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

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product trials with local manufacturers were completed in 2021/22

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stockists across India are now carrying BC softwood products

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participants engaged in FII India's educational offerings in 2021/22

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

Expanding wood use through product trials

Product trials remain one of the most valuable elements of FII’s market strategy for India. Central to the commercialization program, trials showcase the features and benefits of Canadian wood species directly to India’s wood manufacturers.
Despite disruptions caused by COVID-19, a total of 36 trials were completed in 2021/22 under the Try Canadian Wood program. These trials confirmed the suitability of B.C. species in a number of target applications, including: western hemlock and Douglas-fir for furniture production; western red cedar for outdoor applications; yellow cedar for windows, doors and door frames; and western hemlock for manufacturing finger-jointed-edgeglued (FJEG) panels. Product trials are particularly valuable as they allow makers of products such as furniture, interior millwork, doors and windows to physically touch, handle and test Canadian wood products in their own facilities.
While many of India’s furniture manufacturers produce products for the local market, trials during the year also focused on India’s export hubs—Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh and the Delhi National Capital Region. Manufacturers in these regions are developing furniture and décor items for large international brands such as West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Freedom, Target and Arhaus. With global customers increasingly demanding sustainably sourced products, B.C.’s certified forest products are ideally suited for these applications.

Photo: S-P-F coffee table | Credit: FII India

B.C.’s sustainable wood products featured in new Indian development

FII India is collaborating with MAK Projects—a leading infrastructure and housing development company—on a high-profile demonstration project for a wood-frame display home with mass timber elements within a large residential community development.
The community, called BTR Greens, will consist of 300 premium villas spread across 250 acres in Hyderabad, offering all the conveniences and luxuries of city life in a peaceful, natural setting.
Within BTR Greens, the pilot project, called Canadianwood Villa, uses B.C. species and products, including S-P-F, western red cedar, yellow cedar, western hemlock and B.C.-produced engineered wood products such as gluelaminated timber, nail-laminated timber, dimension lumber and OSB in a variety of applications. As this is MAK Projects’ initial foray into wood construction, the FII India team is providing technical support and on-site construction assistance throughout the building process.
FII India and MAK Projects are already receiving positive feedback on the project from Indian developers and government officials who have shown interest in potentially replicating the project in other regions. To build on this and further raise awareness of the project, the FII India team has planned an inauguration and networking event for the launch of the villa, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2022. National and local media, along with architects, developers and government officials will be present at the event where the villa will act as a showcase for the many advantages of building with B.C. wood in India including durability of the material and construction flexibility and efficiency. The villa also highlights the green and carbon benefits of wood construction using sustainably sourced B.C. products.

“Wood is a sustainable, renewable and natural building material. Even today, wood is amongst the few natural elements that can simultaneously achieve reduced carbon emissions, bring about increased sustainability in a building’s life cycle and offer improved occupant well-being…This landmark collaboration between Canadian Wood and MAK Projects is aimed at promoting sustainable wood
housing in India as it offers multiple benefits over concrete and steel-based infrastructure.”

– Dr. Mir Nasir Ali Khan, Promoter & Managing Director, MAK Projects Pvt. Ltd

Photo: Canadian Wood MAK Villa, Hyderabad | Credit: FII India

 

Connecting to nature through wood

Globally, there is a growing recognition of wood’s biophilic benefits—the increased connection to nature through the incorporation of natural materials, such as wood, in building projects. To tap into this trend, FII India is working with stockists, builders, architects and designers to demonstrate the biophilic benefits of Canadian wood species within building projects across India.
In 2021/22, FII India worked with a local stockist (importer/distributor), Tambi Timbers, to incorporate the use of Douglas-fir in the design of an Oncology Centre in Jaipur. The goal for the design of this healthcare space was to create a relaxing and natural environment through the use of wood products.
Douglas-fir was featured in a variety of applications in the Centre, including ceiling and wall panelling, doors and doorframes, shelving and furniture. The extensive use of Douglas-fir within the Centre created the desired calming atmosphere, while serving as a showcase for the biophilic benefits of Canadian wood species.

The FII India team continues to highlight the biophilic benefits of B.C. wood products within a variety of promotional efforts including social media posts, online and print ads as well as though webinars, seminars and one-on-one engagements with architects, designers and developers. Having projects such as this to use as a showcase provides the team with real-life examples and captivating visuals to highlight the warm, comforting designs that can be achieved using B.C. wood.

Photo: Candrol Centre of Oncology, Jaipur | Credit: FII India

Showcasing what’s possible with wood

From furniture factories to showcase homes and structures, the use of Canadian wood in India has come a long way in a short time. Promoted as a green and sustainably produced product, Canadian wood has proven its value in furniture products, interior finishings and structural applications.
Through manufacturing trials and demonstration projects, FII India has worked closely with local woodworking companies, architects and designers to display B.C. species in an extensive array of applications. The objective is to raise the profile of B.C. wood products across India and showcase what is possible using B.C. species.
The diversity, elegance and functionality of Canadian wood in these projects is showcased in FII India’s new e-book India Projects in Canadian Wood. The e-book includes more than 90 commercial examples of projects in India that showcase the range of B.C. wood species.
The e-Book is used extensively within FII India’s promotional and educational efforts, serving as a tool for the Business Development team to show prospective clients what is possible using B.C. species.
To view the book, visit canadianwood.in/e-book/

Photo: Pages from FII India’s new e-book, “India Projects in Canadian Wood”