Design and Market Enhancement Strategy to Elevate

The Malaysian Furniture International Fair (MIFF) 2005 sees the Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC) making its second appearance and inaugurating its designationTM series.  In addition to its corporate booth, at MIFF this year the MFPC plays a role in the 2005  Furniture Excellence Award and two furniture seminars respectively entitled “My Fascinating World of Design” by Mr. Leo Almeria Piid of Leo Almeria Design Studio, the Philippines and “Branding – Wings of Expansion to Greater Markets” by Mr. Silvio Cimenti of Octagon Creative, Italy to be held on 4 March.

The MFPC’s activities lined out for MIFF 2005 is part of the implementation of its two-pronged strategy namely Design Enhancement and Market Enhancement. Having been established as a specialised promotional body in May 2003 by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Malaysia (then known as the Ministry of Primary Industries, Malaysia) in recognition of the importance and contribution of furniture export to the Malaysian economy, the MFPC dedicates its operation to promote and further develop the Malaysian furniture industry. A corporate body governed by the Companies Acts of Malaysia 1965, the MFPC has been operational since September 2003 and has undertaken various programmes to establish Malaysia as a globally recognised source of world-class furniture.

“Analysing the industry at a grass-root level, design and market skills have emerged as the major determinants for the move forward. With the Malaysian Furniture Promotion Council (MFPC) being tasked to facilitate the uplift of the Malaysian furniture industry, we have taken on the challenge to right the wrongs as well as to steer the country’s ambition towards turning Malaysia into the world’s furniture hub in Asia. For this, we are also taking this challenge to the industry players for them to move ahead with us,” says Paul Wang, MFPC Chief Operating Officer.

Adds Wang, “We have identified that skills in furniture designing and market presence are the two most important factors lacking today for the rerouting of the course of the industry’s development. As such, the MFPC bases its programmes and activities on a two-pronged approach, the Design Enhancement and Market Enhancement strategy. To this end, the MFPC will be on hand to lend its support to the furniture industry players and work in collaboration with the Government Ministries and their agencies as well as the trade associations.”

The MFPC endeavours to identify and implement suitable programmes that will facilitate the progress of the Malaysian furniture industry and further enhance Malaysia’s image as a world-class player in the global furniture arena. With domestic and international excellence the top priority, the MFPC adopts an overall approach based on the strategy of Design Enhancement and Market Enhancement.

Design Enhancement issues encompass research and development, education and training, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and branding. In order to promote and further develop Malaysian furniture on the international platform, the Design Enhancement strategy seeks to propagate awareness towards the creation of international furniture designs by Malaysian designers. To this end, the MFPC’s proactive measures include educational and training facilities, design exchanges, work collaboration, learning programmes and seminars by international personalities and workshops with the industry, design associations, educational institutions and government sectors.

Market Enhancement efforts deal with market-related issues including market and industry analysis, marketing strategies, and integrated marketing communications, image enhancement as well as market and corporate intelligence. Thorough research on Malaysia’s furniture markets ascertains not only where Malaysia stands in existing markets, but also opportunities to reach these markets further. In addition, exploratory studies are conducted to identify new and niche markets and potential market segments while an assessment of the Malaysian furniture manufacturing and export industry is carried out as a pre-requisite to an effectual strategic planning. Participation in international trade fairs and exhibitions and organisation of promotional, trade and technical missions to strategic furniture destinations are arranged for the industry’s image enhancement purposes.