As you enter Bandra from south Mumbai on SV Road, you find a store which has stood there for almost 60 years now. The imposing two-storied Bombay Arts is a multilevel furniture store. I recently had the opportunity to meet Saad Basha the young and the dynamic 26-year-old director of Bombay Arts. Here is a short interview with Saad whose father started this business way back in the 1950's.
1) Can you give us a background about Bombay Arts and its business?
We started with premium furniture; but after the 2007 economic meltdown, we realised that the requirement of people had changed, and we decided to cater to the two kinds of clientele. 1) Who needs premium lasting furniture and 2) who change the furniture in say 1/2 years and not looking at a long-term commitment. Even after making the above-said changes, we have still maintained the quality of our furniture in all the budget ranges.
So now we cater to all tastes, we have two sources for manufacturing our products 1) INDIA and 2) China.
If a customer wants furniture customised according to his house and preferences, we make the same in India factory and the readymade stuff is manufactured in China by Bombay Arts. We have our team of local and Indian people in China, who monitor that only the right quality furniture gets shipped. We provide the Chinese manufacturers with all design, and all our furniture is custom-made. We have all kind of design from modern to traditional.
We keep innovating our products according to customers demand and market conditions.
2) When people think about Chinese goods, they usually believe that it's bad quality? Could you explain how do you maintain quality assurance against such bias towards Chinese products?
Yes, people have a particular negative bias about Chinese goods. But the bias is untrue as Chinese manufacturers cater to all kinds of pockets. You could get the same piece of furniture incredibly cheap which will be of substandard quality and also get the same design in high-quality premium stuff. I have handpicked the manufacturers, and we stick to high-quality, durable furniture.
3) who are your customers?
We get customers from all over Mumbai; we have dealers as well as retail clients who are our customer base.We still have patrons who always shop with us from last 50 years. So our good will is something which keeps us getting referrals and repeat customers.
4) Could you tell us about yourself and your education?
I completed my SSC from St. Stanislaus High School and then completed my TY-Bcom from MMK College.
After my graduation, I completed my MBA from Thadomal College, and I am currently doing law.
5) What are your plans for Bombay arts and you personally?
We will be starting our online portal soon. As manufacturers, we are into wholesale and hence Bombay arts supplies products to many other furniture shops in Mumbai. Our second step is to wholesale out products outside Mumbai.
We want our loyal and the new customers who stay faraway from Bandra not have to travel long distances to visit Bombay arts. We are planning to open some more branch in different places so that it is convenient for everyone.
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