US office furniture giant Steelcase Inc. has opened the doors at a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in India in a move to further consolidate its position in the subcontinent’s booming furniture market.
The new manufacturing plant “will help enhance the services and logistics the company provides to its growing Indian customer, giving timely delivery of products and services, tailor-made to suit the Indian clientele”, said Uli Gwinner, president – Steelcase Asia Pacific.
The new facility, he said, “signifies the importance that we place on servicing India, as part of our goal of strengthening Steelcase’s overall presence in Asia. We need to be where our customers are, so this is a critical long-term investment.”
While Gwinner didn’t put an exact figure on the cost of setting up the new plant, he did say that the 15,000 square foot facility – located in Chakan in the state of Mahrashtra – would employ about 100 people and produce a range of products “specific to the Indian market.”
Steelcase India country head Praveen Rawal said that the Indian furniture market is estimated to be worth over one billion dollars, but that Steelcase would be targeting the higher end segment of the market valued at about $200 million.
With seven outlets in India, Steelcase Inc is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and generated $2.9 billion in revenues in FY 2013. The company first entered the Indian market in 2004.
Now in its 101st year, Steelcase operates 26 manufacturing facilities around the world, including several in China and Malaysia, as well as more than 650 local distributors.