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Koda – Singapore’s homegrown furniture genius

Splashed across international lifestyle magazines from the likes of John Lewis, Pottery Barn, Freedom and Crate & Bavel, you will see homegrown brand, Koda’s lavish dining and living room pieces displayed stylishly.

An Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) and major exporter of furniture in Southeast Asia, Koda started out locally in 1972 in the woodcraft business producing speaker boxes, television cabinets and jewellery boxes. It then converted to furniture making in 1980, which proved to be a more lucrative business. Today, 60% of their products are dining room furniture.

With factories in Malaysia, Vietnam and China, Koda has grown and prospered from strength to strength in the last decade and is currently listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The company has created a niche market for itself internationally by customising to its customers’ requirements. Koda has won many repeat customers by merit of its stylish designs and precise workmanship. Its innovative products are exported to more than 200 upmarket and established customers located in over 50 countries.

“Our strength is in coming up with our own unique designs every year and we channel 2% of our sales revenue towards R&D,” said Mr. James Koh, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Koda Ltd.

Koda comes up with new innovative designs every year.

The Koda design team consists of two in-house designers as well as two other designers in the U.S. and Canada who are conceptualising new ideas and designs all the time.

“With IE Singapore’s guidance and advice, we first ventured into America, and Europe, where 80% of our sales come from,” added Mr Koh.

The profit generated in Europe is probably the reason why Koda tends to follow European trends rather than Asian ones.

The company started out selling their designs to importers and wholesalers who played a big role in determining the type of designs that they want. However, as the company progressed, Koda started selling directly to department stores and retailers and this has become the strength of the company. In working with these retailers, Koda has to ensure a high level of quality in their products.

“You don’t need to be the cheapest in the market, it’s the quality, design and timely delivery that matters,” Mr Koh said.

With fierce competition arising from Hong Kong and China, Koda believes that different competitors can co-exist so long as they excel in the area that they are strong in. In Koda’s case, their strength lies in supplying furniture to retailers.

Their recent acquisition of the Rossano range has enabled them to expand their product range which focuses on dining furniture to include upholstered living room furnishings such as sofas.

When asked about Koda’s expansion plans, Mr Koh says that the company has only touched the tip of the iceberg in their current markets and plans to further expand their presence in these markets.

He also hopes to make use of the BuySingapore portal, which showcases Singapore companies to international markets, to attract foreigner buyers for Koda’s unique furniture designs.

Mr James Koh,
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Koda Ltd,
spearheads the growth strategies for the Group’s operations.
About BuySingaporeTM

BuySingaporeTM is an initiative by International Enterprise Singapore and powered by Abecha Pte Ltd to provide business matching services between Singapore-based companies and the global business market.

This initiative aims to showcase Singapore companies, especially small and medium companies, to international markets through one national e-channel that leverages on the strong attributes of the 'Singapore' brand known for its quality and efficiency.

The e-platform allows overseas companies to search and locate Singapore companies, industries, products and services. Conversely, overseas companies are also able to post business opportunities on the BuySingaporeTM portal to create win-win global business partnerships.

To read more about the benefits of joining BuySingapore as a Corporate member, please click here.

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