We spoke to Sadhana Vipat, owner of an Import-Export Company based in Italy. Her company deals in “Made In Italy” Furniture. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Question – According to you what challenges does or can an Indian Interior Designer face while his visits to Italy for buying Italian furniture. This is if he plans his trip by himself?
Ms. Sadhana – Well before planning his trip to Italy I would suggest professionals i.e. Interior Designer and Architects to have planned on budget for the same. As per current trend in India, home owners with only high budget prefer buying Italian furniture. We need to break this misconception and want home owners to know that Italian furniture is available for affordable, economic rates too. This affordable Italian furniture’s too come with very good quality, finish and durability. It just that they are unbranded and are available for better rates.
But To buy Italian furniture Professionals need to plan their visit to Italy for the same for which there could be few difficulties that he would face if he plans to visit all by himself. Again there are two possibilities for Interior Designer or Architect’s visit to Italy-
i. Let’s say the budget for a particular project allows professional to bring their clients along to buy Italian Furniture like 70-80 lacs or 1 crore. In such cases half of the problems are solved since the client with along and Interior Designer, and he can buy what the client likes. The client himself can see different style of furniture, feel it, etc. They get to choose from a variety of products. Also if budget needs any alterations say be increase the budget, an on the spot decision can be taken since the client is together.
ii. Another possibility, where the budget doesn’t allow professional to bring client along with him. For such projects I would suggest professionals to plan buying for 3-4 similar projects in 1 visit itself. Though this is not an easy job for professionals, it works best.
In each of the above possibilities, the professional-Interior Designer and Architect need to plan out the things well beforehand before the visit. Like-
• Budget -plan the budget firstly for furniture and trip
• Know the style of furniture that needs to be bought
• Plan number of days for trip.
• Book tickets
• Plan company visit of each day
• Contact each companies for visit
• Plan interval travelling mode, and much more.
i. Week Off – Well, not every plan works out the way it is planned especially when the professionals plans all by himself. For example – Let’s say the store or company is on week off which professional is not aware of and has planned same day visit to that company. What then? The entire trip plan goes for a toss since most of them are closed and were main companies client wanted to visit. It results in either extending the trip or return back without visiting these companies. The loss is of both client and professional but more for professional since client returns back dis-satisfactorily. Also if they plan to extend a day also, the budget goes for a toss then. So either ways the professional faces a hard luck.
ii. Visiting Hours – another difficulty that can be faces is that visiting hours are over by the time the Professional reaches the company. Here again the trip schedule goes for a toss like above.
iii. Language or Communication Barrier – This is one of the major difficulties faced especially by those who are regular visitors for buying Italian furniture. This difficulty is faced by us too staying here in Italy. This occurs when the staff constantly keeps changing, professional has to every time explain in detail for what he wants, his style, budget etc. If it would be same salesperson, it becomes easier for professional to shop for since he knows the taste and style of professional.
iv. Factory Visit – Few companies take their clients to factory visit followed by shop visit. Again this takes away time and disturbs professional schedule.
Instead if professional contact us or a company like ours, for buying Italian furniture, we can plan your visit where these difficulties are eliminated whether they coming with their client of alone. We organize entire trip right from staying to getting information of different companies, visiting different companies, travel, etc. Professional just need to share required details of project and visit dates with us.
We also guide them with best companies to visit as per their style and budget. Before their visit only we share different company catalogs on basis of which they can narrow down company and products they have liked further to which we can shortlist companies as per their budget.
We plan company visits as per professional’s needs, times crunch, budget and also as per different companies visit procedure here in Italy. We help our client’s shop value for money too. Like we know smaller, not that well-known companies that deliver similar products with similar quality, finish and durability as branded highly proceed Italian furniture. The reason why they are available for cheaper rates is because mainly they are not given a brand tag.
Infact I would say that such smaller companies are very feasible as far as making products unlike big brands. These companies provide services like custom made Italian furniture i.e. make as per clients required size, color and style and moreover as per client’s budget for Italian furniture. There’s lot of personal attention received by such companies.