh Maheshwari, CEO, Pergo Pvt Ltd
Laminate flooring comes of age in India
THE Indian flooring market has witnessed a lot of changes in the last few decades. From the traditional stone flooring, people moved to granite, ceramic, marble and now it’s laminates. Pergo, a Swedish brand of floor laminates, has been operating in India since 1999 and has made a formidable name for itself. Naresh Maheshwari, CEO of the Pergo Pvt Ltd, unveils his plans to grow further in Indian market.
Inception of Pergo:
Pergo invented laminate flooring more than three decades ago. Today the brand is synonymous with beautiful, practical flooring – a tradition rooted in “The Story of Laminate”. This story began with an idea about creating beautiful floors durable enough to handle the real challenges of everyday life and still look great after years of use. To be even more practical, we also made them extremely easy to install and maintain.
Since 2013, the Pergo brand is owned by Mohawk Industries, Inc., the world’s largest flooring company with operations in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Pergo products are produced by the flooring division of UNILIN bvba, based in Belgium.
Pergo’s Journey in India:
Launched in India in1999, Pergo entered the Indian market in the Laminate flooring category. Since then, wehave successfully completed over 15 years in India, creating a huge base of satisfied customers. Pergo’s inventions are protected throughout the world by nearly 500granted patents and pending patents.
In the last 7 to 10 years when we talk about the flooring market it has drastically changed, now the demand for laminate flooring is much more than what it was a decade back, The increase in demand has lead to the rise in competition also, so in order to meet these challenges we are doing lot of tech advancements in order to stay ahead in the game.
When we talk about Pergo specifically we have built up a setup that now covers around 80 to 85 percent geographical area of India talking from state perspective, we are present in 36 state with more than 200 channel partners. We also have 5 Warehouses across India and several channel partners, we are doing lot of institutional sales also as most of our customers come from the builders segment.
Change in customer perception:
Decades back when we started the laminate flooring business, the main hurdle we faced was that of customer perception, people thought that laminate flooring will crack up easily or it will swell and peel of. So we opened our experience centres, so that customers can walk up to the centre and gets an answer to all there queries. Through ATL and BTL marketing activities also, we tried to overcome this mindset challenge. We worked a lot on educating the customers and somehow all our efforts been fruitful and customers are now warming up to the concept of laminate flooring.
The other factor that played an important role is the exposure that people have now, they are travelling and seeing the world around, laminate flooring were always a hit in European markets and now they are picking up really well in India too.
35 years ago we invented laminate flooring. A floor that combines beautiful design and long-lasting durability like no other. Pergo laminate floors are made to withstand years of use and still look beautiful. This year we take the concept of the laminate floor one giant step further. With the introduction of Sensation laminate we are pushing the boundaries of what a laminate floor can look – and feel – like.
Thanks to the patented TitanX surface protection, a Pergo laminate floor will keep its elegant finish year in and year out. Our collections feature seven different surface textures that each serve to enhance the authentic impression of your laminate floor. From the well-worn vintage look to the natural feeling of wood grains. All Pergo laminate floors at all quality levels come with the innovative PerfectFold 3.0 click system offering three different installation methods. The surface protection of our new Sensation floors extends all the way into the bevels to create a fully closed surface. In addition, a water repellent coating on the plank edges ensures that water cannot penetrate the floor.
Another positive with laminate flooring is that its maintenance free and it can be installed overnight. It also has anti-skid properties and is ideal for senior living projects and houses where young kids are there.
Last couple of years were not very good for real estate market, so obviously our business was also impacted because of it but the year 2018 looks promising. With the impetus given to Smart City Mission and with so many cities to have modern infra with promising jobs and better lifestyle, it will surely provide heed to our business as well and we will enter all these markets as they will give us better growth potential.