Tushar Tandel

Tushar Tandel, Diector, Sales, Felder Woodworking Machines Pvt Ltd, India, spoke to us on the emerging India market right from the floors of Woodtech India.

woodandpaneleurope How has been the 3 days of Woodtech India 2014?
  Tushar Tandel : The 3 days have been fairly good. The crowd was excellent and more than the crowd and number of people we look for the quality and quality wise it has been really good. The fact that on the first day morning we got our first order around 12pm that is pretty good and slowly it starts converting into deals. Apart from the organizers, the credit also goes to my sales team. They do a very good job of informing the customers about our company and the exhibitions we participate in and the new machines that we will display.
woodandpaneleurope I had spoken to one of the visitors around and he said since he is setting up his own firm, he was looking for really good machines. He gave a very good feedback of Felder machines comparing it with other competitive brands. How do you feel?
  Tushar Tandel : That is really nice to hear the comments from you and from the customers. Felder has always been very particular about its performance and that is why we first recruit a service engineer and then the sales executive. So that is a commitment from Felder to its customers. Even in the beginning, fourteen years back when we started with Felder, we started with two service engineers rather that the sales representatives so this has always been Felder’s approach that we understand that until and unless we don’t deliver the quality and back up service, customers will not come back the second time. So it is our main agenda to keep people happy with our services and performances and we know that in India the woodworking industry is a small one and a lot of business is being done with references. So, if we have a satisfied customer then it becomes a lot easier to sell which is something we always look forward to.

Having said that, I would also like to say that we would like to have more service engineers located at various cities of the country getting more close to the customers but yes step at a time.

woodandpaneleurope According to you, how useful are these regional show?
  Tushar Tandel : To be honest, I would not support a show every quarterly or every six months. PDA used to offer one show every two years but now we have two shows from them. Now we have these regional shows. When a participant comes to any show he just doesn’t come with information but with the whole set up. From logistic point of view and the efforts a service engineer has to put in to get the machine ready for the shows with a lot of hard work and lot of money.

So, regional shows in general are very good especially in South India, Chennai. The Chennai market is very good as I have been in last Woodtech and this year I see no change as the response is good and I think they should continue with Woodtech Chennai, I don’t know about other shows because in Mumbai we did not get such good response and we have been part of one exhibition in Gujrat and that too did not prove good enough for us. We have always been part of Bangalore Indiawood and it is one of the biggest and this is a different level.

There are two reasons for good response here, firstly heart of the wood working industry is in South India and secondly, there are genuine customers here. Customers here who come and look around do not hesitate to invest as well if they like it and that is what as a participant we want. But in other places of North India or Western India, when we participate, there are a lot of people come and enquire about the machines but we hardly make any business. As director of the company I would always like to more business, immediate as well as the long term. But in some exhibitions we have to be there just to promote our brands and show our presence. That would be from our marketing point of view but South Indian shows serve both purposes, marketing as well as sales. And a lot of credit not only goes to our organizer but also to the genuine customer base have in South India.

woodandpaneleurope What would be your marketing strategy in 2015?
  Tushar Tandel : Marketing strategy of 2015 would involve various aspects, right now we are at the middle of the pyramid, with our range of products our price wise. There are two scopes, either we go up and also there are lot of attractions to go at the bottom but the point is how much bottom you can go as we are quality machines manufacturer, we cannot go too much down but we certainly understand the requirement of the Indian customers with the current competition level. In Delhiwood, everybody would get a good surprise from Felder to see few machines in machines in both range. That is our planning but still it is at the premature level to reveal details of the planning, so I cannot speak much about it at present but you would definitely see a movement in both directions.
woodandpaneleurope Would you be part of Woodtech again next year?
  Tushar Tandel : I do not find any reason not to be part of it again next year.
woodandpaneleurope Woodtech is planning to come on a bigger scale next year. So what do you have to say about that?
  Tushar Tandel : It always depends on their vision and their goal but after speaking with the customers, what I feel is that Woodtech is a local player for the South Indian market, when I look at their team they are more suitable to this environment in terms of their customer base. Everybody would like to have a bigger pie, there were customers here from Bangalore, Ahmadabad and they were very disappointed to find this a very small show compared to Indiawood. I told them that this show cannot be compared with Indiawood and he said that he got an invitation from the participants because of which he came down to this show. I explained him that this is the reason why we did not send any invitation to the customers because we know that this is a regional show and one may not achieve what they want by visiting this show. So, I still see this more of a Tamil Nadu show. Some people from Andhra or Kerela still visit but I think they shouldn’t keep their core competence into this because you have national shows like Indiawood and honestly, Woodtech cannot compete at the moment with PDA because PDA is now a well established brand and the show is treated as the national show.

But, I would have no problem at all if they get bigger and able to get more players. I just hope they don’t bring more competition to us. So, apart from that anything else they want to expand, I have no issues.

woodandpaneleurope Which part of India do you think still needs to develop in terms of the wood market?
  Tushar Tandel : I think West Bengal certainly comes to the picture. There are no shows in West Bengal and we know that it has potential but it has never been tried. It is always two ways, one is that organizer not going to those parts and it also depends on the customer base. If customers don’t show warm response then no one would be eager to go there. But I think that is one market that the industry needs to look upon.
Now the three tier cities are coming up like Pune, Lucknow, Allahabad, but customers from Lucknow and Allahabad can still recover from Kolkata shows if they happen; even Rajasthan is a good place for woodworking as there are no regional shows there. In Rajasthan, Jaipur work with solid wood and exporters.
woodandpaneleurope What if Business Live Plans to come up in West Bengal as well, would it be a good idea in your opinion?
  Tushar Tandel : We would definitely like to go there and see the response, for example, last year we participated in Sri Lanka woodshow, and it changed our perception about the market. There is a potential but not as big as India but we still can sell few machines there, so that was an eye opener.
So if there are some shows like that we would definitely like to take a chance and see how it come as we would come to know the buying power of the people and also the culture then we can take it forward from there.

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