I think the Indonesian market has a lot of potential for international furniture brands as the tastes are so varied. Classic and contemporary furniture for example is something that we do not offer but there are people in Indonesia that do like these styles.
Mrs Halistya Pramana, President Director
Vinoti Living started its activities in 1999 specialising in furniture with a chain of lifestyle stores throughout Indonesia. What was the background to the founding of the company and what are the current strategies being following to date?
I started the company in 1999 with Vinoti Living as previously I was involved in the office furniture business. As a result of the 1998 crisis, the demand for office furniture and for office projects declined so I decided to open Vinoti Living. It began with our first retail store in Plaza Senayan. The local market for furniture products remained strong and continues to strengthen in terms of consumer purchasing power.
We produce our furniture using materials from Indonesia; before Indonesians preferred to import furniture from abroad if they were looking for quality but now they are familiar with Vinoti Living and the high quality that we offer which is how we have expanded our retail store network one at a time.
I strongly believe in creativity as being the key to success as the home furniture industry is very competitive and people tend to copy designs quickly; especially in Indonesia where intellectual property laws are very poorly enforced. Therefore, innovation and creativity are very important in order to protect your design. How you manufacture your design is also a very important part in safeguarding your intellectual property. At Vinoti, we are constantly experimenting with new veneers and new finishes, for example our high gloss furniture which was launched in 2011. This type of gloss had not been used in this way before. In 2012 we also launched open pore furniture and open grain furniture using wood such as oak; it still has a clean finish but you can touch the grain.
Further areas that we focus on to differentiate ourselves are customer service, after care service and keeping our prices competitive. We aim to create beautiful stores that people can enjoy for not only furniture but also for home accessories and impulse buying.
Within the group we have various brands and product lines. We launched Bed and Bath Essentials which are concept stores focused on items such as towels and bed sheets. Brio is our product line launched at the younger market which offers pretty items for young girls and bedroom accessories for young boys. For the upper end of the market we offer Livvi Casa and most of the pieces in the range are limited editions. Vilato was introduced several years ago for doing interior fit out projects for homes and offices in Indonesia; we undertake personal projects as opposed to large scale projects.
Indonesia has a highly diverse consumer market with varied design and furniture tastes. How does the company manage to cater to the various segments of the market?
I go to furniture and design exhibitions in Indonesia as well as in Singapore, Europe etc. Yet, I do not want to provide products that other companies are doing so I try to do something new with our lines.
To do this, we carry out experiments and if it is not well received then we remove it from the product line, yet this has only happened a couple of times. Therefore we learn by doing. Indonesia has very different tastes in different locations; even in Jakarta the tastes are different between North and South Jakarta. For example, in South Jakarta there are many expatriates who prefer natural look furniture whereas North Jakarta residents prefer more ‘finished look’ products.
In artwork as well there are real differences in tastes depending on where you are in Indonesia. In Bali, general Indonesian artwork sells very well but this is not the case in Yogyakarta for example.
What can you tell us about future products within your furniture lines?
At the moment we are developing more natural finishes to apply to our furniture products. We always have ongoing product development and natural finishes are what we are focused on at the moment. Also, we are looking into staining the grain with different colours to create both matte and high gloss finishes. This is still being experimented with to see what works best so these products will be introduced in the near future.
How is Vinoti Living positioned to work with international furniture companies and what do you think are the key opportunities within the Indonesian furniture sector?
I do not have plans for international expansion at the moment. Our products are being sold abroad through stores that have asked to sell our products. Previously we participated in exhibitions outside of the country but this is not the case anymore as we focus on Indonesia itself.
I think the Indonesian market has a lot of potential for international furniture brands as the tastes are so varied. Classic and contemporary furniture for example is something that we do not offer but there are people in Indonesia that do like these styles. Leather is another area that is very popular in Indonesia which we do not cover; therefore we are open to working with international companies to make our range more comprehensive. Concept stores could also be created as joint ventures as long as they do not overlap with our existing lines.
What should potential partners remember about Vinoti Living as a final message?
I would like people to remember Vinoti Living as a creative company and as one of the best furniture retail stores in Indonesia. I would also like our stores to be regarded as ‘must see’ stores when people visit Jakarta or Indonesia.
Indonesia offers a lot of advantages in the furniture business such as for creating prototypes as we have many talented carpenters therefore there are no limitations to your creativity. That gives us the flexibility and freedom to create and try out many new furniture items.
Global Business Guide Indonesia - 2012