We are so excited to be featured on the SMH today!!! Head over to www.evolvex.com.au to see what the fuss is about.
A new twist for father and daughter team
January 25, 2012 – 10:22AM
Starting a new venture is never an easy thing. Taking an idea from conception to launch and beyond can be a recipe for pressure, angst and frustration.
Throw in a family member and you never know how things will turn out.
The father/daughter combination of Sudhindra and Priyanka Rao have thrown caution to the wind with the launch of Evolvex, a sideline to Sudhindra’s commercial furnishing company Luxmy.
Evolvex is an online furniture store with a twist. Consumers design their own pieces – say cupboards, tables or chairs – and decide on everything from size to colour. They can also add to, rework and remake pieces years later.
“When customers go to the website and design something, it is actually saved on the site, so when you come back three years later, you see what else can be done with it, add to it or make it into something else,” says Sudhindra.
The 58-year-old began working in the furniture industry when he launched Luxmy in 1997.
That business has grown an average of 15 per cent each year since its conception, and staff numbers have increased from 14 to 40 over that time.
The idea of Evolvex was originally born out of frustration. In 2009, while helping his youngest daughter move out, Sudhindra became frustrated with the quality of the furniture, and thought he could provide retail furniture that was much better.
“The quality of what we bought was so bad that in transit it actually broke, so I to bring it back to our factory to put it together,” he says.
Around the same time, his daughter Priyanka was completing an MBA assignment that got her thinking about product customisation and delivery.
“We’d seen a few traders of this concept internationally taken online. For example LEGO. At the LEGO factory you can design your own LEGO online and have all the parts delivered to your door,” says Priyanka.
“When Dad was talking about this experience of purchasing furniture and how frustrating it was we just thought it could be something we could take on, forward and plan for an online release.”
Despite the potential pitfalls of working with family, the two vowed to make communication a priority and launched Evolvex last November.
“The combination works really well, there is always a bit of a learning curve when it comes to accepting direction though,” says Priyanka.
“But it works really well because he knows me really well,” she says.”He’s patient and he’ll put up with any mistakes that I make more than I think most bosses would.”
Before Evolvex, Priyanka, 25, had a successful career in the consumer marketing department of record label EMI music, but was looking for a change.
“I had finished my MBA and had an inkling to do something a bit more entrepreneurial,” she says.
“Dad and I had been throwing this idea of Evolvex around for a few years and we were going to push forward with it but we weren’t sure.”
After much consideration and planning, getting their idea from the drawing board into practice presented its own challenges but both Priyanka and Sudhindra felt the time was right not just for them personally but for online retailers.
“So we had to come up with something that would make our idea possible. We’ve got a really great team,” he says.”We put our heads together and it took us six months to come up with a system.”
The pair chose to use wood Australian manufactured wood that was forest certified and had a low formaldehyde content.
Sudhindra believes that the quality of Australian wood cannot be beaten and having something homegrown and eco-friendly are high on consumers’ priority lists.
“At the same time we have to keep the prices reasonable, we can’t expect people to pay 10 per cent more for Australian made products, it’s not going to work,” he says.
While Evolvex is still in its early stages, the pair are already planning how to grow the business and add more products.
So far, both Sudhindra and Priyanka are enjoying the experiencing of working together and hope to maintain a long and successful business.
“When you get to work, you need to stop thinking about them as family. That is the key, its not a matter of respect, but you won’t really listen to each other in the same you do with colleagues or a boss,” says Priyanka.
“We had an understanding. Generally if you’re working for your Dad, he’s the boss, but the flipside of that is I can challenge some of his thinking more than an ordinary employee would.”
For Sudhindra there is nothing better than working with family.
“For me, it has been a fantastic experience and I enjoy it. After 15 years in the business it has brought me new life.”
2011 has been a really big year for Luxmy Furniture – we’ve been listed as finalists in the NSW Telstra Business Awards in the Innovation Category, State Finalists in the Ethnic Business Awards and National Finalists at the Mybusiness Awards for Best Business Leader and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives.
What’s all the fuss about?
Well aside from building a very strong business over the past 14 years which has seen us increase our market share year on year and achieve first mover status on many green initiatives, we are about to launch a very innovative consumer brand named ‘Evolvex by Luxmy’ sold exclusively through our new online store at www.evolvex.com from NOVEMBER 15.
