The World Of Sofas

5215MAKING a transition from the media world to manufacturing industry wasn’t easy. It was such a huge jump and a lot of adjustments needed to be done. Psychologically and emotionally. Not to mention, financially.

I was so accustomed getting things easy. I have my own ways of getting things done. Whenever I needed to get my articles written up in an allotted time, all I have to do just to call the person themselves and viola! And I have all I needed to write and send my articles in. That’s the perk of being in the business for more than 20 years. Calling my contacts (celebrities mostly) were at my fingertips. And working for the biggest newspaper company in the country certainly helped in a big way. Just mention my name and the newspaper that I worked for, everything that followed would be easy peasy.

1022-2But it was then. And I left that world behind more than a year ago. For the past 16 months I was having the indescribable-money-can’t-buy luxury to live with my only baby after living apart for 16 years. Naturally I was very reluctant to leave him (by getting a job in KL…again). Hence, I opted to work in the industrial area in my village. Literally 8-minute drive from mom’s home. And for the first time in my life I could go home for lunch! To be able to enjoy home cooked dishes daily! Wow!

Sure, I knew a bit about factories, about sofa, about SME industries. But to find myself in the midst of a small business outfit did throw me off-balance for a week or two, to say the least. But having a few helpful people did help!

I used to be so spoilt in my old office that I hardly see the HR department personnel unless I needed to check my annual leave or something to do with administrative matters.

But here, I was seated next to HR department and I could see and hear (also learn on the side) everything as everyone was seated within distance. Here we are more close-knit here with only 19 of us in management side.

5121And for the following weeks I was slowly learning my way around. Everything was an alien. Many names to remember.

Admittedly, it was a bit strange initially to converse entirely in Malay (at work). Wait. Before you started sneering, don’t get me wrong. I am Malay and I am proud to be one. But throughout my working years with The Star, I conversed daily in English with bit of Malay words and phrases thrown in every now and then. It was my way to improve my command of (English) language.

I hardly used Malay except with my family back in Muar. But here in this company, English doesn’t impress anyone much except my boss! Hello, wake up Aza! You’re in small village here! Lol

If only I did learn a bit of Cantonese or Mandarin then. It would be so beneficial now in my new office. It would definitely make my life lot easier, especially being a new person where I had to learn the ropes from the scratch.

I also learn that my new employer Instyle Sofa Sdn Bhd (, has been around for 30 years. Specialises in manufacturing of upholstered furniture in Malaysia, and is known for the versatility of its products which feature a combination of high quality materials with creative design and superior workmanship. The line of the products includes dining sets, bedroom sets, sofas, recliners, case goods and wooden garden furniture, exporting to countries such as the UK, USA, Australia, Africa and European market at an annual quantity of 2000-2010 containers.

DESIGNING sofa or any furniture, not a singular venture. To produce a great result, one must assemble various disciplines to achieve the desired results. It is a seamless efforts of collaboration!

Now that I find myself in the thick of manufacturing industry in my own backyard, I have just realised that Malaysia is ranked as the 10th largest exporter of furniture in the world. What a discovery!

3104Who could have known that Malaysia exports around 80% of its production. With large markets in the US, Japan and Australia, Malaysia has a strong position in the global furniture industry.

And here’s tremendous growth in exports to UAE, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Russia, and Malaysia is now eyeing countries like Algeria, Greece, Puerto Rico and Libya. Wow!

While lower priced Chinese and Vietnamese furniture pose strong competition, glad to know that Malaysian furniture continues to set itself apart with original design that places importance on aesthetics as well as its good work ethics.

The district of Muar/ Ledang is the foremost furniture hub in the country with some 700 factories that account for some 45-50% of Malaysia’s furniture export. Muar furniture export manufacturers, monthly export of about 6,000—7,000 containers of furniture products to overseas markets around the world, earning considerable foreign exchange for the country.

In 2012 alone, Malaysia total furniture export stood at RM8 billion. Muar Furniture Association (MFA) alone, its share was approximately RM3.6 billion.

31147Granted, media industry which I left behind and sofa manufacturing world are totally different existence. But guess what, I find myself feeling excited and wanting to learn more about this new “world” which I have just discovered… It is like walking and “playing” in furnitures theme park everyday now…

Put the excitement aside, the competition is sure very stiff here… And if anyone feels like to enquire about the products available, hey you know how to contact me… We can always discuss the details… We offer unrivalled choice and advice in the buying process… Our biggest difference is that we make the sofas, beds, chairs and the likes in our own factory. This allow us to sell you direct from the factory (with factory price) and deliver them within 3 – 6 weeks…:-D   A