India is a fast-growing economy. In 2019 it was the fifth largest economy by GDP, and it has a workforce of almost 520 million people. So, it’s not surprising that when looking at the export market in the post-Brexit world, the savvy duo at The Georgian Bar Company have focused their efforts on India.
Normally its Phil Sr that looks after India, while Phil Jr is focused on the US. However, as this was a very important trip to solidify long term relationships, both Phils travelled to visit a key customer.
The company in question is Fenesta Window Systems. They sell premium windows at premium prices and Georgian Bar has become a big part of their product offering. The addition of the decorative products offers differentiation from its competitors and is one of the most desirable options they offer. In the last 12 months, sales have gone from zero to more than £100,000 of bar alone with huge potential for more. The scale of the business is phenomenal and the 1 million plus followers on Facebook demonstrates its size.
The two Phils travelled together to Sri Lanka the weekend before to make the rest of the journey easier and knowing Jr, it would have been an amazing travel deal that cost less than just going to Delhi. While that worked out pretty well for Phil Jr, making friends with the very hospitable Sri Lankan people, Phil Sr spent 16 hours out of 36 travelling to and from the extrusion facility in Kota, Rajasthan. The 3-hour each way flight wasn’t too bad, but the 10 hours spent on the train was exceptionally hot and humid. Phil Jr just jumped on a plane the following day, refreshed and ready for dinner with the Fenesta team in Delhi.
The Rajasthan factory visit was brief, but a lot got done. Phil Sr’s technical know-how is exceptional. He was there to show the factory managers how to streamline their manufacturing processes for adding Georgian bar. Hot melt adhesives and tapes alone can’t withstand the temperatures or the humidity, but its patented clip means The Georgian Bar Company’s products will stay put, the mechanical fix is unaffected by the climate.
He also helped with the technical aspects of bending and foiling profiles, enabling the addition of arches and coloured profile and extending the range of Georgian Bar products Fenesta offer. The relationship between the two companies is strong, and they’re both in it for the long haul. Sharing knowledge like this is part of The Georgian Bar Company’s willingness to go above and beyond.
Back in Delhi, father and son met up with the team at Fenesta’s HQ. After a series of meetings, they were taken out to see some installations of their products around the city. One house – worth £500,000 – was particularly impressive. The owners had designed and built the property themselves. Inside there was a huge amount of gold plating, including a lift and a toilet. The high spec windows are a key feature of the architecture, and Georgian bars have been used to create a contemporary look. The Georgian Bar’s Simplicity range is chamfered and suitable for both a traditional and modern appearance.
The potential in India is huge. Individuals are making more money and they’re investing it in new homes. Windows are an important part of the design, and there’s an appetite to stand apart from neighbours. Offering coloured and arched Georgian bars, will help Fenesta stay ahead in this hugely exciting market.
The foundations for a long-term relationship are there. The technical, production and sales managers were able to get information from the Geofast team in just a few hours that could save them years if they had to do it by trial and error. It was a whirlwind visit, just a few days, but in that time the two Phils got a huge amount achieved.