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We interview CEO Daniele Livi:

FIAM Italia opens its largest flagship store to date, in India

Recently, InteriorDaily interviewed Daniele Livi, CEO of Fiam Italia: 'My father, Vittorio Livi, started the company in 1973. The first work with glass he did was actually for a tower bell. Later this resulted in the production of curved glass furniture. In the beginning, people thought he was crazy: "You can build furniture from wood or metal, but never from glass," they said.' He proved them wrong, renowned worldwide for their work with glass, the company now opened its largest flagship store to date in India. Situated in the prestigious setting of the brand-new Molto Bello Furniture Luxury Mall in Surat, the new 700 sqm showroom, brings the brand's distinctive elegance and craftsmanship to the ever-growing Southeast Asian clientele.

Congratulations on the opening of Fiam Italia's first flagship store in India. What inspired the decision to expand into the Indian market?
'Thank you so much. We've been focusing on India for many years, but we never found the right people: as usual in every job, the most important part is finding the right people. As a longstanding friend, collaborator, and steadfast supporter of Fiam Italia, the architect Nimish Choksi introduced us to an important local investor 2 years ago, Madame Rasila Rayka. She was interested to expand her business in high-end furniture. So we introduced her to our heritage, our knowledge, technology, our glass furniture collections. She decided to take us aboard, with other very few and selected luxury brands.'

The new flagship store in Surat is Fiam Italia's largest in the world. Can you tell us more about the design and layout of the showroom and how it reflects Fiam Italia's brand identity?
'Architect Nimish Choksi is the creative mind behind the design of both Molto Bello Furniture Mall and the Fiam Italia Flagship Store. As a curator, he would meticulously select the finest products from Fiam, in optimal finishes, to be showcased at the Flagship store. He was able to do that because he understands our brand, our family and our glass philosophy.

He built several atmospheres, offering three different moods: pure, modern and sophisticated. These consist of soft warm colours, such as brown and bronze, and decisive cold colours, such as grey and black. He also worked perfectly with the lighting, giving every atmosphere and every product the right balance and protagonism; he meticulously chose the right materials for the floors, the walls, balancing the partitions between one room to another, letting the guest discover our world step by step. Adding pictures of our family, of my father and our designers on the wall, creates the feeling you're at Fiam, but at the same time you feel very comfortable.'

How did the collaboration with Indian architect Nimish Choksi come about, and what was it like working together on this project?
'We were lucky because we're old friends and it was easy to understand each other. He has followed our evolution from a company of just transparent glass products to a company that by its technological and philosophical evolution turns the perception of the glass to a new material that can fit in every mood, offering a complete environment in the living and dining room. Fiam now also offers collections with lighting, sofas, chairs, sideboards, etc. Thanks to our R&D department we're now able to achieve 950 °C, which allows us to give to our glass particular textures, and the general feeling of a smooth and warm material, that drives you to touch it!'

The store is located in the Molto Bello Furniture Luxury Mall, an epicentre of Indian design. How do you cater to the preferences of the Indian market?
'Fundamental here is the work of Molto Bello's professional designers and the sales people dedicated to introduce Molto Bello's brands to architects and other potential customers.

Molto Bello is our very first step into the Indian market, commercially speaking. Our Indian partner at Molto Bello has exclusivity for a part of the Indian market. We're now also discussing with other potential partners, because our goal is to achieve four flagship stores. These would allow us to serve the Indian market in the best way.'

How does the consumer demand for luxury furniture in India compare to that in Europe? Are there any notable differences in tastes and preferences?
'The role of the architect is crucial: they're the real ambassadors of the furniture brands. It's very common in the high-end furniture market, but in India this is very much the case. As for taste, Indians, travelling all around the world, are changing their taste: from a sort of luxury-classical Indian to new modern, closer to the international taste. Of course there are some peculiarities related to their religion, for example, a part of the market doesn't accept the leather products…'

What challenges did you face during the expansion into the Indian market, and how did you overcome them?
'It was a great challenge to find the right partner. Before of our current one, Madame Rasila Rayka, we have tried to work with several Italian agents that were dealing with the Indian market, but we never found the right one. So we changed our mind, looking for local partners and agents, and through Nimish Choksi we finally found our partner.

Now we're speaking with more potential local partners, as I mentioned before, to cover the whole Indian market.'

Beyond the flagship store, what are your future expansion plans for Fiam Italia? Are there any other international markets you are particularly interested in exploring next?
'Considering that we have no direct competitor in glass furniture, there's a great deal of work to do! We're focusing on expanding in Africa, the US, the Far East and the Middle-East. This year we've also opened a flagship store in Georgia, Israel, and this month, for the very first time in our history, a monobrand store in Shangai. During the second quarter of 2024 we're opening a flagship store in Lebanon, Croatia, UK…'

More information:
FIAM Italia
Via Ancona 1
61010 Tavullia (PU), Italy
+39 0721 20051
[email protected]