Poltrona Frau comes to India : The Casa Decor story

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casa decor mumbaiA little over a year ago, a hundred-year-old company based in Italy entered the Indian luxury retail segment with the launch of its store in Kalaghoda, Mumbai.

Poltrona Frau is a leading name in international luxury furniture and traces its history all the way back to 1912.

In the 50s, it grew from a small entrepreneurial group to a large manufacturer and secured its credentials in the luxury furniture segment as a market leader in the 80s.

 

furniture store mumbai

In 2003, the firm saw a huge turnaround that led to an expansion phase by acquisition. A private equity fund,Charme, headed by Luca Montezemolo, CEO of Ferrari, acquired a major stake in the Poltrona Frau group. This led to an acquisition of other brands such as Cassina and Cappellini under the Poltrona Frau umbrella.

furniture store mumbai

Within a short span of time, the group tripled its turnover, went public and was registered at the Milan Stock Exchange. Poltrona Frau is now the largest company in the world in the luxury furniture segment. The group decided to enter India because of the close ties between Luca Montezemolo and Ratan Tata, as they were both on the board of directors of the Fiat Group. In 2007, the decision was taken to get into a collaboration with the Tata Group and Casa Décor was formed as a 50:50 joint venture.

furniture store mumbai

The global crisis in 2008, coupled with the search for a suitable person to head the India operations, led to a standstill for a while. It was then that Nicola Obert entered the picture as CEO of Casa Décor Although his background was in the automobile industry, Nicola was well versed with business in India having set up three companies in the past, as joint ventures. Armed with his expertise and enterprise, he started the Casa Décor venture from a hotel room in Mumbai, in 2009.

furniture store mumbai

When asked what differentiated the Poltrona Frau brand from many of the other international players in the luxury furniture segment in India, Nicola Obert says, “Our strength is our presence as a company. We represent the leading role of the Poltrona Frau group in the EU and US for a hundred years, and our collaboration with the Tata Group has further strengthened this base of trust.”

furniture store mumbai

The signature showroom opened its doors to the public in mid-2010, bringing the Indian consumer high-end luxury furniture stamped with the reputation and technology that makes Poltrona Frau a leading name in design globally. The product range includes the Poltrona Frau range which is more classical in design, Cassina — sleek and contemporary design, Cappellini — iconic pieces that make a statement, and Nemo — lighting solutions. The 5000 sq ft showroom was aimed at the luxury residential segment. Given that the industry in India was unorganised and fragmented, there was little information available in terms of market study and research. Casa Décor decided to focus on the Mumbai showroom, with plans for future showrooms in Delhi and Bangalore.

furniture store mumbai

Forming strategic partnerships in the domestic market, creating a focal point for interaction as a global leader, and bringing world-class quality at competitive prices have been the cornerstones of the Poltrona Frau India operations.

In terms of market value, Nicola expects the residential segment to double from its 10 crore potential within a year.

furniture store mumbai

The best response has been from architects and designers in India catering to high-end clientele. Clients value the after-sales service provided by Casa Décor

furniture store mumbai

In terms of expansion, Casa Décor aims to target Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities through showrooms in Delhi and Mumbai.

In India, Casa Décor has gone beyond the traditional residential focus of Poltrona Frau products and entered the hospitality sector in a big way, with 65% of its turnover coming from this segment. They have worked with the top groups in India like Taj, Sheraton, Ista and Radisson, to name a few. The strategy here is based on complete fit-outs and turnkey projects. To cater to this segment, the company works with a validated list of vendors from India, Indonesia, China and Malaysia.

furniture store mumbai

The fact that the high-end luxury segment has a growing market in India is undeniable. What has changed, however, is that the consumer no longer has to leave the country to find a particular product as top-end brands which were earlier not available in India, are now here— giving the luxury buyer, design at their doorstep. Casa Décor has taken it one step further by bringing their clientele on a direct one-to-one with the Poltrona Frau Group.

furniture store mumbai

In India, Casa Décor has gone beyond the traditional residential focus of Poltrona Frau products and entered the hospitality sector in a big way, with 65% of its turnover coming from this segment. They have worked with the top groups in India like Taj, Sheraton, Ista and Radisson, to name a few. The strategy here is based on complete fit-outs and turnkey projects. To cater to this segment, the company works with a validated list of vendors from India, Indonesia, China and Malaysia.

“Our design excellence is not just a result of evolved aesthetics and intelligent artistry but also of logistical and resourcing proficiency. We handle sourcing of specialised materials and logistical economy with an extreme focus to delight our demanding clients, making sure that they are satisfied by our creative inputs, as well as our operational efficiency.”

Read the full feature on Prismma Magazine

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Category: Interior Design India

Comments (3)

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  1. Sonam says:

    what has been the response for such luxury brands in india ?

  2. Akash says:

    nice furniture. i like the huge comfy sofas..great for TV watching :)

  3. Kanchan says:

    interesting that such big brands are coming to india..guess they see huge potential here

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