|“Established in 1991, Royal Furniture is a pioneer in furniture and furnishing solutions in the UAE. With a large network of showrooms and with manufacturing units UAE, India and China, the company has the capacity to execute large projects on a turnkey basis with customized designs catering to customers from Africa, Asia, CIS, Europe and Middle East.”Crafting masterpieces in furniture
With a diversified portfolio of high end furniture designs and its own manufacturing units, Royal Furniture possesses extensive experience in handling international turnkey furnishing contracts and delivers high quality furniture at an affordable cost. With exports to more than 45 countries in Africa, Asia, CIS, Europe and Middle East countries, Royal Furniture started operations as a retailer and has since grown to become one of the largest Manufacturing and Trading Companies of furniture and furnishing accessories in the Middle East and Asia accredited with ISO 9001:2008 (certification from GCAS). Currently the company has a wide network of own showrooms in operation under the brand “Royal” in UAE with over one million square feet of display area and another in India under brand ‘Indroyal’, besides a wide dealer network. Royal boasts one of the largest collections of furniture in both ‘classical’ and ‘contemporary’ models. It has +5000 different models of furniture displayed in its show rooms across UAE and India. The upcoming Non-Woven Fabric venture of the company promises to take it to the center-stage of the furnishings industry both as a retailer and a manufacturer. Other ventures of the Group are in Hospitality and Real Estate.
Making it happen
At the heart of this well-established enterprise is the soft-spoken and highly respected business leader Sugathan Janardhanan, Royal Furniture’s Chairman and Managing Director. Having come to the UAE more than three decades ago, he has built the enterprise on the firm foundations of impeccable customer value and uncompromising business ethics. In fact he is more known for his down-to-earth nature than for his position as head of a multi-million dollar business enterprise.
With more than 4,000 employees and many success stories to his credit, Sugathan and team have put together a long lasting business model and have collectively gained customer mindshare that is the envy of global brands in the industry. He appreciates the support of his sponsor Sheikh Saeed Majid Saeed Al Nuaimi, and the leaders of the UAE, for enabling entrepreneurs to realise their dreams by making available world-class infrastructure and stable governance.Royal Furniture Group is managed by a “Board” consisting of high profile professionals with varied experience and acumen and highly educated next generation family influx as ‘directors’.Director – HR & Administration, Suji Sugathan, the daughter of Sugathan, is an MBA from the 2012 batch of the American University, Sharjah. Having grown up seeing the business evolve and applying the latest management practices to the various processes within the company, she provides able support to Sugathan as a dynamic team member.
|Sulin spends his free time in the office and already showing keen interest in finer aspects of the business and being inducted as director soon.
The journey to leadership
Like most ambitious youth aspiring for a good career and willing to leave the comfort of their homes, Sugathan left his native place Trivandrum, in Kerala, and went to Mumbai in the early ’70’s, in search of a career.
Mumbai was by default the stepping-stone to the Gulf for most Indians in those days. But he worked all of seven years in Mumbai before deciding that life surely had more in store for him and ventured abroad to the Gulf. After working in a Furniture Company in Dubai for a decade, Sugathan decided to become a first generation entrepreneur and started a modest upholstery-making unit in Ajman in 1991. By 1995 the company began trading by importing fabric and furniture. It was also the year that the first retail outlet of the company was set up. The next five years were a challenging period for the company but the best attribute Sugathan had was his resolve not to give up.
The fruit of labour
By 2000, the business started looking up and the company opened showrooms in Sharjah and Ajman. Sugathan realised the benefit of vertical integration to harness the twin benefits of lower costs and quality control. But fundamental to his success was his policy of the ensuring that all his customers got excellent quality at affordable prices. In short he took good care of his customers and they took care of him and helped him emerge as a reputed enterprise. In a way, he had taken the game out of reach of his competitors with the sheer value he was able to provide and the attitude of care and service that he ensured was given to customers at all the company outlets.
Expansion and Diversification
Eagerly awaited is the production of spun bond non-woven fabrics. Dr. Rajeev, who heads this division for the Group, says, ” The non-woven fabric initiative focuses on a revolutionary new bio-degradable and eco-friendly product group. Apart from a wide range of household uses, it is also used as a geo-textile to control soil erosion for road construction by providing better drainage etc.”
|for all requirements of sleep products such as ‘premium mattresses’, divan beds, comforters and pillows. With the brand name ‘Royal Rest’, Royal Foam is one of the largest manufacturing and trading companies of ‘sleep products’ in the Middle East.The Group then entered the ever-growing hospitality sector both in UAE and India, with a 212 room -5star deluxe hotel in Kochi, India managed by International Hotel Group (IHG) under the brand name ‘Holiday Inn’ and 5 properties comprising around 600 hotel apartments/suites in Ajman and Dubai under a franchise arrangement with the well known “Tulip Inn” chain of hotels.
Sugathan found that very little of the furniture sold in the UAE was manufactured locally and set about correcting that by putting UAE on the manufacturing map of the world for both classical and modern furniture of international quality.
Royal Furniture’s vision is to ensure quality offerings that are consistently higher than that of the competition and at a price that is more affordable. For the people who demand high quality, custom made or branded furniture, Royal delivers the best combination of progressive style and affordability, through a strong in house manufacturing, design and development infrastructure.
Personal and Social Life
Sugathan was the third of ten siblings born in a small village near Pangode in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His father was a farmer and his mother was a homemaker. The family lived a simple life and to this day Sugathan lives by the basic values and respect for humanity that his parents taught him. He is ably supported at home by his wife Suni. The couple have two children. The eldest is their daughter Suji who is married to Dr. Rajeev. The youngest is their son Sulin. Sugathan runs a charitable trust in his hometown and regularly participates in social development initiatives. Having seen the hardships of life he is not carried away by the luxury of wealth and feels that goodwill and respect are more valuable than all the riches in the world.
1989: Started furniture trading in Dubai under brand name”ROYAL”