A chat with Chan Chong Beng , Chairman of Goodrich Global
An award-winning business leader on wallcovering, fabric, flooring and carpet.
By Carol Kraal
Mr Chan started Goodrich Wallcoverings in 1983. Today Goodrich Global offers not only wallcovering but also fabric, flooring and carpet. He has since transformed Goodrich Global into Southeast Asia’s leading supplier of interior wallcovering with a 75 percent share of the market.
Since 1998, Goodrich Global has been recognised by an accolade of awards namely, The Enterprise 50 Award and the Singapore Prestige Brand Award. Mr Chan himself was awarded The Top Entrepreneur of the Year Award twice.
Goodrich Global is represented in seven other regional countries such as China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. In addition, a chain of Goodrich Gallery has been set up locally and regionally to cater to the growing demands of the consumer markets.
1. What does Goodrich Global offer?
Every story begins with the freedom to express yourself. Your home is a refuge. A sacred haven where you can truly relax and be yourself. At Goodrich Global, we believe in helping our customers create a living space they can call their own.
We offer our customers a one-stop shopping experience at Goodrich Gallery by offering them an extensive collection of wallcovering, fabric, flooring and carpet all under one roof.
2. How can wallcovering change the look of a home?
Many home owners are very receptive to using wallcoverings for their homes. Wallcoverings are more than just versatile home decorative products. They are fashion for the walls and reflection of your personality. Today’s wallcoverings are not something to take up the expanse of a bare wall. They are a means of expressions just like paintings, photographs or sculptures. One of the trends that goes along with this is using wallcovering to blanket spaces that are usually not covered, such as ceilings and furniture. They are also being used as accent focal walls in your house to draw attention to a particular feature of the room.
Furthermore, wallcoverings will definitely brighten and add character to a dull room. Create a cozy environment atmosphere with a perfect blend of well-matched lighting and beautiful wallcovering
3. What are the different types of wallcoverings available in the market?
Today, there are more choices of wallcoverings than ever to decorate your walls. Basically there are four different categories of wallcoverings available in the market , which include Paper, Vinyl, Textile and Speciality.
Paper wallcovering is more breathable which makes it best used in low moisture rooms. It is also available in embossed form and is usually sponge washable.
Vinyl wallcovering has a paper substrate on which the decorative surface has been sprayed on or coated with acrylic type vinyl. They are classified as scrubbable and strippable, and are suitable in almost any area of the wall.
Textile wallcovering is usually laminated to an acrylic or paper backing. Natural fiber textiles can be finely designed or coarse on texture depending on the desired look.
Speciality wallcovering includes acoustic wallcovering with sound absorbing properties. Other materials range from glass, cloth, straw, metallic foils, ceramic chips, cork veneer and whiteboard. Exclusive hand-painted wallcoverings under the Imperial Peony collection are also available.
4. Besides Wallcovering, tell us more about the Goodrich Fabric, Flooring and Carpet offered at Goodrich Gallery.
Liven up your homes with fabrics
From curtains to furniture upholstery, our fabrics can be coordinated with your choice of wallcovering to create any ambience you desire. Coming in all shades, prints and textures, our imported fabrics will give you a multitude of decorative possibilities to explore!
Turn your home into a cozy retreat with wooden flooring
Our vast and excellent range of flooring which includes wood and laminate floorings will instantly make a dramatic difference to any room. Nothing brings more tranquillity to a space than high quality wooden floorings. Be assured that our wide spectrum of beautiful designs and finishes, from modern to vintage, will suit any lifestyle.
Enjoy the warmth and elegance that only carpets can bring
Whether it is adding the luxurious comfort to your home or a professional touch to your office, Goodrich Carpets have your needs covered. Our extensive collection includes broadloom carpets, tufted and hand-tufted, woven and printed carpets as well as carpet rugs in all colours and designs. Customize your own personal rug and discover a myriad of creative possibilities.
5. Why has your company gone into eco-friendly products?
At Goodrich Global, we believe that living today is not plainly about fashion, taste and quality but it is also about having a sense of social responsibility. By incorporating social responsibility as a part of our company’s values, we truly believe that everyone has a part to play in protecting the environment.
Keeping in line with the global trend and Singapore’s direction of having 80% of all the buildings to be green by 2030, we began offering a selection of eco-friendly products. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for eco-friendly products in the market as more people are aware of the benefits of using green products.
At the recent Build Eco Exhibition trade show that was held at Marina Bay Sands Convention in September, our eco-friendly wallcoverings, fabrics, carpets, and floorings were well received by trade visitors and end-users.
- What are the 3 basic steps in selecting interior furnishing for your dream home?
