As the readers of our blog know by now; due to our job, we stayed in India with our 3 children for many years. The children attended school in India, we worked and built a life there.
When we were back in Europe, we often missed the ease with which so many things in India are handled. The Indians' favorite saying: "In India-everything is possible" really seems to apply only to India and unfortunately it is much more difficult to find this mindset outside of India.
In the beginning of our furniture business, we imagined it would much easier to build a business with the import of Indian furniture to Europe. And although we had to deal with many skeptical voices from the people surrounding us, we had trust in our optimism, the "Everything`s possible" mindest and the wonderful, extraordinary products that we wanted to bring to the European market.
Our Indian furniture business journey started with selecting the best producers and suppliers locally in India, then continued with regular trips to India to ensure quality and design check-ups, photo shoots managed to generate good-quality photos, uncountable visits to printing houses for marketing brochures and leaflets, writing monthly newsletters, and does not end at organizing furniture fairs and transportation for our products to Europe...
Many of the above is managed by us, for some we engaged professionals, such as printing houses and a product photographer.
However, product photographers seem to be hard to find in Europe, especially when it comes to our heavy and large furniture items. Our items have to be moved around during photoshoots (which admittedly takes a lot of work) and therefore we were regularly confronted with replies such as "we can imagine working with you, but...".
Luckily, if you make the same request to a product photographer in India, the very next day, you will have received a reply with possible dates for a test shooting.
The trial shoot took place before we arrived to India, whereas the product photographer organized everything with our factory and we were sent the first images prior to our arrival. Once having arrived at the photoshoot location in India, we are greeted with busy hands dragging our furniture from left to right. A background wall in the desired color is first procured, then assembled and sprayed with paint. The photographer then sends another worker to buy plants on his motorcycle for the photoshoot.
Thereafter we were thinking; "seat cushions would be great for the photographs of our benches". Even though this was a very spontaneous idea, the next day we had already received the foam samples for the mattresses and the fabric samples for the seat cushions to choose from! One day later, our chosen cushions for the photoshoot are on site.
Wow! This is so much fun!
We met with the photographer for 3 days in a row to discuss our requirements for the photoshoot, so that he could do the shoots of our new products without us having to fly in for these in future. It can be that simple!
Nevertheless, flying to Rajasthan (due to factory visits, or organizational matters) is always such a treat as it's one of the most mesmerizing places we've ever seen!
We had the same amazing experience with the Indian print shop. Although the store looked small from the outside and it wasn't easy to find it in the hustle of the city, they were highly specialized and had enough staff to advise us professionally.
They were extremely patient with us. After all, we need a lot of product tags, business cards, leaflets and catalogs. After an initial large order, we have been staying in touch with them for all our printing orders.
The customer is simply still king in India!
We would love to pass on this feeling to our own customers in Europe. Because: "Nothing is impossible" is also our business mentality.
It is a pity that we cannot import the excellent Indian services and mindsets to Europe in addition to our imported furniture items!