Furma unveils plans for region's first digital furniture platform

Yuvraj Talwar, founder of Furma
Yuvraj Talwar, founder of Furma

Dubai - Furma also works as a gifting platform that allows home décor products to be coupled with various gifting items such as chocolates and cakes, allowing vendors to collaborate



by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Fri 10 Dec 2021, 2:20 PM

Having an idea isn’t really worth much these days unless you decide to dedicate yourself to it in a manner that helps it take proper form, with a vision of what you want it to be in the future.

This is exactly what Yuvraj Talwar, founder of Furma, decided on when he made an observation about the customer service experience in California during his college years.

“I realised the customer service experience was second to none,” he recalled. “Companies trusted their product, they allowed you to buy it, open it, use it, and even return it. Why was that not the case here in the UAE? I felt this difference firsthand when I had to buy some furniture for my own house.”

The online selection was poor, delivery times were long, refunds were not permitted, and, overall, it was simply not a straightforward experience, he said. “Once I realised that my experience was not a unique one, I knew there was an opportunity to change the status quo, especially in the furniture and home decor space.”

As an experiment, he started out by manufacturing a few items on his own and then selling them on to customers, while ensuring that he was giving them an unmatched amount of decision making power regarding returns and exchanges. The success of this venture resulted in the idea slowly evolving.

“Whilst studying the furniture and home décor market, I realised that there are many furniture vendors across the GCC that currently do not have access to much of the potential consumer base as they tend to have a retail presence in areas that are not very accessible to much of the expat and local communities, and they do not use any social media to fuel their sales,” Talwar said. “Given the digital skills I was beginning to build internally, I realised we could help these vendors access more customers and, ultimately, drive sales for them.”

Thus, Furma was born as the Gulf region’s first digital furniture platform that connects buyers and sellers. “We have no retail presence, we are ‘customer obsessed’ (literally) and we are taking one small step at a time in this journey. Our mission is to bring sellers and buyers together, whilst standing by each product that we sell through our platform. Our vendors are vetted thoroughly for quality and reliability, and will only be onboarded if they adhere to our customer service policies,” Talwar said.

Furma does make its own products as well, namely luxury marble tables and a large selection of artificial faux flowers. In addition, Furma also works as a gifting platform that allows home décor products to be coupled with various gifting items such as chocolates and cakes allowing vendors to collaborate. Anything that is sold on Furma is returnable with a full refund, and the brand also offers a pickup service that allows you the comfort of not having to leave your home or office.

When creating Furma, Talwar knew that he had to act as a bridge between vendors and consumers. There are many furniture and home décor manufacturers and traders that depend on traditional sales where a customer walks into a shop and buys something off the shelf. A lot of the vendors are also based in industrial areas, or in areas where rents are more affordable when compared to the city center. This makes their scope for attracting retail footfall very small. Through its website, Furma looks to give these vendors a platform by which they can access a much larger consumer market through the power of digital media and also allows both vendors and sellers to improve their selling/buying experience through Furma’s obsessive customer service outlook.

“As we launch, we look to on-board more vendors and cover as many categories in the furniture and home décor space as possible,” Talwar said. “The goal is to grow cautiously, yet proactively with a lean and driven team, whilst maintaining the incredible culture we have created internally.”

Asked about his advice to young entrepreneurs with an idea, he said: “The journey of starting a business is grueling and unforgiving, but it is exhilarating and exciting at the same time. I think everyone looking to start a business should be aware of the challenges to come, and enjoy and respect the process as much as the success. Moreover, if you enjoy the process, I can’t think of anything more satisfying than starting a business!”

rohma@khaleejtimes.com


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