What is Evolvex by Luxmy?
Evolvex by Luxmy puts the CONSUMER in the Designer seat. Using our intuitive online design app, you construct furniture from our pre-fabricated parts, making easy and fun decisions on the type of furniture, the colour, the size and the configuration of parts. Think of this as LEGO for furniture with the number of combinations being infinite and interchangeable!!
The program generates a 3D rendered visual on the design to give a firm idea of how the design looks prior to purchase. It will also generate dynamic pricing througout the design process based on the decisions taken. It will provide custom assembly instructions upon purchase. For the consumer who wants something ‘pre-designed’ we have a ecommerce store with ready to purchase designs which can be modified in our tool should they wish to make a few changes. After purchase the design is saved to the customer account, and can be accessed at a later date for expansion of the design or for reconfiguration into other furniture products using the same and/or additional parts.
On launch we will have storage and simple tables but we are looking at a rollout across multiple categories of consumer furniture in 2012 such as lounges, chairs and beds. Everything will be flat-packed and available for purchase Australia-wide. Initially we will deliver within a 2-3 week lead time but one of our priorities in 2012 will be to fulfill within 1 week of order confirmation!!!
One of the main features will be that all the products will be made from E0 & AFS certified board. We are introducing a ‘cradle to cradle’ like scheme whereby the consumer can return the panels back to us at the end of its lifecycle which we will then refurbish or recycle. This is a first for online furniture retail and we think will have a strong reaction in our target markets who currently buy their furniture from IKEA/Freedom/Harvey Norman/Fantastic Furniture. We also think our excellent after-sales service will really delight our target markets who often complain about the poor service levels experienced at traditional furniture retailers catering to the ‘entry-level’ end of the market.
BOOKMARK www.evolvex.com – GOING LIVE NOVEMBER 15!read more
The nicest thing about a lovely article written about your company is receiving the clipping from your client with the subject ‘You are a celebrity’.
Huge thanks to the Express for their continual support!
The article was also published online
Punchbowl furniture store goes green
LUXMY Furniture at Punchbowl isn’t your average office furniture company.
Founder and managing director Sudhindra Rao said the decision to “go green” in 2005 has made Luxmy Furniture stand out.
“It’s important for a furniture company to be environmentally friendly because products will eventually end up in landfill,” he said.
The business was nominated for the AMP Innovation Award at the Telstra Business Awards on July 8. Based in Bankstown Business Park, the company specialises in office furniture, especially workstations.
Luxmy has an Australian Forestry Standard Certificate which means that any wood or timber product used is at least 30 per cent recycled.
Also, several of the 36 employees on site are members of a “green team”, who report on environmental issues monthly.
“Our factory roof is sun-lit, so we don’t have to use electricity to power lights until about 3pm to 4pm,” Mr Rao said. “Not only are we helping the environment, it gives us an advantage over Asian-imported products.”
Along with utilising cutting-edge technology to make quality products, Luxmy’s environmental policy has helped it procure some lucrative projects.
“We recently fitted out the premises of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet with 500 workstations and also the Department of Health in Canberra, which was 3000, ” Mr Rao said.
Part of a successful business was keeping the workers happy, according to Mr Rao.
“It meant a lot for the team to be nominated for the Telstra Business Awards,” he said.
“They realised they are leading the industry in what we do.”
All of the workers that joined Luxmy in 1997 are still working for the company. “I’m lucky to have such an enthusiastic workforce,” Mr Rao said.
Note: they did call us a store (which we’re not!) however the words were so kind all is forgiven.read more
Our internal ‘Green Team’ just had their regular meeting and one of the hot topics was carbon tax and how we as a manufacturer can reduce our carbon footprint and therefore costs. We brainstormed several ideas which are to be further investigated but here are a few for discussion:
1. Installing light sensors for bathrooms and kitchens so there isn’t continuous usage
2. Separating lighting banks on the factory floor so you could turn off lights in areas that weren’t as frequently used
3. Changing our procurement policy when buying new machines to look at electricity consumption as a factor
4. Scheduling machines in a way we can switch off the less frequently used machines in their downtime
5. Putting up signage everywhere to raise awareness of ‘reducing waste’ to the workforce. Be it simple things like finding ways to use more of our offcuts, to switching on lights only when in use to turning OFF computers at night. Every bit counts.
