Each Friday, Furniture News puts five questions to a selected industry professional to explore their background and approach to business. Today, it's the turn of Serene Furnishings' MD Tasleem Tasab …
How did you get into the trade?
My career started in the world of IT, but I was soon looking for a fresh challenge and the opportunity to create a successful business in a new, dynamic industry. The furniture world was suggested to me by one of my close relatives. I researched it and quickly became very interested in sourcing and importing furniture for the UK market. So, off I went on what was to become a very fulfilling career.
What was the turning point in your career?
When I introduced my premium range in 2008 – and had to prove to the customer why Serene Furnishings was now selling premium-priced products – coupled with developing a portfolio spanning a tremendous commercial range, suited to all markets and offering a variety of sizes and colours. It was the company’s emergence into all price-points, ultimately providing the retailer with far more chance of making a sale.
How will the industry evolve?
As commodity prices increase due to global demand and shortages, goods will become more expensive over the next 12 months. However, market leaders, such as Serene Furnishings, will be able to assist retailers in sourcing and developing products that hit the right price points, without compromising product quality.
How can retailers increase sales and profitability?
By being very selective in choosing the right suppliers, the right models and using correct presentation, with accurate props – presentation is the key element in today’s world. The right supplier, offering models backed by quick turnaround times, can provide endless opportunities for making a sale.
I am a strong believer in offering quality, design-led products that represent exceptional value at each of the price points – and that doesn’t mean ‘cheap’. Customers recognise quality and value.
What brings a smile to your face in this industry?
The fact that my young son has learnt to work with me and already has business conversations in his play talk. Joking aside, I feel that recognition in the industry has brought a smile to my face, but not only that – seeing my dedicated staff treating the company as if it were their own makes me more than proud. A big thank you to all of them for their hard work.
This is an extract from an article published previously in Furniture News magazine. For more stories like this, you can subscribe to receive a regular physical copy of the magazine, or sign up to have a free digital issue delivered to your inbox each month.