"Wood working machinery is very expensive. To set up a small furniture manufacturing unit, the entrepreneurs will have to invest at least Rs two crore. But still we are witnessing huge investment in the sector during the last five years and it is poised for a big growth," he said. He said the country was witnessing a steady surge in furniture imports from around the world. It increased by 65 per cent from USD 152 million to USD 251 million in 2006-07 as the import market strived to keep pace with the explosive demand.
The main countries for imports were China, Malaysia, Italy, Germany and Singapore in that order. While China and Malaysia catered to middle class, Italy and Germany account for upper end furniture, he said. Index Tradefair, a B2B event on furniture, lighting, furniture hardware and interior accessories, would see 70 domestic companies, including top furniture manufacturers like Geeken, Tomta, PSL, Alno, TTK and Jindal, participate in the event.
The Italian federation of furniture manufacturers Consorzio Nouvi Mercati would be the main participant among the foreign players, he said. The recent Mumbai event had witnessed a business of Rs 500 crore. A seminar to highlight rapid changes in the furniture industry would be held on June 27. Experts from the industry would be addressing the seminar, he added.