In the pandemic year, when development took a pause, Fundermax completed their office project – The Fundermax experience centre in Bengaluru. While the new office was shaped into an experience centre, it also promotes Fundermax’s products. The smart and bright facade is not only aesthetic but it also minimizes heat again inside the office. An interview with Mr. Ashwani Khanna, AVP Marketing focuses on the thought process and challenges tackled by the company in the construction of their office building.
The planned façade ensures maximum reduction of heat and glare and provides a balanced approach to functionality, aesthetics and sustainability.
How does Fundermax balance aesthetics, functionality and sustainability when devising the Fundermax Corporate Office? What are the parameters that your designers take into consideration?
The basic idea of the new office was to mold it into an Experience Center for Fundermax products. While the new office would act as a platform for experiential promotion of Fundermax’s products (and features like sustainability, all-weather durability, wastage reduction & optimization), it also served as a fresh and nice place to carry out our administrative tasks.
With the project being our own, we had the complete design freedom to put the spotlight on Fundermax as a brand. The planned façade consisted of sun blinds tilted on vertical axis (40 degrees at the upper end and 130 degrees at the lower end), ensuring maximum reduction of heat and glare when the temperature is at its peak during the day. The panels were used to project borders throughout the intended areas. The façade coverage was substantial, running to a couple of thousand square feet. This was a balanced approach to functionality, aesthetics and sustainability.
One of key objectives was to make it aesthetically attractive and cheery, a canvas on which we can show the rich possibilities with Fundermax products. We also wanted to showcase all the possible installation systems of our product. The new office has dramatically enhanced the brand visibility of Fundermax, more so because of its location which is closer to the highway and railroad. It has led to increased walk-ins from enthusiastic partners and prospective buyers from the architect and designer community.
Setting up a physical experience centre during the current scenario is a courageous step given the pandemic. What kind of risk-analysis was undertaken prior to its launch?
It was a strategic decision. Earlier we faced challenges due to separate places for office and warehouse. The new office includes a large warehouse space for our panels and allied items like rivets and marketing material. Thanks to the close proximity to the national highway, the location greatly contributes to the ease of doing business by providing convenient truck and container movement, with minimal traffic disturbances. All these advantages added up to an integrated Fundermax ecosystem.
When was this experience centre planned to be launched? Did the schedule, design and strategy undergo any changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
We always had an experience center, designed by our in-house team. Using Covid-19 as an opportunity, we also designed our display center from outside to inside with façade and unique applications installed at corporate offices.
Using Covid-19 as an opportunity, we also designed our display center from outside to inside with façade and unique applications installed at corporate offices.
In the 14 years of your practice, what are the challenges and limitations faced by Fundermax in the construction industry in India? How do you overcome them?
One of the key challenges we face today is that there are many fake (me too) and similar looking products out in the market who claim to be Fundermax, and this is negatively impacting our brand. One of the primary focus areas is to address this issue and ensure that our customers are able to differentiate between a fake and an authentic product. We have authorized business partners covering the length and breadth of the country and we recommend buying from them only.
We do not encourage trading of our products, but instead train our business partners to be a part of the growth. Skilled partners ascertain good installation, thereby fortifying the ethos that the brand stands for. This also ensures that the ownership lies with all the stakeholders in the entire supply chain.
How has the digital platform boom during the COVID-19 pandemic helped or challenged the company?
We have grown our digital presence during the COVID-19 driven pandemic. Specifically, created a full-fledged India website, social media handles for Facebook and Linkedin. The traffic and popularity of these have grown rapidly during the pandemic. It has tremendously helped us in sharing our content and work across digital platforms.
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