Shaping the natural world for its own comfort, well-being and survival, is in essence what humans have been doing for a long time now and doing so quite successfully at that. We’ve scorched our way to the top of the natural food chain. We’re understanding more about how our own body works. We’re understanding how our actions are impacting the environment. We’ve understood how to use the earth’s resources primarily for three fundamental things – food (includes clean drinking water), mobility and communications, in turn leading to other ultimate motives like survival and reproduction. But we need to do even better.
Just like how we moved from the wood age to the metal ages without exhausting all the earth’s trees, humanity needs to move on from fossil fuels to the next wave of more efficient and more cheaper energy resources. For a long time, the organized free market system has shown its resiliency as being the system that is able to get the goods of the industrial world to everybody who was in a position to pay for it. Yet, organized, formal markets need to be maintained, built and pushed all the time, since the desires of the people are never truly satisfied, especially if an entrepreneur comes up with a blockbuster product that people really love.
Today, at Bangalore Insider we spoke to the Managing Director of Mimi Homes, Hussain Somjee who told us about how they entered the Bangalore market from Singapore, their eyes trained on building products that people love, so to speak. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
Please tell us a bit about MIMI homes. Was there a eureka moment that led you to start it?
Mimihomes is a passion project born from our parent company WTP Furniture Solutions, headquartered in Singapore. Yes, the eureka moment was quite startling. WTP has been contracted by a Real Estate developer in Bangalore to do their show-villa. The response from the customers that visited the show villa, many of them reached out directly to us here in Singapore to do their own houses in and around India. That was the moment we thought it would be a great idea to start a furniture store in Bangalore.
From Singapore to Bangalore, the journey must have been quite fascinating. Tell us something about your work that motivates you every single day.
We are motivated by a few simple things,
1. The desire to help our customers and clients blend their aesthetics with the full functionality and practicality of furniture and furnishings within their spaces.
2. The way our customers faces light up after we deliver a project (with the added bonus of being within time and budget of course).
It has been seen that a lot of people who go for bespoke furniture are young first time home buyers who are beginning to start their lives and they want the best. Is that assumption correct? If so then, how does MIMI homes help them achieve this?
Here at MIMI, our job is really to communicate with our clients and then turn that into a reality, all while maintaining the highest transparency, integrity, reliability, quality and logistical excellence, all while ensuring that we stick to our clients’ budgets.
Bespoke furniture is not just for young first time buyers, bespoke furniture is for anyone and everyone that wants to either change the way their space looks and feels, maybe just changing a single element, like adding extra lighting for the evenings to putting in a single armchair with a pop of colour, can change ones space and more than uplift a mood!
Good design is one of the most important aspects when it comes to homes and furniture is something that can really alter the looks of a place. Does MIMI homes also offer consulting services to home buyers on how to set up their homes?
Absolutely we do! We always have an interior designer on hand to answer any and all questions related to space design, what’s even better, this service is free for all customers who purchase our products!
The furniture industry is filled with competition, from low cost to highly expensive furniture available. How do you differentiate yourself from the rest?
We don’t think of competition as a bad thing, in fact, it’s much better for client’s to have an array of choices, because it allows them to focus on what they are really trying to achieve when buying furniture for their spaces. At MIMI, we only concentrate on one thing, and that is our client. If they are not able to find what they want at MIMI, we are more than happy to point them in the right direction, even if it send them to our “competitors”
With regard to affordability, where will you put MIMI homes in? What is the customer demographic that is normally seen?
We can’t isolate affordability. It has to be seen from an added dimension brought about by quality. To make it clearer, we provide the highest quality at an affordable price. Our customer demographic is mainly in the aged groups of 35 and over, single and married customers come in, corporate clients are many and hospitality is a new segment we have just managed to break into.
With regard to competition, who do you think comes close to what you guys do?
In this regard, all over India there are many “competitors”, this is a hard question to answer, as it is not about us (the suppliers) but it really depends on what the customer wants. This definitely differs in budgets, size of space and understanding of quality.
Tell us about your life as an entrepreneur, is it quite challenging to be in this industry?
I think any entrepreneur will tell you that any industry has its challenges. As a Singapore born company, doing business in India has been a whirlwind of experience, bringing about high and low’s amany.
How does a typical day look in your life?
As my favourite singer Rihanna says, “Work, work, work, work, work!!”
What are the future plans with MIMI homes?
We are on the cusp of expansion, new cities, new stores, new concepts & designs and most excitingly, new partners!”
Know a great startup story or want to share your own? Write to us at email@example.com and we will get back to you. For more updates follow Bangalore Insider on Facebook and Instagram.