A passion for furniture and a dream to provide consumers all over the world access to quality furnishings at affordable prices shaped the foundation of Bless Brothers.
The export company, established in Singapore, by Manoj Daryanani, has successfully built connections across the globe, resulting in a wide range of solutions for any kind of space.
Daryanani began his career as a salesman at his uncle’s furniture firm in the Lion City. It was love at first sight because from that very moment his passion for beautifully hand crafted furniture sparked a flame within him and a dream that one day, he’d own his very own store. His dedication saw him performing beyond his primary role. “I remember the times when I had to open the showroom, vacuum the floor, dust the beds, serve clients and close the books,” he recalls with pride “I worked there for almost five years, during which time, I learnt that selling furniture was more than what met the eye. It was actually about filling people’s homes with pieces of art that would help them live their lives more comfortably.
“I often found myself stopping in my tracks sometimes when I was out with the family to observe and study a beautiful piece of furniture. Eventually, I left my uncle’s showroom and decided to join a small-medium-enterprise, which focused on exporting consumer goods and gave me the opportunity to travel. During these trips, I discovered there was a potential to supply luxurious comfortable furniture at reasonable prices. Working there opened my mind and helped me understand the intricacies of the global supply chain and the inner workings of the import-export trading market.
“I left that company in 2016 and joined a German multinational company. But I resigned after two years because my heart kept taking me back to the vision of that store I knew deep inside I would eventually own. I loved furniture so much and I wanted to share this love with my customers and with the world. That’s how Bless Brothers was born.”
Daryanani is the founder and chief executive officer, who has remained as hands on as he was when he started in the trade. Keeping a conscientious eye on operations, from sales to client accounts to staff service is what occupies his days and fulfills his ambition to create a thriving business.
From being a one-man show occupying an 80 sq ft office, containing merely a small table, laptop, printer and a few files, Daryanani now has a retail staff, service crew and marketing executives based overseas. He still has to work at times past regular office hours to dovetail with those of suppliers and clients in the abroad.
Daryanani opened his first overseas representative office in West Africa in November 2019, aiming to offer luxurious furniture to the local market at affordable prices. He hired an experienced business development executive to monitor its movement. “I remember leaving Singapore for three weeks in a row,” he narrates. “It’s tough as I had to leave my family behind, but I knew in the long run, it would be best for Bless Brothers.”
The effort enabled him to source direct market information and discuss with factories product innovation and development. He says the experience provided a big learning curve due to language barriers and other factors, however, it did not stifle his curiosity about Africa. Daryanani has also assigned a team member to visit various countries in Asia. “We have a vision, and that is to provide people of the world good quality furniture,” he declares.
Conscious of innovation, Bless Brothers launched its Royal Swan brand last year. “We saw so many small furniture dealers just buying various furniture from big wholesalers and selling it to make a living,” Daryanani observes. “We realised it was important for these sellers to be associated with a brand. When we launched Royal Swan, many clients were at first skeptical, but after spending money on advertisement and promotions, they were convinced that they were able to sell the brand. All they had to do was buy and keep it in their store. We created the demand through various A&P, and all they had to do was supply.
“Business is not all about selling and making money, its also about building relationships and trust from clients and end users.
Daryanani reports thatn their prudent quality control checks are what helps them stand out from the crowd. He adds: “We personally check every shipment before it leaves the factory and crosses the shores to reach it’s temporary showroom before finding a place in someone’s home. Quality control means checking each piece for defects and making sure every piece is perfect. Bless Brother’s clients are like family to us and they appreciate the extra efforts we take to make sure that our products and service meet expectations and high quality standards.
“Another reason for our prudent quality checks are because our clients have also informed us that factories they have worked with in the past have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been able to fufill their orders. This is scary, and in this environment, clients do now know which factories to trust. This is why we perform diligent checks on our factories to ensure they are financially sound.”
At the beginning, Bless Brothers started off as a trading company, buying and exporting. It has evolved since, and now ties up with a host of factories and signs agreement to meet certain targets, which allows them access to better pricing than the rest. “And even if we do not physically sell off what we commit, we still ship the products to end market and store them in storage facilities,” Daryanani adds. “We honour our commitment to our partners.” To remain close to their sources, Bless Brothers maintains several representatives across the globe as well as a small boutique showroom in Singapore, which opened last year.
For export markets, Daryanani reports that they offer an expansive selection of items for the living room, dining room and bedroom. For Singapore, the products are slightly different for the local market and come with a unique selling point such as handmade mattresses from New Zealand and vintage leather sofas.
Daryanani has certainly come a long way since those days as a junior employee sweeping the showroom floor. The man has indeed built a business based on love for well priced, well crafted furniture, and there he intends to stay. Now, isn’t that great news for the rest of us who share his inclination?