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Interview with Coulisse B.V
Introduction: Coulisse B.V.
Since its establishment in 1992, Coulisse has grown into an international leading supplier of window coverings for both made-to-measure products and the DIY market.
Our innovative strength is expressed by inspiring collections and advanced system solutions. Our complete range offers customers endless possibilities to be distinctive in the market and to meet the ever-changing demands of end users.
Interviewer: R+T Asia Interviewee: Rob Boogaard - CEO of Coulisse B.V. & Maurice Roetgering - Owner of Coulisse B.V.
Question 1: Is R+T a good platform to show new innovations?
Rob Boogaard & Maurice Roetgering: Yes! All of our major clients and potential clients around the world come to Stuttgart. For us, this is an ideal venue to display our new innovations and collections and to build business relationships. When you walk into our exhibit, we hope that you will quickly learn what we do, where we’re going, and what we’re changing. In Stuttgart, we are launching new collections and technical innovations, like our new Pull Motion concept..
Question 2: What are the distinguishing features of your products and your brand?
Rob Boogaard & Maurice Roetgering: Historically, what really sets our products at least apart is very smart purchasing and sourcing. Now, the company is interrupting the thinking of the whole industry as we focus on fashion and the beauty of the product. Instead of just focusing on design, we are also focusing on imagination.
We are thinking of what else the window covering can be and what else it can do in a changing world. We’re thinking about important issues such as air quality, energy neutrality, renewable energy, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, social-inclusive business, and a cleaner environment. For example, we are now working to clean up about twelve kilometers of river area and to restore it to its original state. Plus, in Stuttgart, we are launching a new fabric that is 100% made out of pet bottles. In China, sustainable business practices are already becoming a much more important topic.
Question 3: Asian cultures, diverse as they are, have a particular way of doing business. What is your marketing strategy as it applies to China?
Rob Boogaard & Maurice Roetgering: While each culture has its own design preferences and ways of doing business, we have learned that cultures also learn from other cultures around the world. This has helped our company to be successful in more places.
We have been in Asia for 25 years already, so we have established our own position in Taiwan and Shanghai. We have many local people from Singapore, China, and Taiwan, and they have expertise in handling cultural differences in these markets.
Question 4: What business developments/changes did you experience in recent years in China?
Rob Boogaard & Maurice Roetgering: We had some quality and supply chain issues, so we decided to move people from Taiwan to China to deal with that. Using our engineers, we eventually got the situation under control. One important challenge came from Alibaba and the internet because of the big price competition. We decided to create our own brand that is produced in China yet meets our desired quality and price. This helped us gain and regain many clients.
Question 5: Can you describe innovation in China today?
Rob Boogaard & Maurice Roetgering: In the last year, the Chinese government closed out 5,000 companies in our industry. As we select new business partners, they must be careful with natural resources. One of our suppliers has developed very high tech production capabilities in China. Using such capabilities, we can get high efficiency and productivity, good use of energy, and very high quality products.
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