The founder of Perak Homex, Woong Sun Ming created a sales platform for the furniture trade in Perak. For five consecutive years, HOMEX reported record sales and visitors figures, driving the Perak furniture industry steadily forward.
Trade show is an important channel for product exposures and sales, something which Woong Sun Ming, the brain behind Perak HOMEX, knew very well. It’s been five years since he began to promote Perak HOMEX (Home Furnishing Exposition) in 2010 in Ipoh.
HOMEX consultant Woong Sun Ming said that the success of Perak in hosting HOMEX was largely due to the support of Malaysia Furniture Entrepreneur Association. When he was the chairman of Perak Furniture Makers & Dealers’s Association, he decided to follow the footsteps of the federation and began organising expo in Perak.
Looking back at his decision, he and the committee members was slightly hesitant at the time. “The sales exposition costing more than 1 million Ringgit was the first in Perak, and therefore the pressure was great.”
However, thinking about the benefit this expo will bring to the Furniture makers and sellers in Perak, he bravely took on the role of vanguard, devoting money and effort. Besides participating in the capacity of his mattress company Dr Spine, he also sponsored the Expo lucky draw to ensure the success of the Expo.
Thankfully, the 2010 HOMEX was very well received, with over 50,000 visitors, and more than 5 million Ringgit on-the-spot sales.
After a successful first strike, the Perak HOMEX became one of the most anticipated Expo by Furniture companies, and Perak became the third state with a large scale furniture Expo, after Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
In 2011 and subsequent years, the number of visitors increases steadily, from 50,000 to close to 100,000. Sales figure continues to reach new heights, with 2014 HOMEX achieve a total sales of 20 million Ringgit.
Woong Sun Ming, who is currently an acting president of Perak Furniture Makers & Dealers’s Association, pointed out that HOMEX is an important platform for Perak Furniture makers and dealers to build brand awareness and reach out to international market.
“When compared to the 1960s and 70s, at that time our domestic demand for furniture is not high, and the government did not provide sufficient support such as subsidies or incentives, furniture companies were operating in a difficult environment. Now, the economic environment is becoming more favorable to the operators, with many development plans being promoted and executed throughout the nation, which stimulated demands for furniture. Furthermore, with the help of government through Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), as well as various production incentives and loads, the future of the furniture trade is even brighter.”
As a chartered member for Malaysia Furniture Entrepreneur Association, he also said that furnitures made in Malaysia is better than other countries in terms of design and other elements, and is widely recognised by consumers of many nations. The world ranking of Malaysian furnitures has improve from 10th in 2011 to 8th in 2013. It is also ranked 3rd in Asia.
The numbers from MATRADE shows that the Furniture trade in Malaysia is export oriented, with more than 90% of produced goods exported overseas. Data from 2014 shows that furniture exports reached 8 billion Ringgit with a growth of 8.9%. This put Malaysia comfortably within the top ten exporters of furniture in the world, with export destinations of more than 160 countries, mainly to the US, Japan and Australia.
Woong Sun Ming opined that modern consumers saw furnitures as an expression of personal taste, so furniture makers should attempt to understand the demand of consumers through the platform of HOMEX, in order to produce high quality furnitures with innovative and creative designs to fulfill the demands of different markets, and could continue to perform well on the international stage.