Country Focus  


LEADING MALAYSIAN FURNITURE EXPORTERS

The Malaysian furniture exporters are an aggressive lot. During the early days in the 80s, it was the Taiwanese invested companies that have led the furniture industry. The Taiwanese came for the abundance of timber resources and cheap land as well as low labour costs. However, over time, with strong entrepreneurial spirits and burning desires to succeed, many local employees from the various factories left to begin their own operations. Others came into the business starting as sub-contractors making components for larger companies before going into the production of complete furniture. A little more than a decade and a half later, the country entered the top 10 list of the world’s largest furniture exporter, led predominantly by the Malaysia. Now in the 8th position, the country is gunning to go higher up the ranking.

In this special article, FFE features 12 outstanding exporters all with common traits that provide for success in the export business - make good quality furniture, provide competitive pricing, are customer oriented and are highly dependable. Veterans in manufacturing of furniture and selling worldwide, they will be responsible for moving Malaysia up the charts.


AFA FURNITURE DOT COM


Drawing on 20 years of experience, Keppel Wood Industries (M) Sdn Bhd is well versed in the furniture export business, focusing on a combination of good customer service, competitive pricing, high quality and short lead time as their success strategy. Keppel Wood Industries is where buyers can go to for a personalised buying experience. Founded in 1996, the Muar based company has enjoyed a steady growth and is looking forward to build on their success and provide value-added products and services to every part of the world.

Specialising in wooden furniture, Keppel Wood Industries creates various styles to suit their global customers of every age group. The fullyexport furniture manufacturer services regions consisting the US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australasia. The categories of products offered by Keppel Wood Industries include predominantly adult and kids beds and dining furniture. The company supplies kid’s furniture to the Middle East, kids furniture to the US, and kids furniture as well as adult’s beds for Europe. The company regularly creates new design but in varying numbers depending on the market. Keppel Wood Industries produces mostly knockdown products for better costing.

With their production factory spanning 300,000 square feet and workforce of 300 plus skilled employees, Keppel Wood ships an average of 60 containers per month. Meticulously monitoring the furniture production processes from the raw materials to the final touches allows Keppel Wood Industries to keep their product quality consistent and help keep costs low to afford better prices for customers. Every product is tested for its strength, comfort and durability.

Keppel Wood Industries’ next step will be to focus on creating new products and categories for their furniture collection with the desire to further widen their customer range. The company also plans to break into the Chinese market while expanding their reach in the US market in the near future.

CIVIC TAI MANUFACTURING SDN BHD





Jason Wu,
Founder and Director,
Founded in the year 2000, Civic Tai Manufacturing Sdn Bhd specialises in the designing and manufacturing of wooden furniture for the export market. Founder and Director, Jason Wu oversees the company and its operations. The factory is located in Muar, Johor, Malaysia.

Civic Tai uses a variety of materials such as rubber wood, medium-density fibreboard, and veneer in its production. The end result is beautiful dining table series, buffets and hutches, and occasional sets for their buyers.

The company designs furniture mostly in the classic European styles to suit the taste of their customers. The design team in Civic Tai finds their inspiration through visiting exhibitions all over the world, researching these markets for design trends. Customers are also able to give their input on the furniture designs as Civic Tai welcomes customer’s feedback and requests whenever applicable. On average the company is able to put out a new product from the drawing board to production within the time frame of one month and puts out three to five new designs per year to update their furniture collection. Civic Tai also undertakes OEM and ODM manufacturing and export of tile top and solid wood furniture in knock down form for the international market. The company’s quality control is world-class, screening every aspect of the furniture production from designing to the final stages to ensure the highest quality for every product from Civic Tai. The company’s confidence in their products is displayed through their exchange policy and warranty provided to their customers.

Catering to a wide variety of customers, the exportoriented company counts countries such as US, UK, Dubai, Russia, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore as their main markets.

Civic Tai’s good quality products, excellent customer service and low product defect rate makes them the top choice for many customers from around the world. When asked about future plans, Wu commented that they look forward to building on the good relationships with existing customers, developing new customers and grow Civic Tai into a world class company.

