Eumabois, as an association and representative of approximately 850 European woodworking companies,is the partner of international Woodworking Fairs like LIGNA & Xylexpo. EUMABOIS Association is the supporter of a great Worldwide Exhibition Network every year .In India Eumabois supports Indiawood & Delhiwood Fair editions.
We at Modern Woodwork INDIA are pleased to publish a dialogue in detail with Eumabois President Mr JUERGEN KOEPPEL.
Modern Woodwork: Congratulations for your election as the President of EUMABOIS. EUMABOIS has been the driving force for the European Woodworking machinery manufacturers. Your vast experience should further benefit the Industry and the sector. Our readers would be glad to know the plans of EUMABOIS for the coming year such as – exhibitions in new countries / support to new exhibitions etc:
Jürgen Köppel: Eumabois is representing some 850 European companies and is the world-wide reference association in our industry. There are various aspects which all together form the mission and activities of Eumabois. No matter how big the individual member company is, very often, we see limits in resources and power for tackling specific issues. This can be on the political level for example in Brussels or in the definition of common technical standards. By using and uniting the enormous expertise of the national associations and their members under the roof of Eumabois, we bring an extraordinary momentum to projects which are important for the member companies. Beside topics such as customs regulations or sustainability standards, exhibition matters and intelligent marketing activities are also focus projects for me and our Vice President, Mr. Luigi De Vito.
Looking at our trade fair policy, we have to act as consultants for our member companies. Especially due to the fact, that a market entering strategy is very often based on the participation in exhibitions and significant costs involved. By the implementation of an evaluation processes for the global exhibitions, we can base our recommendations on facts and figures. This also facilitates the dialogue with the fair organizers once we are talking about the Eumabois mark, being a sign for certain quality standards realized by the fair.
So there is a bundle of activities, we are presently working on as new Eumabois board in order to support our member organizations and there companies as well as their customers worldwide.
Modern Woodwork: What is your opinion about the general market situation worldwide and specifically about the latest scenario & new developments in woodworking and related sector.
Jürgen Köppel: Presently, we are facing a positive economic environment, even so there are some political challenges endangering this. Talking to the Eumabois member companies, we get a very positive feedback for the development of the market during the next 1-2 years. Trends like Industry 4.0 and batch-size-one production are driving the market and our global customers are upgrading their production. Looking at the regional development, for sure there are bigger growth rates in China and the USA than for example in Central Europe. Nevertheless, Europe is still setting the trends in our industry and I am sure that this will be the case in the midterm, too.
“With a population exceeding 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is an incredible market just from the size. So looking at the potential, I see great opportunities for Indian but also foreign investments.If there are no major economic problems, I believe that growth rates will continue to be very high for the next years.”
Modern Woodwork: The International Monetary Fund [IMF] has recently projected GDP Growth in India to reach upto 7.2% during 2017-18.A recent study by World Bank has also predicted 20% per annum growth for India’s organized furniture industry . In this backdrop where do you feel the Indian woodworking business will reach in forthcoming 5 years?
Jürgen Köppel: With a population exceeding 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is an incredible market just from the size. Looking at the furniture consumption, there is a significant gap to other BRIC countries and an even bigger gap to European countries. So looking at the potential, I see great opportunities for Indian but also foreign investments. Many European companies have already established themselves with own production facilities or sales and service companies. If there are no major economic problems, I believe that growth rates will continue to be very high for the next years. However, this growth must be supported by factors which can be only created by the Indian government and the regional governments such as infrastructural matters. For sure, India is there already on a good path and this will be supported, wherever we can do so, by Eumabois and our 850 member companies.
Modern Woodwork: The Market Leaders from Europe have used the LIGNA platform to introduce the mega-theme of Industry 4.0 . Do you feel that woodworking sector in India is ready today to embrace this new software for integrating the complete range of plant components?
Jürgen Köppel: It goes without saying that Industry 4.0 is presently a mega-trend, even so various aspects covered by this topic are already known and implemented since years. However, the awareness, especially after Ligna 2017, is much higher due to the more holistic approach and the marketing efforts done by the European manufacturers. They created a trend which definitely will change the game in the global fight for market shares. This is also a great chance for the Indian manufacturers, especially once they are at the point of upgrading their production and developing new business models. Looking at software solutions, India is for sure a strong player and if this is well combined with advanced production methods, it offers great opportunities.
Modern Woodwork: In your opinion, in which aspects these Industry 4.0 engineering solutions would be helpful for Indian furniture manufacturers?
Jürgen Köppel: Once we are talking about Industry 4.0, there are various aspects which support the development of the furniture industry in general but in India, too. By the introduction of smart processes being realized with a high connectivity of machines, intelligent tooling and integrated software solutions, benefits such as an increase in flexibility and productivity are given to the manufacturers. These are two important aspects for increasing the competitiveness of the Indian furniture producers, not only from the pricing point of view but also from the quality point of view. This opens great chances on the Indian subcontinent but also in the export to other countries.
Modern Woodwork: EUMABOIS Member Companies regard India as a huge market but we often hear the concern from them that Indian market has still not reached its full potential regarding usage of high level machinery. Can you please recommend / suggest any educative plans for Indian industry like training/ seminars etc.on behalf of EUMABOIS which could help to elevate the general awareness about machines and materials among Indian furniture makers?
Jürgen Köppel: For this question I would like to take the case of Acimall, the Italian Association of woodworking technology manufacturers and member of Eumabois. Some years ago, the Association, thanks to its organizational funds, realized an Italian training center in Bangalore that students could use daily to develop their own skills. The center was funded for the first years and then continued autonomously and is still active today and forms new students who will be future entrepreneurs. That is, what I think, the right path, perhaps bringing ever more advanced technologies and their understanding to India. Another important aspect is the Eumabois supported trade fairs like IndiaWood and DelhiWood, showcasing the latest technologies and trends in wood working. For me, a “must see” to increase the awareness about present and future production processes.
Modern Woodwork: We at Modern Woodwork INDIA thank you for an exclusive interview and wish you a Grand Success for all your planned initiatives.
EUMABOIS is a non-profit organisation, aimed at promoting the European woodworking machinery industry, protecting its business interests and dealing with all matters of relevance to its members.Technical, marketing and fair policy issues are among the main tasks of the Federation. Eumabois plays a major role in the international market, hosts qualified experts to address technical and economical problems, and has created an information and interaction network involving the most experienced entrepreneurs in business.EUMABOIS represents more than 800 companies.