Growth on the international market has required FIMA, from the very beginning, to adapt to the cultures of individual countries, while maintaining its strong corporate identity, and the heritage of values transmitted by its products.
In some places, this balance has proved particularly challenging to achieve, with markets that are difficult to penetrate and understand in depth.
The winning strategy of FIMA has been not to abandon
these places, or content itself with being a secondary player, but, on the contrary, to focus even more on them, identifying a sort of cultural mediator capable of translating the strengths of the company in an understandable way, and integrating them with the direct needs of the reference target.
This is how the successful experience of FIMA in INDIA came about.
THE MADE IN ITALY TAP IN INDIA
In 2014, the foreign market represented just 65% of FIMA’s turnover, with India one of the most interesting areas of expansion, albeit with a strong resistance to the penetration of Made in Italy in the country.
The Indian population was young, the purchasing power of the middle classes growing, and the desire for luxury spreading particularly in the more developed metropolitan areas, such as Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi.
FIMA had already had a distributor there for some time, and the results were encouraging, but the market had higher potential.
Complicated import procedures and red tape were hindering development.
Added to this were cultural barriers, such as the constant difficulty to relate to and understand the needs of customers, both in decision-making processes and after-sales services.
Today, in Chandigarh, there is a large showroom entirely dedicated to Fima products, with an extensive sales network headed by an Indian country manager.
Across the country, there are over 30 FIMA dealers, and a team of trained technicians for installations and post-sales support.
This is matched by the beating heart of FIMA INDIA, a dynamic warehouse dedicated to customer care, spare parts and stock items for the domestic market.
This forms an important strategic lever, demonstrating the reliability and stability of the company, and transforming the new branch into a point of reference also for surrounding markets, such as Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
BETWEEN CULTURAL INTEGRATION & CORPORATE IDENTITY
In addition to solving bureaucratic issues and facilitating logistics, the choice of FIMA INDIA immediately proved a winning strategy from a cultural point of view.
Made in Italy products represent a status symbol, but their value must be mediated and understood also in terms of the performance offered and their intrinsic quality.
And this must be communicated in different ways, and at different times.
The high-end target market in which FIMA is positioned, for example, incorporates WELLNESS products very well, starting with the most luxurious and distinctive, such as the series of HARMONIA shower heads in larger sizes and with special finishes, or the exclusive MELOGRANO, which plays water and light effects to create a unique ambiance.
Responding to rapid changes in the market means knowing how to propose timely new collections, even when different from the rest of the high-end market.
Here, for example, the compositional possibilities of SO with its WOOD inserts or the surface finishes that embellish SPILLO TECH are highly appreciated, in particular in their POLISHED GOLD and SATIN variants.
The Chandigarh Showroom itself reflects Indian tastes and canons in proposing Made in Italy products and the identity of FIMA. It is an orderly showroom made up of a rich variety of wooden display elements, and red or black steel profiles, alternating the taps and fittings with luxurious furnishings that underline the exclusive nature of the company’s products.
For some time now, the digital communications of FIMA INDIA have also had a differentiated quality with respect to the corporate one.
Its dedicated social channels highlight shopping habits and a variety of cultural themes, while the fimacf.in website facilitates timely interactions, and the extensive network of public relations marks the importance of Fima on the Indian market.
DESIGNING WITH FIMA, IN INDIA TOO
Among the contacts developed with care and professionalism by the Indian team are important collaborations with interior designers and architecture firms.
Social and training events are designed for them to get to know the products and design themes, with the aim of allowing them to translate the Fima brand into their projects.
This is the case of Chandigarh-based Studio Ardete, with whom we created various mood boards for model bathrooms, in a similar way to our work with other architects of different origins and design philosophies, such as Lorenzo Damiani and Kazuyo Komoda (who we talked about here).
Interesting ideas emerged not only in terms of the type of materials chosen, but also on their particular use, for example, the potential of copper in underlining the traditional manual skill of metalworking, the use of leather in details, and of smoked wood and antique vases.
Every element, even the most rustic, was re-read in a glamorous key, in a constant balance between the recovery of traditions and the pursuit of luxury.
Even the colour palette can be immersed in and linked to a specific cultural context.
The charm of indigo, for example, forms the backdrop of a second mood board, in which neutral natural elements are embellished with bright, metallic details.
Important suggestions that are then found reflected in the market.
The most popular FIMA collections in India, both for residential and contract projects, have in fact precious elements, material inserts or gold finishes.
Features that are always present in the FIMA catalogue, but which are concentrated here to best express the concepts of exclusivity and Made in Italy craftsmanship.