By THE STAR
MANY business alliances are based on trust and, like in a marriage, usually start off with a bit of courting.
Such was the case with the Bukit Kiara Properties (BKP) group that shares its four core values of caring, integrity, innovation and quality with BSH Bosch and Siemens Hausgerate GmbH (Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group).
Last week, BKP’s young and dynamic managing director N.K. Tong led a 25-member BKP/media group to BSH’s headquarters in Munich, Germany, to seal a RM8mil deal to furnish its 881 Verve Suites units with BSH’s home and kitchen appliances.
The memorandum of understanding was signed on May 31, in BSH’s “top secret” research room in its modern headquarters as a symbolic gesture of trust.
“This is our secret room where our designers create wonderful products for the BSH brands. Our 1,700 (product) developers work round the clock to continuously set benchmarks and you are here inside this room as a sign of our trust (in you),” BSH senior vice-president for international sales, Dirk Hoffmann, told the Malaysian group.
Hoffmann said like in any partnership, both parties would invite each other to their homes, and having seen BKP’s operations, BSH had invited BKP to its “home.”
The foundation of this “trusting” relationship began 40 years ago. The BSH joint venture between Bosch and Siemens was created in 1967, and true to the credo of corporate fathers Robert Bosch and Wener von Siemens, the company combines solid German craftsmanship and thoroughness with visionary thinking.
It is this combination of top quality and pioneering innovation that has made BSH the market leader in Europe and the world’s third largest manufacturer of home appliances.
This is also why BKP, although a medium-sized property developer in Malaysia, is keen to source only the best product for its purchasers, and BSH has this to offer.
Apart from the fact that BSH’s famous brands are synonymous with top quality and reliability, BKP must have been impressed with the sincerity and professional commitment that BSH “pursued” BKP.
BSH’s main brands are Bosch and Siemens. It also has many other brands like the top-of-the-range Gaggenau kitchen appliances.
“It all began many years ago when our interior design and contracting company, Bukit Kiara Interiors, was busy looking at a range of kitchen contractors and suppliers in preparation for our future projects.
“In -listing kitchen appliance brands, we saw that Bosch stood out among the others. What particularly attracted both companies to one another were the common values that we shared,” Tong said, adding that BSH demonstrated its willingness to go the extra mile for its customers when it designed a special refrigerator for Verve Suites to meet BKP’s functional, aesthetic, quality and budget requirements.
The prototype silver refrigerator was unveiled after the MoU signing ceremony.
“We were truly honoured that a company that has an annual turnover of over 8.3 billion euros (RM39bil) a year would go the extra mile for a small company like ours. In so doing, they won us over as we knew that our customers were in good hands,” Tong said, adding that BSH would honour an extended warranty period on all its appliances.
Why BKP? Again, BSH also picks its partners very carefully and it is built on trust.
As Hoffmann said, the BKP deal would be a stepping-stone for BSH to advance into the Malaysian home/kitchen appliance market that had vast potential for growth.
Hoffmann said built-in appliances were a “very profitable” sector with many new homes being built in the Asia-Pacific region, and BSH viewed Malaysia as having great potential.
“We hope to achieve double-digit growth in Malaysia,” he said, adding that a channel for BSH to grow its business was via entrepreneurs and companies like N.K. Tong and BKP that were in the forefront of innovation.
The Malaysian group visited the 431,000 sq m BSH factory in Traunreut, Germany, where the delegation prepared their own lunch in an interactive cooking session at BSH’s ultra modern kitchen. The oven-making facility in a resort setting employs 2,400 workers.
BSH hosted the group’s three nights’ stay in Munich.
The group also visited Swarovski’s head office and Crystal Worlds multimedia centre in the Austrian village of Wattens where the company was founded in 1895, and its biggest show gallery in the world in Innsbruck, Austria.
Its head of operations for contemporary lighting and project business, Dr Manfred M. Adamer, showed the latest Swarovski products, including crystal downlights, spots collection, chandeliers and crystal LED technology.