Market Overview

India’s long-term growth is based on a growing and young population that is boosting economic activity and creating a large, urban middle class. A shift toward more modern home furnishings and interior fit-outs is driving steady growth in the demand for wood.

With a declining supply of traditional hardwoods, Indian manufacturers are looking for alternate wood supply sources. India’s consumption of wood products is on the rise, particularly in value-added applications. The rapid opening of a market for softwood products in India presents a unique opportunity to position BC as a reliable supplier of fibre from sustainable sources.

Photo: Hemlock product trails, Bramola | Credit: FII India

Key Stats

0

+
product trials with local manufacturers have been completed since program start

0

stockists across India are now carrying BC softwood products

0

%
of stakeholders report a positive experience working with Canadian wood products (based on a 2019/20 survey)

Why India?

  • Positive demographics, long-term economic growth and an expanding middle class
  • Significant increase in demand for wood products
  • Limited domestic wood supply and declining import supply from traditional sources (mainly hardwood)
  • Opportunity to capitalize on the benefits and suitability of softwood for manufacturers

Market Priorities

  • Position BC softwoods to take advantage of India’s growing fibre needs by focusing on applications for joinery, remanufacturing, furniture production and interior finishing
  • Support BC companies with education and market-entry efforts in India
  • Undertake highly impactful promotional and demonstration activities
  • Growing a network of stockists to carry and supply BC wood species in the market

Strategic Approach

Market development efforts in India consist of a partnership between Forestry Innovation Investment, Natural Resources Canada and the Canada Wood Group. Since 2014, FII India has pursued a comprehensive program involving a mix of business development, research and marketing activities. Additionally, the team encourages commercialization by arranging product trials with manufacturers and securing high-profile demonstration projects with strategic partners.

Featured Projects

Hemlock product trails, Bramola | Photo: FII India.

Try Canadian Wood – Product Trials

Hemlock product trails, Bramola | Photo: FII India.

Product trials of BC softwood species under India’s “Try Canadian Wood” program continue to engage and motivate Indian manufacturers to test BC wood in their applications. The trials are cost-effective, help to raise the overall profile of Canadian wood and, through hands-on experience, overcome misperceptions about Canadian species and strengthen technical skills in working with softwood. FII India completed 30 product trails in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

Interior fit out of the Taj Rishikesh Hotel made from B.C. wood species, Uttarakhand | Photo: FII India.

Demo projects – Taj Rishikesh hotel

Interior fit out of the Taj Rishikesh Hotel made from B.C. wood species, Uttarakhand | Photo: FII India.

Completed in 2019, the Taj Rishikesh hotel in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand features both BC hemlock for the interior panelling on walls and ceiling areas, and Douglas-fir for windows, doors, soffits and ceiling panelling. The combination of a rock facade and wood trim reflects local construction styles and provides a beautiful architectural finish for this high-end resort facility. The project was the culmination of three years of collaboration between FII India and the developer.

This wood-frame construction style home was built and promoted by Pyramid Timbers and MAS Furniture. Canadian Wood booth at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show | Photo: FII India

IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show

This wood-frame construction style home was built and promoted by Pyramid Timbers and MAS Furniture. Canadian Wood booth at the IndiaWood 2020 Trade Show | Photo: FII India

With 75,000 visitors and a focus on wood innovation, IndiaWood 2020 complements the goal of raising the profile of higher-value Canadian wood products in the Indian market. However, with 875 exhibitors, the India team needed to find a way to stand out from the competition and reach the architects, interior designers and real estate developers attending the show.
The solution was to be innovative. The India team arranged for two complete wood homes to be displayed in the Canadian Wood booth; the resort-style homes were both made by local Indian firms at their own cost and featured BC species. The homes demonstrated wood-frame construction and tongue-and-groove styles of the building using Canadian S-P-F. Companion displays allowed visitors to connect with BC firms and learn more about Canadian wood species.
Along with promoting BC wood, the two homes highlighted how wood construction can meet the emerging interest in designing eco-friendly resorts and vacation homes, opening an opportunity for the introduction of BC species and building techniques.

Engineered panels in yellow cedar and western hemlock | Photo: FII India

Engineered thin panels

Engineered panels in yellow cedar and western hemlock | Photo: FII India

Thin-panel technology is allowing an Indian firm to grow a new market for yellow cedar and hemlock. Evo Wood has pioneered the manufacturing of thin (3mm to 8mm) panels in 4×8 sheets for furniture overlays using lower-quality wood as a substrate. Demand is building, as the combination reduces costs while offering manufacturers a finished look in a premium species.
FII India supported the demonstration project by helping to source BC species and providing technical support to Evo Wood. In an example of cross-market promotion, FII staff in Vietnam also introduced the panels from India to Vietnamese manufacturers, with several firms interested in sourcing the product from Evo Wood.