At Goodrich Global we believe dream home is part of your cover story. The choice of wallcoverings, fabrics, floorings and carpets depicts your self-expression.
Firstly, examine your living space:
Know how you and your loved ones are going to live in it. List down what your needs are and what you cannot live without.
Secondly, determine your style:
Your desired style will be critical. Will it be contemporary, zen or classic?
Thirdly, quality versus budget:
Always choose something that is within you budget but never compromise the quality as high quality products can last longer.
While the initial investment may seem high, many of today’s wallcoverings are durable and have an average life span of seven to ten years. Most vinyl wallcoverings can retain their original beauty and strength for at least 15 years.
- What countries inspire you in terms of their décor, art and design?
As a global company providing the latest and the most innovative interior furnishing products, we work closely with leading international brands, manufacturers and design houses of upcoming designs and colour trends. We are conscious about maintaining our stand as trendsetters and also creating products appealing to varying tastes, lifestyles and environments. We also try to adapt our designs and colour palettes to suit the various regional markets.
We are often inspired by European, Italian, Sweden, Dutch, Parisian and American Designs. Nevertheless, we also keep abreast with what the South East Asia markets have to offer. Designs from countries like Korea and Japan are known to be popular.
Therefore as a whole, Goodrich Global is not only interested in constantly creating new designs but also developing new technology and application process.
- You have regional offices in many countries from China to United Arab Emirates. What is the difference in design tastes between China consumers and Singapore ones?
Generally, Chinese consumers are more receptive to American designs whereas consumers here in Singapore tend to prefer European designs and colours which are usually more daring and modern as well as textural
There are 2 types of consumers: the traditional ones like colours which are neutral and of darker shades and understated interior decorations. While the other type loves vibrant colours and furnishings with sophisticated designs like our hand-painted wallcoverings.
We offer interior decorations and furnishings that cater to various customer profiles. Recently, we have begun to see an increase in customers such as young couples who are taking the time and effort to decorate their new homes, including their children’s room. Nowadays, kids are more empowered to choose the interior furnishings of their living space. This living space is not necessarily confined to their bedrooms but also the study rooms, play rooms and music rooms.
As a whole, most customers come to Goodrich Global for quality designs, materials and installations to ensure the total look is achieved.
- Goodrich Global was established in 1983. How do you achieve this longevity in such a competitive market?
When I started Goodrich Wallcoverings Pte Ltd in 1983, the company only devoted itself to selling wallpapers directly to customers and only when the business got better, we ventured into selling our wallcoverings to contractors as well.
Think outside the box
In 1991, I recognized that the traditional business model every other company was using at the time was not working for us and therefore, Goodrich Global embarked on a journey to create our own unique business model. We employed our own salespeople and got them to liaise directly with the designers and customers instead of having to go through the contractors.
By the time my first building came up in Tampines, everybody was wondering how a person selling wallpaper could own a building.
Profiting in Times of Crisis
While others saw a loss in every crisis, including the financial downturn in 1997 and 1998, I saw opportunities and took it as a time for Goodrich Global to refocus and to do two things: restructure the company and expand overseas. Since then, we have never turned back. To date, we have expanded to seven other countries.
Be Focused and Stay Innovative
The business environment is ever so vibrant and ever-changing. In order to keep up with the upcoming trends and be ahead of our competitors, Goodrich Global is constantly improving our technology and introducing new product offerings to the market like the world’s first hand-painted wallcovering, eco-friendly products and imported designer brands.
In conclusion, the fundamentals of longevity in such a competitive market will be to keep up with trends and customers’ tastes, have a strong sense of business acumen and most of all, trust your staff and be focused.
- What are your future objectives for Goodrich Global
Continue to build Goodrich Global into a legacy and a globally recognised brand for the next 2 generations. Also, continue to inculcate the Goodrich Value System: trust, be fair and always strive for to be the leader in the industry. These values have helped form the premise of Goodrich Global’s growth over 27 years,
- How do you unwind after a hard day from work?
After a hard day’s work, I usually end the day in a casual setting, having food and drinks with our staffs or friends. During the weekends, I spend time with my family. After all work is work, family is equally important as well.
Featured in Exquisite Nov/Dec 2010
Goodrich Global provides the perfect finishing touch to every interior. It offers an extensive collection of interior wallcoverings, carpets, fabrics and floorings to create a completely personalized furnished ambience. Goodrich believes in ensuring that every dream design comes to life. Above all else, Goodrich is driven by the vision that every living space is an expression of a unique cover story.
Goodrich boasts a strong presence in over 30 regional offices and galleries located in 8 countries including Singapore (Headquarters), China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Goodrich is well placed to meet all your interior furnishing needs, globally.
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