Rwanda : Papyrus Company limited-the home of furniture

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Papyrus Company limited-the home of furniture

Papyrus Company limited, is a Turkish owned company which is the sole manufacturer of interior designs for homes, hotels, banks, kitchen cabinet, furniture and hardware in Rwanda. Papyrus Rwanda is a branch affiliated to Anatolia Enterprises limited- which has its main headquarters in Kampala and another branch in Tanzania.

All its interior design raw material products are imported from Turkey and manufactured locally according to the wishes of its corporate clientele. The products are among the world class interior designs (Medium Density Fiber Boards –MDF) and only 15% of natural wood- which are produced using the state-of the-art machinery from Turkey.

The Papyrus Rwanda manufacturing plant is located factory in Gikondo industrial area, on the Rwandex- Sonatube road, in Kicukiro district in Kigali city.  The factory also employs 35 permanent staff and 15 temporary bases.

The Director of Papyrus Rwanda, Esmeil Khanabacli, says that the company entered the Rwandan market in 2006, as a response to the issues of 90% of furniture being imported to Rwanda and be in position to produce this furniture locally (30-35%) by importing the raw materials- with help of their foreign contacts in Turkey.

Though there are other companies which import interior furniture to Rwanda, Papyrus does not actually face direct competition with these companies like Umutara enterprises, but actually faces competition with the informal sector-that makes the same furniture locally.

“Our products are well received by customers because of their exquisite in workmanship and best in quality. Especially lifelike artistic carving lets the traders of various countries acclaim as the acme of perfection. And this engineering department has very deep attainments to our esteemed customers” says Khanabacli.

“Our furniture is affordable and long lasting and we encourage Rwandans to buy since it is made from the world class material. The only problem we have is that most of Rwandan clients have been blindfolded to buy cheap furniture from local furniture makers- which do not last longer than 6months.” Khanabacli notes.

One of the circumstances that make business very hard for Papyrus Company is that it is also located in Kicukiro sector- which is greatly surrounded by an informal furniture production sector along the African Union road. This makes it very hard for local residents and clients to notice the best quality of furniture at Papyrus showroom.

“Most of the furniture sold at Papyrus is amazingly high quality and can be worth an investiment for an individual or the institutions, however, this calls for one to actually visit the premises and see the quality of furniture” one client Jean Pierre Bizimana- who purchase a full set of house furniture says “I think that ignorance and desire for cheap things does affect the choices of consumers in this case. Though this furniture may seem expensive, I am sure it can last for more than ten years- which is actually enough time to have the real value of the price”

The informal sector apparently survives alongside such established businesses, and from the outward view of the furniture, the products look fancy and lucrative, though not long lasting.

“To ensure quality and standards, it is our principle at Papyrus Rwanda to take interior design right back to basics of quality. From the beginning, we encourage you to look at the essential structure of your property before considering styles, colour schemes and furnishings” Khanabacli explains

He says that the clients have an opportunity to choose the form of furniture according to their taste, and after the designs are complete, the installation is done by the company.

“Whether your tastes are traditional or modern or somewhere in between, we aim to work in partnership with you to develop a living space designed for your particular lifestyle” says Khanabacli.

Before starting on any interior design project, we like to get to know you – your family’s likes, dislikes. We ask for your views on your home and the aspirations you have for its future. Above all, we look very closely at your house as it appears when we first arrive.

“Our interior design team will produce ideas for this, and more, together with the usual interior design aspects of colour, lighting, soft furnishings, flooring and furniture. Perhaps, most important of all, we will discuss your budget openly and honestly, right from the start” Khanabacli adds.

As one of the manufacturing plants to be relocated to the new industrial area in Gasabo district, Papyrus Rwanda believes that this will provide wide space and infrastructure which will cut on the costs of productions incurred by operating in the town center.

In terms of business, the company says that the government policies have been very supportive and clients have grown over the past six year- which is one reason that Papyrus Rwanda will pursue the goal of satisfying the Rwandan market with quality world class interior furniture.

“We can spare you from costly ‘interior design disasters’ and endless paint tester pots in the wrong shade simply by showing you how to optimise the available space in terms of colour, lighting and furnishings. It is not our job to impose our taste on you.

Our task is to interpret your ideas, and guide you so that the finished interior design of a room is exactly as you would want it to be had known what you wanted! We firmly believe that your home should be a reflection of you, your personality and lifestyle.” Khanabacli says.

The furniture manufacturing sector in Rwanda is still one of the unexploited areas due to lack of quality trees and raw materials like timber. In the informal sector, most if the timber that is used to make these quality furniture (mahogany trees) is imported from the Democratic Republic of Congo and this can be very expensive, thus the workshops resort to simple eucalyptus trees that can be affordable to all.

Though Papyrus Company depends of imported wood and supplies, according to Khanabacli, the company has a plan of making its products more accessible, so that many Rwandan can have products made from high quality wood that is worthy their money.





About the author

Mr. Sina is the Managing Partner & Chief Editor of RwandaEye. After completing his post-graduation from the Faculty of Economics and Management, National University of Rwanda,he worked in various consulting capacities for equity and business firms in Kigali. A shrewd strategist, he is an Economic Pundit, entrepreneur and Investment Banker.

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