US furniture giant opens factory in Pune

Pune, April 23 (IANS) The US office furniture giant Steelcase Inc. has started a manufacturing unit at Chakan near here, hoping to further consolidate its position in the Indian markets, an official said here Tuesday.

The place will help enhance the services and logistics Steelcase provides to its growing Indian customer, giving timely delivery of products and services, tailor-made to suit the Indian clientele, said Uli Gwinner, president, Steelcase Asia Pacific.

“It reinforces Steelcase’s capabilities to provide a comprehensive portfolio of office products, furnishings and services, drawing on over a century of innovation and experience of the international markets,” Gwinner said.

From the 5,000 sq metres state-of-art manufacturing facility employing around 100 people, Gwinner said that Steelcase Pune would produce a range of products specific to the Indian market where it has been operating since the past nine years.

Now in its 101st year, Steelcase Inc. has 26 local manufacturing facilities around the world, including China, Malaysia and now India, besides 670 dealers.

Steelcase India country head Praveen Rawal said that the Indian furniture market is estimated to be worth over one billion dollars, but his company would target the high-end markets worth approximately $200 million.

With seven outlets in India, Steelcase Inc is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and notched $2.9 billion for fiscal 2013.

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