The Legacy Furniture Pvt Ltd have been striving to introduce new idea and innovation in furniture industry in Nepal. The company have been importing and distributing popular European, American Standard modular furniture into Nepali market. Mr Anuj Vaidya, the Director at Legacy Furniture explains more about it:
Tell us how is your business going right now?
Every one of us knows that we have been a bit impacted by covid-19 crisis. However, we are recovering slowly. Furniture is one of the most basic item that everyone requires so it was not hit the most like hoteliers or restaurants owners. I could say we are okay, we get some orders as well, we are very hopeful that this pandemic will pass, and we will go through it in a nice way.
Your company is all about furniture. Please tell us how it started.
We have to go back 15-20 years. My father started Legacy Furniture around 15 years ago officially. Before that, the name of the company, individuals and stakeholders who were involved were not under our current brand, but the total experience of our company has 30 years. It has been a very nice journey, and I personally have been involved for 7 years. My father has been teaching me a lot, so I have all his experience and my own, and I was following other stakeholders.
Our furniture was very new and innovative in Nepal, even until this date many people do not have much ideas about modular furniture, what particleboard is, how to use it. It was completely new in furniture industry. Therefore, once my father and his partners got the idea how to use this board in furniture manufacturing, they came up with first name Furniture 2000. After becoming more experienced and professional, my father started his own company. He had connections with German specialists here who came to teach about making furniture from particleboard called modular furniture. After 10 years, I joined him and it became a family business. Right now, it is him, me, my wife, my sister; we are all involved in it.
Sounds very inspiring and seems like your father likes innovation, was not afraid to start. Are you on international market as well?
We are based in Kathmandu for now and there is no plan to go outside of Nepal. We are associated with big international companies in Germany like Hettich and Rehau. They are helping us for all the technical specifications for very long time. In addition, we are taking sole distribution of Rehau in Nepal and everything that is produced by Rehau can be imported to Nepal. It is more than just a business. They train and help us how to do the right sales, marketing, production.
Do you think you are the biggest furniture producer in Nepal? Do you have any bog competitors?
Yes, I am proud to say we are. There are some competitors who also want to try innovative and creative ideas but they are just coming out. Moreover, with our experience there is no one so we are the leader, and will be leaders in this field.
I wish you luck in this, experience and quality are very important. Then who is your customer? Are you a retailer?
Mostly, if to conclude all our customers within our journey, we’ve been associated with corporate clients dealing with big corporate houses. But recently within last 15 year we are working not only b2b, but to b2c. We see a great value! My wife is responsible for retail segment and it has been very successful as we receive very good feedback.
Are you in any association in Nepal? Is there any support from the government?
No, we are not. Only with international big companies and we only cooperate for innovations, trainings, supplying raw materials in Nepal. There is no help from the government and we are on our own through this journey. But seems like we should get associated with someone? We will give it a thought.
I am not saying you should. I guess you should wait until someone would like to associate with you like with a big brother. What are the main difficulties that you are facing?
The major difficulty is that we are compared with Chinese furniture. As we know, it is not very good in quality, much cheaper in price and looks esthetically beautiful. But they are not that durable and strong comparing to us because all our materials and hardware are European quality. So we are producing modular furniture and we have to compete with the one that is cheaper and lower quality, but looks attractive. Another thing, very few have idea about panel board furniture as well. The image of it is ruined by cheaper Chinese quality.
In simple words, explain to our readers what the panel board is.
Panel board furniture is cut and made from board, not from a solid wood. It can be particleboard, compressed board, MBF, ply wood or block wood. What we do – we cut the right shape and size to fold the furniture. And we want to promote particle and compressed board the most. But it was drastically ruined the image of it in Nepal, unfortunately.
Do you have any already?
The only way is educating people about the modular furniture that we have, the quality, the materials, the durability, the design, esthetic side, and value of money. Our quality as good as European and American standard.
Let us imagine I buy a wardrobe for my bedroom. What would be the average life of it?
Therefore, it depends on material you choose. If you go with particleboard that is widely used abroad, I can guarantee that it will last for 15 to 20 years at least. And of course, you need to use it properly. All doors are opening for 90 degrees; you cannot push it to open for 180 degrees. With proper use, it will last 15 years minimum in a great condition. Our furniture is still used for 19 years at MetLife, American life insurance in Nepal. And imagine now how durable it is. Furniture is used daily for so many years and no complains to us.
If you go with post-laminated plywood, it will last for whole your life. It is more expensive but it has high resistance to water, and it can have bright color prints on it.
Our furniture is very safe and sustainable, especially particleboard as we don’t have to cut big trees. Solid wood needs massive deforestation. Particle and plywood are made of branches or waste of wooden materials. This helps to the environment a lot.
What about your factory, how big is it, how many employees you have? Who are they?
Our factory is mechanized and only few things are done with hands. Fifteen people right now are very well capable to work, very well paid comparing to other traditional carpenters. Hettich, our German partner with proper European standards, very well trains them. I can proudly say that no one can compete with my work force team in Nepal. New entrepreneurs just do not have this caliber as we have with our huge experience.
We are located only 2km away from Kalanki in Tinthana. The area is 10,000 sq. feet and it is well equipped with many sophisticated machines that can be compared only with international factories like in Europe. We do not need to import raw materials, as we are able to produce everything with high standards of quality.
What do you expect to happen after lockdown?
I expect furniture market only to grow, as it is a basic need. You always need food, clothes. To turn a house into a home you need furniture so basic goods will always be in demand. Now we are turning into retail segment as I said, not only corporate, so we are planning to only grow. And our initial plan is to open more outlets all over Nepal to make it more accessible for people. We have two showrooms in Kathmandu: one in Ravi Bhavan, and another one in Samakhusi. Due to covid pandemic, we have to wait, but in a few years we will opened our outlets in Pokhara and Chitwan as well.