Spotlight  


Deesawat - Leader in Eco Design

Within the Asia region, the Thai furniture industry is known to stand out amongst its neighbours for its innovative and contemporary designs with a unique Thai twist. Coupled with high quality production and creative use of materials, Thai furniture products have been enjoying a price premium over its competitors in markets globally. FFE talks to Mr. Jirawat Tangkijngamwong, MD of Deesawat Design Co. Ltd and Deputy MD of Deesawat Industries Co. Ltd, a leading Thai furniture company in eco design to find out what gives them the edge.


Star Stool

One of Thailand’s top eco design company, Deesawat Industries is a leading the wood furniture maker who is also maintaining their eco-friendly status. Founded in 1972, Deesawat was initially an OEM manufacturer with its own sawmills producing wood flooring and Chinese-styled furniture for export. The company later evolved into one that creates and develops its own brand name.

MR. JIRAWAT TANGKIJNGAMWONG

According to Mr. Jirawat Tangkijngamwong, MD of Deesawat Design Co. Ltd and Deputy MD of Deesawat Industries Co. Ltd, he changed the company’s design orientation towards modern contemporary to meet the market demand after his father’s passing. The current Deesawat repertoire includes outdoor furniture, indoor furniture with outdoor perspective, contract furniture for hotel and restaurant, wood flooring/fancy flooring, wooden doors and frames, and wood millworks. Deesawat also does custom production for the hotel and hospitality segment where customization projects can be explored. For Deesawat, there is no one solution that fits every needs. Today, Deesawat’s 25,000 square metre factory with its own sawmill and kiln driers resides in Bangkok with over 300 employees. They have showrooms in USA, Hong Kong and Singapore and 40 furniture awards under their belt.

uplamp



MOVING FORWARD IN EXCELLENCE


The Deesawat name is associated with quality that comes naturally, according to Jirawat. The company that has been established for 45 years is also known by their craftsmanship, wood expertise, as well as tasteful designs. The Tangkijngamwong family is heavily involved in the planning, production, marketing and general administration in this family business in their second generation.

BOSTON LEAF

Deesawat’s motto is that there is always room for improvement. The numerous awards that they received over the years serve as a benchmark for them to continue improving their products. In 2004, they began writing their own brand story by designing and developing their own signature products. Their products were put to the test in competitions and that was when they won their first G-mark award from Japan. This company would go on to win 40 different design awards worldwide. Deesawat have won several Prime Minister Awards (PM awards), Thailand’s most esteemed award. They received three PM awards in factory management from the Ministry of Industries and more than 10 PM awards in products design and green innovations from the Ministry of Commerce. Deesawat have also been awarded the Green manufacturing (gold level) from the Department of Environment.

The company has two showrooms in Bangkok, one at the factory and the other one which is a 500 square meter flagship design store at Sukhumvit 24. They develop outdoor furniture for big chain companies and provide Deesawat design products for retail at large retailers. Deesawat also propose their products and/ or customize new products for Designer customer’s projects.

For their export sector, Deesawat reported that their products are 80 percent exported and 20 percent for the domestic market. They expect their domestic sector to grow alongside the booming tourist industry. Their export venture brings their products to Japan, USA, and European countries like France and Italy. They also take on projects from different markets every year which includes India, China, Korea, Middle East and the Caribbean areas. When asked about production expansion, Jirawat says that on the contrary, they plan to shrink their production but will expand their market reach. They believe that the synergy and networking manufacturing is the key to achieve better costing. For Deesawat, they do not compete with other companies but with themselves to keep on moving forward in excellence. The MD of Deesawat commented that they have set the compass and are on the right path even though the process might be slow.




VERTICALLY INTEGRATED PRODUCTION


Deesawat’s production starts off upstream with harvesting and processing of logs where the saw milling is done in-house. This is followed by kiln-drying that is also done via in-house KD chambers. In their woodworking workshops, they separate their products into different sections for different utilizations. These sections include building materials and millworks section for flooring, door, frame and other mill works, furniture section, and the leftover section where they incorporate creative production so that nothing is wasted. Each of these sections are equipped with certified wood working technology to meet stringent requirement from the market.