HIGH VALUE ENTERPRISE SDN BHD



Jason Wu,
Founder and Director,
High Value Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. is a Muar based furniture manufacturer specializing in dining furniture. The company is founded by brothers S.C. Tee and Alex Tee more than 15 years ago. Together they worked hard through the years to bring their company to great heights.

As the name implies, High Value pride themselves in being able to deliver great value to their customers. The company is well known to produce quality products at very competitive price points and caters to varied requests from the customers. Currently, its production capacity is in excess of 40 containers every month with an annual turnover of USD10 million.

The 100 percent export company ships to markets globally. This includes countries and regions such as the Middle East, Europe, North America, Brazil, Asia, and Russia. Their biggest market at the moment is the Middle Eastern countries.

According to Alex Tee, comfort is central to their design philosophy. New collections are released yearly. However, with the world as its market, the company has to cater to differing preferences and demands in design and dimensions of products in the different countries. To give an example, Tee said that his products exported to the Middle East are mostly upholstered with traditional wood carvings. While those he exports to the US may be similar in design, these products have larger measurements. On the other hand, contemporary styled dining furniture is preferred by European, Asian and Russian customers.

The essence of High Value’s competitiveness is its affordable pricing paired with quality. This has successfully helped the company attract and retain customers. Their dedication and specialisation in dining furniture has given them an edge in understanding customer requirements and producing suitable products at the right price points. According to Tee, the company is now seeking to break into the Chinese market. Currently they are working along with their Chinese counterparts to collect market information as well as to find the best strategy to enter this market. One possible beachhead is Chengdu through which the company plans to penetrate the rest of China in the very near future.


INCEPTION DESIGN AND TRADING SDN BHD



Philip Khor,
Founder and Design Director
Inception Design is synonymous with harmoniously blending Malaysian culture with international designs and always creating something fresh for the customers. The company, Inception Design and Trading Sdn Bhd, is founded by Design Director Philip Khor and is backed by a team of highly skilled and creative minded personnels who are passionate about furniture. Known for their expertise in product design, customization flexibility and their ability to source for all types of furniture products, Inception Design is steadily garnering faithful customers globally.

Focusing mainly on producing wooden furniture, Inception Design creates designs for bedroom, living room, dining room, and projects. The design signature of the company is bold and luxurious; earthy colour schemes are featured for some dining sets, while mixing solid wood with a contrasting white and gold accents for some bedroom sets. Inception Design are also flexible when designing for different countries with different requirements, measurements and colour preferences, offering more customization for their global buyers. The company’s products are built in line with the objective of affordability and functionality with character.

Inception Design is constantly looking to improve their services to their customers. Striving to create better designs, they visit the different countries to research consumer cultures, habits as well as emerging trends. To be even more competitive, the company also collaborates with different manufacturers to seek greater production efficiencies.

Inception Design practices a hands-on approach to customer service where customers can contact them at anytime through email, telephone, or common apps like whatsapp, wechat and others. The company welcomes customer’s feedback, and if any assistance is needed, Inception Designs will attend to customers right away. The company strongly believes that going beyond delivering just a furniture product, a combination of high quality design and good customer service will be keep them on the track towards globalisation and growth.


KF FURNITURE EXPORT SDN BHD



SG Toh, Director

KF Furniture Export Sdn Bhd, founded by S.G. Toh, is a furniture manufacturer that produces a variety of wooden furniture for the home. The company’s range of products include wooden dining sets, wooden coffee tables, wooden beds and wooden sofa sets.

KF Furniture Export Sdn Bhd is a 100% export company that also operates as an OEM. With a 174,240 square meter production facility, the company is proud to be able to handle large orders from all over the world.

