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Coulisse's Journey in the Asia-Pacific Region

An Exclusive Interview with Rogier Krabbe, Coulisse's Managing Director APAC

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In June 2022, Coulisse embarked on an exhilarating journey of expansion to the dynamic city of Sydney. With a solid foundation of partnerships established over the years in the Asia-Pacific region and a deep appreciation of Australasia's pivotal role in the global market, this move marked a significant leap forward for the company. Now, 1.5 years later and opening a new showroom in Shanghai in Q4 this year, we sit down with Rogier Krabbe, Managing Director Asia-Pacific, eager to discover how he and his team have worked alongside our valued partners to establish new industry benchmarks and pave the way for innovation in the worldwide window covering sector. Here's what he shared:

Initial vision

What was the initial vision behind opening the Coulisse sales office and showroom in Sydney, Australia? Rogier discloses, “We aimed to expand our concept globally, recognizing Australia's position as the fourth-largest market for smart home technology. The Asia-Pacific region is one of the most influential markets globally, and we aspired to establish a strong presence here. With projections indicating that by 2027, 80% of Australians and 40% of Asians will be using smart home devices, our focus goes beyond offering smart blinds; we provide a comprehensive solution, complete with informative content and e-learning resources. Our overarching goal is to become one of the most inspirational companies in the APAC region.”

New market

What challenges did Coulisse face in establishing a presence in a new market? Rogier reveals, “We learned a lot throughout the past year. Key challenges included navigating the unique legislative landscape, understanding diverse certification requirements, and adapting to market specifications specific to the APAC region, which differed significantly from Europe and the Americas. A collaborative team effort was at the heart of our success. Addressing unique market needs, allowed us to provide added value to our customers, ultimately paving the way for our success. Having overcome all these challenges, we have a bright future ahead of us.”

Showcasing Innovation

The Sydney showroom stands as an inspirational center for highlighting our innovative product portfolio within the APAC market. According to Rogier, “This showroom offers a valuable space for hosting customers and conducting hands-on product demonstrations. Last September we held a major joint event, gathering 600 architects and designers. This event featured partner manufacturers presenting their Coulisse concepts, creating a notable 'push and pull' effect that nurtured lead-sharing opportunities and significantly contributed to our regional success. We will be launching a new showroom in Shanghai during Q4 to follow the success in Sydney. Furthermore, we have actively participated in significant events like Super Expo on the Gold Coast and R+T Shanghai.”

Top Sellers

What products or collections stand out in the APAC market? Rogier highlights, "The Motionblinds concept has garnered significant interest, and our smart curtain solution is reshaping the market. The growing popularity is attributed to the simplicity and connectivity of our solutions. The removal of the bridge, a game-changing innovation, has captured considerable attention, with Eve Motionblinds leading as our most sought-after product. In my client discussions, I often delve into the intricacies of Matter and Thread, emphasizing the importance of understanding these protocols for seamless solutions. Our goal is to make smart technology user-friendly. In addition, we are steadfast in our commitment to provide comprehensive solutions across a diverse range of product categories. This includes offering standout collections like Wembley, Prato, SFN, and Velvet Lazize, as well as tailoring block-out options designed to meet the unique needs of the APAC market. Additionally, we proudly embrace our dedication to energy-saving and sustainable fabrics.”

Biggest milestones

When reflecting on the journey so far, what noteworthy achievements have marked the Sydney showroom and Coulisse's presence in Australia? Rogier highlights, “Since our launch in June 2022, our Sydney office has achieved significant milestones. One major feat has been the establishment of robust collaborations within the APAC region with influential organizations. This involves partnerships with key industry players who are dedicated to working with us on innovative collections, such as our upcoming honeycomb collection scheduled for Q4. In the market, Motionblinds has garnered recognition from prominent players, charting the course for a thriving future in APAC. Furthermore, we're actively configuring collections that cater to the preferences of influential high-end customers and showrooms. Notably, our partnership with one of the most influential companies owning multiple showrooms across China, is a step towards providing comprehensive smart home solutions, encompassing smart lighting, energy, door systems, and Motionblinds, along with our Coulisse fabrics. These partnerships reflect our mission to offer customers a holistic smart home concept.”

Future plans

What’s on the horizon for Coulisse APAC? Rogier details, “Coulisse APAC is undeniably on an upward trajectory. While we understand that establishing a brand presence in a region as expansive as APAC takes time, we've made remarkable strides. Certainly, we've faced challenges, but these experiences have contributed to our growth and learning. Valuable insights have reshaped our approach, and adaptability remains our linchpin. Now our aim is to cement brand recognition, fortify partnerships, and ensure the market fully comprehends the value we offer. The future is remarkably promising, and we're thrilled about the traction and momentum we're building.”