Their production process is preceded by the design process with the final product in mind, then the raw materials will be procured. This process is different for the leftover utilization section where they start with the raw materials in mind instead which could be quite limiting. All processes in the factory is well documented for FSC product certification of some products. They developed a control production process alongside their existing production process to ensure the quality control.

Tierra Collection

Deesawat uses 10 different species of wood but the largest in volume is Teak. They source their raw materials from all over the world looking for legal and good quality wood. According to Jirawat, because there are so many different grades of wood, it does not matter where they come from but rather how to utilize them to the maximum. Deesawat states that they try their best to show wood at its most honest form with the highest standard possible in their selection process, handling and manufacturing techniques. Wood is still the easiest and most eco-friendly material that could be found. There are some wrong perception towards wood in the market that should be changed because if the wood is procured legally, then it is already helping the earth. Jirawat said that as the chairman of Thai Timber Association, he would like to encourage the mindset of “wood is good” and that people should not be afraid to use them.

greenwall

STAYING AHEAD


Never one to back down from progress, Deesawat will look ahead to execute plans to bring the company and brand a step ahead of the crowd. Jirawat said that how you respond to change is the key to being competitive no matter what size your company is. He added that he believes that Deesawat is in a position where they can respond quickly to any changes in competitive scale, with the expertise to meet all the stringent requirements of the world market. These are the winning attributes of Deesawat that allow them to be competitive.

The company’s plan in the near future will be to secure the mobilization of their online solutions platform within the next 5 - 10 years, secure marketing channels in countries like China, AEC, and India which is new to them. The company also plans to increase production of furniture with new concepts that still comply with Deesawat’s high standards. They will explore new opportunities to research and develop products that will give them an edge. This includes plans to develop a curriculum to train workers as an assurance that there will not be a lack of man power for the whole industry and not just Deesawat.

Known for their multi-award winning designs, Deesawat is always looking ahead to designing better furniture with their in-house designers as well as through collaborations with external designers. Their past award winning furniture designs give insight to the thoughts behind each furniture. For example, Green Wall by Mr. Atsushi Koike attempts to bring practicality and beauty into the home by including greens while saving space with a vertical furniture. Up lamp by Mr. Kamseela is the success story of combining leftover wood and creativity to create an interesting piece. Mr. Tangkijngamwong’s Summercabanas went through design metamorphosis that evolved it into the butterfly it is today. It serves as a personal luxurious cocoon for customers who enjoy exclusivity. The pull up mechanism that reveals the hidden tables and chaises gives it a fun and practical feature. Boston Curve is an earlier design by Deesawat that is still valid today. This furniture that allows the customer to customize the curvature of their furniture is ideal for residential and project usage. The Boston Leaf imitates the leaf’s form and made it a perfect public fixture. It beautifies the surroundings with its interesting form.

The latest collection from Deesawat displays a consciousness to consumer needs paired with beauty. Their Brace stool won the best of the best award for well-being in Hong Kong. This stool allows older consumers to be in control of their own safety. The AOMLET incorporates a pet sitting area for pet owners to enjoy their pet’s company. The recently awarded WING maximizes consumer’s comfort level in a different way. Deesawat’s in-house designers know exactly what the company wants and create designs that level the Deesawat criteria. Deesawat also collaborates with many external designers to allow the free flow of ideas that rejuvenates the idea pool. These external designers come from Italy, Japan and Thailand bringing their own distinct styles to the table.



Deesawat lets the designers explore by only giving them the basic materials to work with as a limit. Their next design venture will see them bringing outdoor furniture indoors, developing an indoor furniture line, developing a customizable hospitality line, developing furniture that helps and makes a difference consumer’s lives, and developing a collection where the customers can be a part of the design process.

Deesawat’s ethical practices combined with their excellence in design and production elevated them to a level that is unprecedented. Their “never stop progressing” attitude might bring bigger successes to the company while also contributing to the environment and society.

stick up Collection