The fully export company presently serves countries like Russia, Philippines, India, France, Spain, Algeria, Canada, Trinidad, Saudi Arabia, Libya, UAE, Chile, Jordan and Thailand. It provides diverse furniture designs and styles to please its diverse customer base. The company’s designs include styles from Europe, such as the Italian, and American contemporary styles that are popular among their customers. The company gets their design inspiration by traveling to different countries, looking KF FURNITURE EXPORT SDN BHD at the furniture styles, understanding the cultures and improving on what they had observed to create their own designs. With a mind for progress, KF Furniture Export Sdn Bhd releases 7-10 new furniture designs every quarter to keep on trend with the market.

The Muar based company’s target end-user demographics are 15 years and older professionals who are style-conscious. The company’s products are positioned in the mid to medium-high end, making it accessible a wider group of customers.

With consumer tastes and market conditions changing ever so quickly, KF Furniture Export Sdn Bhd will be visiting more international fairs to better understand the market’s wants, needs and requirements. In addition to increase their design efforts to match market demands, the company hopes to further improve on their customer service, and increase efficiencies in production and production turnover to attract more customers.


MASTER SOFA INDUSTRIES SDN BHD



Terence CS Teo,
Chief Operating Officer
Known for high quality and great designs, Master Sofa Industries Sdn Bhd, is a privately owned limited company specialized in the manufacturing and export of upholstery. The company was established in 1992 by Teo King Kowang, who enlisted the expertise of directors and shareholders with more than 15 years of experience in subcontracting work with renowned upholstery sofa makers in Malaysia and Singapore.

The company’s ability to manufacture high quality and stylish sofas and selling them at competitive prices propelled the business forward at a commendable pace. In recent years, under the leadership of Terence CS Teo, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Master Sofa has also invested into branding and results show the company is going in the right direction. In the year 2015, Master Sofa’s two name brands, Maestro and Maximus generated a combined turnover of USD50 million.

Master Sofa has two factory facilities with one in Malaysia and the other in Vietnam. Together they have a combined area of 900,000 square feet which gives it a total capacity of 250 full sized containers each month. Produced in these two factories are high quality leather and fabric upholstery including sofa sets, recliners, and television chairs for the home. CS Teo shared that to ensure the high quality standards in their products, the company sources only A-grade quality materials from Europe and Asia.

Master Sofa acknowledges the huge prospects for both leather and fabric upholstery in the global market. To tap into this opportunity, its R&D design team travels the world to celebrated exhibitions looking for inspiration for new products and designs. Such effort as well as others enable Master Sofa to launch a staggering 80 new designs each year. In addition, the company regularly invests in new and modern production machinery and tools to boost efficiency and productivity. As a result, production volume gets expanded and overall quality is further enhanced.

Master Sofa exports about 90% of its total production catering to countries like UK, US, Australia, New Zealand as well as to regions such as Europe, South East Asia and greater Asia. When asked about their plans for their future developments, Teo announced their intention to enter the Chinese market while its economy remains relatively strong with growing demands for better quality products by its huge middle class.

RIAN HENG WOODEN FURNITURE INDUSTRIES SDN BHD



Dato’ Ryan Toh Jing Hong,
Managing Director
Malaysian furniture manufacturer Rian Heng Wooden Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd has been in making furniture since 2008. Initially a subcontractor, the manufacturer expanded its scope to become an export company in 2013 as a natural progression of the business.

Rian Heng has been seeing a steady demand increase in their products as their name becomes synonymous with beautiful, affordable products with exquisite craftsmanship. This year, the company moved into a larger facility to steam-line operations with its own showroom and offices are now in one location.

The export-oriented company specialises in manufacturing dining furniture for the world market, working mainly with wood such as the Malaysian rubber wood as well as other species. Rian Heng offers both European classic and contemporary styled designs. The company also takes on the role of an OEM producer supporting international orders that require furniture in various styles.

While successfully exporting to countries in the Middle East, South America, North America and Europe, the company hopes to expand their market to even more countries in the future. This appetite for more orders has led Rian Heng to constantly push its production towards greater productivity and efficiency. Already armed with a capacity of 50 containers per month, the company invests in training as well as high-tech machineries.

Top attributes the highly motivated company lists that help draw customers are Rian Heng’s high quality and competitive pricing. Their best service policy then helps them build lasting business relationships with their buyers. Their good work was not only recognised by customers but in 2015 the company was conferred the Asia Pacific Top Excellence Brand.

