“I have been introduced to Franz – from ICON – during the Fuorisalone 2016. He told me briefly about his company and his specific area of interest – high end and luxury design furniture in South East Asia – and about the market possibilities for Italian companies.
Since the beginning, I was impressed by his thorough knowledge of the details of the local markets.
But what really amazed me was his attitude: he told me: “Rodolfo, please do not believe me! Come to Asia, and experience for yourself the potential of the markets where I operate”.
So, there I went. And after 10 days spent with him in the area of Singapore and Malaysia I can only say that he was 100% spot-on. There are endless possibilities for the real Made in Italy brands in the area.
I can testimony that Franz – and ICON – have three main strengths: they possess a great knowledge of the market; they know the local culture, needed to secure contracts in the area; and finally, they have an amazing array of contacts and references in the local furniture and retail industry.
This sector is closely tied to the construction industry, and in both Singapore and KL they build day and night high-rise buildings and large residential complexes. Surely, Singapore is a difficult, saturated market – a metropolis that still continues to expand. But I am pretty sure that in KL and Malaysia, where from the moment you land at the airport and on the way to the city you see almost more cranes than cars, the market will be booming as well.
Despite that Singapore is a very strategic city for International Affairs (one of the three largest ports in the world), the local designers work a lot more in China, Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam, and the Philippines than in the city, where the market is slightly more saturated (but nonetheless, much more open compared to Europe).
The most amazing thing is to understand the fact that about 5 billion people reside in Asia and 3 billion in the rest of the world: this says everything about where it is and will increasingly be the focus of the global business.
Thanks to the mission with Franz and the services of Italian Consulting, we at Barel have closed a partnership contract with one of Singapore design firms dedicated to the horeca sector, and the next March 23 we will be presenting the Barel brand in their showrooms. We have also started to work with Jarrod Lim, a Singaporean designer, and the next April we will present in iSaloni Milan a collection designed by him. More, we are in talks with a large buying group to begin working in KL – and we hope this is just the beginning.
What can I say more? Franz and ICON have delivered an astounding amount of value in their service“.
This is what Rodolfo Barel has said after his successful mission in South East Asia, organized by Italian Consulting, which helped him relate to a new, growing market in a big way. He had the opportunity of understanding the main themes of the local retail market , and of meeting up personally with designers, entrepreneurs, distributors and othe assorted stakeholders of the industry.
After a few months (end April 2017), we are very proud to announce that the Barel exhibit in Singapore has been opened, and its cooperation with its distributors is gaining up speed.