The next time you are scouting for furniture, for a client or for yourself, don’t just rush to the nearest swanky showroom….instead, just ask Rohit Gupta to take you on a tour of Europe.
India’s best architects and designers have been holding a secret close to their chests for some time now. They know a place where they can not only feel the pulse of the best designs in international furniture, but also a place where they can get it for their clients without making a huge hole in their pockets. Their secret is a person named Rohit Gupta, the man behind an idea named Elementto.
Text & Photos By : Gopal MS
India’s idea seekers are always looking west for the best, especially Europe. Even in the age of the Internet, they get their dose by burying themselves in books, catalogues and samples that Rohit Gupta has in his library. They pick and they choose with Rohit, who will then have Europe’s best furniture shipped directly to their site. And in this direct shipping lies the secret of the affordable cost.
But first, let me tell you Rohit’s story right from the beginning. Rohit’s European leanings started because of a modest wallpaper business 6 years ago. Unlike other players, he sourced the best of unique wallpapers for a market that was essentially in love with wall paints. He found quick success and as he looked for fresh avenues he hit upon the idea to source furniture as well; that too only the best from the best of international markets and not just from China or anywhere else in the East.
The Mumbai Influence
Mumbai is a city with a severe shortage of affordable space. He realised that the high-end European furniture that was being sold was too expensive and often, the price was being paid, like for most other things, for the real estate and the maintenance of the swanky showrooms and for the storage. Instead of placing the furniture on expensive real estate behind glass walls, Rohit stacked them on ordinary shelves. He travelled across Europe to meet the best designers and manufacturers of furniture and created the largest library of contemporary and classic designs. He created the space for designers and clients to come and not only soak in ideas but also have a healthy discussion around them.
This is how a typical sale works. A designer or architect sets up a meeting in Rohit’s design library. Over a few hours, and over severalcups of chai, they go through the catalogues of the best classic and contemporary designs and after being really sure of their choice order the furniture. They have the option of choosing from over 200 furniture makers and brands from numerous European countries. Once the order is made, Rohit arranges for all the furniture to be sourced which is then collected at his warehouse near Milan, and then directly shipped to the client’s address in containers. If you choose multiple brands, they will all be aggregated at one place and then shipped as one consignment.
If the project is large, Rohit goes one step further and takes the clients to Europe. The reason his clients choose him over others is the quality of the furniture that his European brands have. The attention to detail and the finish is unmatched. Replicas from China can be sourced easily but if one is desirous of using only the best in furniture, that too minus the add-on costs, then it is best bought from Rohit.
Rohit was very apprehensive about disclosing the names of all his clients; a select few that he mentioned were Jayendra Patel, Nitin Mistry and the architect-urbanist, Anand Patel.
Rohit has offices in Mumbai and Delhi; while the diamond merchants, builders, industrialists and ‘ghutka barons’ in and around Mumbai are a major part of his clientele here, Delhi is a market that is attracting a lot of new interested clients. It’s the hub for the entire Northern region of India and unlike Mumbai, the houses here have a lot more space that can be tastefully done up. Designers from the South are also a tempting market he confides. They usually call up in advance and go on to spend an entire day in Rohit’s Mumbai office, choosing just the right furniture for the right space.
What kind of European furniture do Indians normally prefer? According to Rohit, 80% of the customers end up choosing contemporary designs. The remaining prefer the classic look. Indians also love big brand names like Cavalli, Armani, to name some of the more popular ones. If you have the world’s best furniture in your home, it better be a European name; and about the pronunciation of the name, that can always be taught to your friends over time!
So when are you flying to Europe?
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