Rian Heng seeks to strengthen their presence in the international market. Come 2017, buyers will be able to see their latest designs at the Malaysian International Furniture Fair in 2017.


SHANTAWOOD MANUFACTURING SDN BHD



Datuk Seri Sow Chin Chuan,
Chairman
Shantawood Manufacturing Sdn Bhd is an internationally known brand name. Established since 1991, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of DPS Resources Berhad, a public company listed on the Malaysian stock exchange, Bursa Malaysia.

A leading Malaysian exporter of rubber wood furniture, Shantawood presently has a workforce of around 600 people. They work in a fully integrated factory with a built up area of more than 400,000 square feet sitting on 15 acres of land in the state of Malacca.

Over the years, this large manufacturer expanded steadily its product portfolio which now comprises dining sets, occasional, bedroom sets and others for the export market. Today, Shantawood is proud to claim the title of the largest chair producer in Malaysia with a record of more than 3 million units of chair produced each year.

Shantawood has a strong in-house research and development unit that covers all aspects of work such as new product design and innovation, prototyping, sample testing, durability testing etc to ensure product quality, acceptance and adherence to regulatory standards.

An ISO 9001:2000 certified company, Shantawood is persistent in maintaining its high standards in all aspects of production, quality and efficiency. In addition to operational standards, the company has also received various recognitions such as the Business Summit Award, Furniture Leadership Award, Statement of Rubber Wood Product, to name a few.

In order to stay ahead and play a major role to helping clients worldwide, Shantawood is focused on building a profitable and sustainable partnership with its customers. The company has vowed to continue its effort to further improve its product range as well as enhance its services.

SYNERGY WOOD PRODUCT SDN BHD



Jonathan Koh, Director
Based in Muar, Johor, Malaysia, Synergy Wood Product Sdn Bhd strives daily to become the most reliable supplier of home furniture in the business. Backed by a management with a combined industry experience close to half a century, the company is recognised as a leading manufacturer and exporter of living room, dining room, and kitchen furniture. Since its incorporation in March of 2007, Synergy wood has been working hard to better understand their customers and accommodate their needs. In the process, the company has grown steadily alongside them.

Synergy wood’s passion for detail stems from its management’s roots in furniture manufacturing. The company’s attention to details is shown in its intricately carved woodwork and ironwork and set the tone for homes worldwide. Their furniture collection design ranges from contemporary, elegant, classic, luxury to cottage and farmhouse styles seeking to blend harmoniously into homes of various themes. Synergy Wood utilises high quality Malaysian rubber wood for their wooden furniture products and blends materials like granite with wood to create kitchen sets. The company understands that furniture not only fills a home but is also a form of self-expression.

With a 103,560 square feet facility and 150 employees, Synergy Wood’s production capacity is currently at 35 containers per month. The company is 100% export-oriented and serves countries like Denmark, US, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, UAE, France, Sweden, Belarus and Poland etc. The company is dedicated to uphold its philosophy of putting “Quality First”. Synergy Wood’s commitment is reflected in its ongoing product development and continuous innovations in its products and services.

ustomers and business partners alike can expect dependable service and easy procedures at Synergy Wood. The company will be participating in the upcoming Furniture China 2016 exhibition that will be held in Shanghai in September to showcase their latest and best designs.

UNITED PACIFIC IMPORT AND EXPORT SDN BHD



Angela Ong, Director
Operating out of Muar, Malaysia’s biggest furniture manufacturing centre, United Pacific Import and Export Sdn Bhd is founded by its Director, Angela Ong in 2007. An aggressive lady entrepreneur with vast experience in furniture manufacturing and export, Ong is acutely aware of her consumers demands and expectations. This has enabled the manufacturer to anticipate market trends and strategise its products and business accordingly to stay ahead of the market.

