The Malabar Furniture Consortium having a membership of 400-odd furniture makers in the district is planning to develop it into a major furniture designing centre by availing itself of the design expertise to equip its members running micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to face competition from major players in the furniture market.

The cluster of furniture makers in the region, Malabar Furniture Consortium Private Ltd., was formed in 2008 after securing the State government’s registration. The 50,000 sq. ft. factory building is being developed in its own land at Ammanappara near Pariyaram. It is organising a five-day furniture design clinic at the Western India Plywood Ltd. at Valapattanam from December 24.

Announcing this at a press conference here on Thursday, consortium chairman C. Abdul Kareem said that the clinic was being organised as a workshop under the joint aegis of the Ministry of MSME, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and the District Industries Centre.

Design experts would participate in the workshop, he said adding that it was being conducted to equip the MSME furniture makers in the region to conceive new furniture designs by utilising traditional concepts and modern technologies. Development of new designs alone would equip the small scale furniture sector to survive in the face of competition from big players in the era of globalisation, he pointed out.

Referring to the business potential of furniture makers in the district which was expected to witness massive development in the next few years, Mr. Kareem said that during the period between April 1, 2010 and March 31 this year, 26,308 applications had been submitted for getting permits for construction of houses in the district, he said adding that during the period local bodies in the district had issued 23,456 door number.

He said K. Sudhakaran, MP, would inaugurate the workshop at 11 a.m. on December 24, he informed. Consortium managing director K.P. Raveendran was also present at the press meet.