Caple taps into the ‘Power of Collaboration’

New demo-cum-learning facility near Mumbai takes ‘Skill India’ initiative to a new level, gets recognised as ‘Centre of Excellence’ by the Furniture and Fittings Skill Council

(L-R) Pranesh Chhibber, Country Head for Canadian Wood, poses with Caple’s Satyan Thukral and Rahul Mehta, CEO of the Furniture Fittings and Skill Council. (R) Canadian wood species have been skillfully utilised for crafting classroom and training spaces, elegant counters, exquisite paneling and captivating wood interiors.

Mumbai-based Caple Industrial Solutions needs no introduction. It has been a stellar machinery trading house in India since 1974. Now Satyan Thukral, its CEO, has put his money where his mouth is.

Ever a votary of education and upskilling in furniture manufacturing, Satyan has led Caple’s investment in a new demo centre in Nalasopara, near Mumbai, which will also be a learning facility for the furniture manufacturing ecosystem in India.

The not-for-profit project is spread across 13,000 square feet. It came about to fill the ever-widening gap between the demand for modern, mechanised and automated manufacturing of furniture in India and the scarcity of skilled manpower and managers to drive the industry’s growth.

“The power of collaboration,” Satyan says, “stems from the opportunities various other industry players – be it technology and service providers or material and components suppliers – to use this facility to display their products for their clients, train their employees and help manufacturers upscale and modernise their production.”

A large number of top leaders from the industry – architects and contractors, machinery and material suppliers, and educational and training organisations – were present at the inauguration.

Already the new facility has attracted non-financial support from the Italian machinery manufacturer, SCM Group, and Forestry Innovation Consulting-India, the British Columbia  (Canada) government’s consultancy arm, better known as Canadian Wood.

The project has also won recognition from the Furniture and Fittings Skill Council of India (FFSC) as a ‘Centre of Excellence’. Caple already has seven demo centres across India. It has an army of sales and service personnel in all regions of the country to cater to its clients.

Skilling strategy

Caple has been a proactive partner of the FFSC’s ‘India Skills’ and ‘World Skills’ competitions. Its representative also sits on the Governing Board of the FFSC, to formulate programmes for skilling carpenters, machine operators and managers.

The Centre of Excellence will soon be offering short- and long-term courses for carpenters, machine operators and service staff, as well as for sales and managerial talent. Apart from theoretical education, students here will also be able to gain hands-on skills and experience on machinery and materials.

The topics extend from sawing and joinery, sanding and coating, to edge banding and lamination, and understanding solid wood and panel processing.

Satyan says: “India’s strategy should be value-based skilling and value-based selling. India can and should integrate handicrafts with modernisation. China is not interested in this business model; and the West cannot afford this business model. India, with its value addition and mass customisation, can sell at a higher price than China.”

He adds, “China has the strength of volume and is considered the factory of the world, whereas the West has the strength of research and development. India has one strength: we can be the manufacturing hub for the world markets.”

Canadian Wood

The collaboration with Caple will help Canadian Wood showcase its commitment to promote sustainable practices and advance the skill development of the work force.

According to Pranesh Chhibber, Country Head for Canadian Wood, “Caple is renowned for providing top-notch training and development solutions and facilities. This facility has also made provision for a strategic platform to showcase and promote Canadian Wood’s products, to enhance their brand presence and help expand our reach in the market.”

FII has made a generous contribution of various Canadian wood species, to demonstrate their capabilities, in setting up of the interiors of the new Caple facility.

The wood has been skillfully utilised for crafting training classroom and training spaces, elegant counters, exquisite paneling, and captivating wood interiors. It has been instrumental in creating durable and aesthetically pleasing furniture, enhancing the entire space with a touch of natural beauty.

“It is a testament to our commitment to promote scientific production practices, as well as high-quality lumber from sustainable sources,” Pranesh adds.

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