United Pacific produces a variety of furniture that includes daybeds, dressers, drawers, beds, sofas and tables but keeps a laser-focus on its main category of dining sets. Other products offered by United Pacific include hard wood furniture, upholstered furniture and mixed material furniture like wood and metal beds. The company has a team of close to 10 R&D Engineers in-house to ensure that consumers are presented with the right designs and highest quality.

The modern designs created at United Pacific reflect the contemporary urban lifestyle. The company also provides OEM services in addition to warehousing services and the consolidation of goods loading. Currently, United Pacific’s production capacity is at 10,000 pieces per month and delivery of orders from all over the world are made within 45 days upon payment. Regions the company currently serve are Southeast Asia, Africa and Northern Europe.

According to the Ong, United Pacific’s insistence on quality control on top of their reasonable pricing are what propels the company towards the path of growth. They do not restrict themselves to serving customers from any specific countries or demographics but are pleased to welcome buyers from all over the globe. United Pacific boost their brand awareness and attracts customers through advertisements on various platforms that include traditional advertisements and online advertisements. Their participation in major exhibitions like EFE in Malaysia and CIFF in Shanghai further increases their visibility in the market..


WASANIAGA SDN BHD



Angela Ong, Director
Wasaniaga Sdn Bhd was started in 1965 by Director Bu Yau Hoi. It began as a custom-made carpenter and later ventured into volume furniture production. Presently, the manufacturer and exporter operates three separate plants totaling three hectares in the town of Batu Pahat, Johor employing more than 300 workers.

Customers associate the Wasaniaga name with prompt delivery of good quality and designs with excellent craftsmanship. As an expert producer of wooden furniture, the company is proud of its ability and dedication towards delivering a variety of simple and comfortable furniture that blends perfectly into different lifestyles. The company aspires to continuously deliver a unique combination of unsurpassed quality, style, service and value to its customers worldwide. Customer’s bottom lines are top priority to Wasaniaga.

Wasaniaga started out creating classic designs mainly aimed at adults but over the years had evolved to specialise in kids and youths ranges as well. Their repertoire includes 150 designs and counting. Producing mainly solid and rubber wood bedroom furniture, one of the company’s top sellers is its Barbican Series that led to their trademark headboard design on the company logo.

In addition to proprietary designs, Wasaniaga’s customers can also customise their products and the company will always try their best to fulfil these demands. Their customers are well assured that they will receive good aftersales service and any enquiry, complaints, and comments will be attended to promptly, ensuring maximum customer satisfaction.

The high standards of Wasaniaga has resulted in the company receiving numerous furniture awards from different organisations. Such validation of their hard work motivates the company towards greater improvement.

JARBLO.COM



Angela Ong, Director
A manufacturer strong in vintage chic designs yet with a fresh interpretation, Jarblo.com is a leading Malaysian furniture manufacturer and exporter. The company has a 4.57 hectare warehouse and production facility located in Muar, Johor, Malaysia. Jarblo is great in creating designs with a track record of commercial successes to boast. As a veteran supplier to the international markets, they are familiar with what customers want.

According to Ryan Theo, Managing Director of the company started in 1996, Jarblo’s success is based on their emphasis and focus on quality and chic designs. The furniture company’s fashion-styled pieces, with their fine design details, are highly saleable. With a diverse range of categories of cosy design styles the company manufactures, the customers are provided an option to freely mix and match products between their designs and colours for a unique collection.

“Our focus is firmly set on creating top quality furniture for the consumers. We supply categories such as living room, dining room, upholstery, bedroom, children and occasional furniture. With a common design style, products from the various categories can be mixed and matched to create an infinite number of design combinations.” Theo said. Selling to every corner of the world is the company’s target. At the moment, Jarblo exports to major countries which include the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and South Africa. The fully-export company is marketing via international exhibitions and sales agents. They are also available directly through Alibaba where they are a gold status member as well as their website Jarblo.com.

Taking great care and giving full attention to customers who enter the world of Jarblo is how the company builds and maintains long lasting relationships with these partners. Theo hopes to see Jarblo’s products in every home worldwide. With customer satisfaction their ultimate goal, Jarblo is not just about selling products, it is about making a friend for life.