KUALA LUMPUR: The Petra Group has invested RM45mil in a new furniture business through Petra Mobilia as it aims to push for greater use of technology in the local furniture manufacturing industry.
With the new deal, Petra Mobilia now owns brands such as RIZE, Sofaitalia and furniture manufacturing facilities. The company is also a shareholder in the Sofa Bed Company, registered in Malaysia, that has the agreement to supply Sofabeds and Recliners to Tempur Sealy International.
The Rize brand specialises in medically designed therapeutic lift chairs that place equal emphasis on style and comfort, intended to improve the quality of life of those with mobility issues.
“What distinguishes us from other local furniture manufacturers are our intellectual patents (IPs) and international brands.
“We are proud to be a Malaysian-owned company that uses technology and innovation to create high-value products that can compete on the global stage.
“By using innovation and design, we have been able to increase our margins and create high-value jobs for the local workforce. Hopefully, this will set a trend for other local manufacturers to innovate and capture a larger share of the global furniture business, ” said Petra Mobilia chief executive Abbi Kanthasamy.
Kanthasamy noted that the Malaysian furniture industry consists mainly of original equipment manufacturers that are competing on the lowest cost basis, increasingly losing out to other cost competitors in Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Ranked among the top 10 largest exporters of furniture in the world, Malaysia exports around 80% of its production.
However, he said that the value of furniture exports from Malaysia has been declining significantly due to a lack of technological innovation.
The company has already begun receiving orders for the Rize brand, which will commence production very soon.
Its annual turnover is projected to be at RM1bil within the next three years.
The Petra Group is a global innovation-based conglomerate controlled by Datuk Vinod Sekhar.