6. Alternative sources of energy
Some of the great initiatives this team has come up with are:
- Skylights in the factory so we only turn on the overhead lights in the late afternoon
- Recycling bins for bottles and cans
- Separating board offcuts to their own area, thus increasing yield
- Finding companies who take offcuts we don’t use
Huge thank you to Mat Beeche and Shoe String Launch for their wonderful article on us.
Please see here for the full link -http://www.shoestringlaunch.com/2011/07/profile-luxmy-furniture/read more
A great company that is the leader in glass recycling called Colmax Glass won the award in the Innovation category we were finalists in, however irrespective a great time was had by ALL and we found the overall process from applying to the awards to the judging process to the awards night to be an eye opening experience.
To be a finalist in such a prestigious award (considering the talented companies that enter) is a privilege and a HUGE thank you to AMP for sponsoring the Innovation category and coming up to us with your positive words, and to Telstra for running every aspect extremely professionally and giving us this wonderful opportunity to pat ourselves on the back. We’re really chuffed to be Telstra Business Awards Alumni.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who got us to this point – our very talented staff who put in the hard work and inspire all the great developments at Luxmy Furniture, their families for supporting them, our accountant Phil Daly and his firm The Number Shop for providing guidance and keeping us on the right track from the start, our environmental consultant Ravi Pavithran without whose support we couldn’t have received our ISO 14001, AFS and FSC certifications and last but not the very least our wonderful clients who motivate us to push the boundaries of furniture design and construction on a daily basis and who have supported Luxmy Furniture during the past 13 years of growth. THANK YOU!
A key lesson to all furniture manufacturers who cannot provide clear evidence of where their timber comes from has been brought to light in the recent debate between Harvey Norman and activist group Get Up!
This is really a case of why every manufacturer needs to have a clear environmental policy. Without it you leave yourself to become an easy target of activists. While the commercial furniture industry knows this it’s amazing that there are retail operators still catching up.
While we are not getting involved with the argument (although to be honest Harvey Norman could have prevented all of this by using a LOCAL furniture manufacturer with a strong environmental bent…not naming names but we’re available), we are stating the clear fact that adopting and publicising good environmental practises is always going to prevent a misunderstanding and indeed would only enhance the brand in this post-environmentalist age.
Seriously mate, a good 14001 and FSC certification is all you really needed as evidence to shut these guys down. Give us a call if you need a LOCAL GREEN manufacturer to sort you out.read more
We’ll keep adding to this
Just got the news that we received coverage about our Telstra Business Award shortlisting in the current edition of the Bankstown Torch which came out 22nd June 2011.
Please see below the full article, and we’d like to give out a huge thank you to the Torch Publishing team. Original article is available to read online here.read more
Thank you so much to the Cumberland Newspaper Canterbury-Bankstown Express & journalist Luisa Cogno for their wonderful coverage of our finalist position in the NSW Telstra Business Awards. We’ll find out really soon how it’ll pan out but we’re truly happy to be amongst the finalists.
Full article below, original posted here – http://express.whereilive.com.au/news/story/punchbowls-luxmy-furniture-among-best-in-business/
PUNCHBOWL company Luxmy Furniture is a finalist in the Innovation category of the Telstra NSW Business Awards.
The company is one of 20 businesses in the state that are finalists in seven categories at the awards.
Luxmy Furniture has been manufacturing office furniture since 1997.
Bouncing back after a major factory fire six years ago, the company is about to launch a home furniture range enabling consumers to design their own tables, chairs and storage systems.
Speaking about being a finalist in the innovation category, managing director Sudhindra Rao said: “We’ve found it is often during times of stress that we suddenly discover new ways of doing things.”
Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador Deena Shiff said analysis of the finalists’ business performance showed “the best NSW finalists clearly have a commitment to providing top customer service, which underpins their business growth”.
Winners will be announced at The Westin Sydney on July 8.
They will share in $500,000 in prizes and proceed to the national awards in Melbourne on August 26.
telstrabusinessawards. com or phone 1800 262 323