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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Framed just right for success
- Picture-binder firm sets european standards to lend class to art

Picture-framing might not be a booming industry in Calcutta yet, but one company aims to bring it up to European standards. Lion India has everything covered, from designs and mouldings to machinery and mounting boards. These are concepts which the company hopes to make household words in the next few years, “by educating the customer”. Although the Calcutta-based company has been around since 1998, it is now expanding from the distribution sector to the retail market. Their first shop is all set to open its doors in the city on November 29.

The three steps to a successful picture-framing business, says joint managing director Manish Gourisaria, is to create demand by raising awareness, catering to that demand and constantly keeping up with the latest changes. “We have helped decorate the walls in Raj Bhavan, The Hyatt and Taj, and are currently doing up the upcoming ITC Sonar Bangla. We have also worked on projects with the Government College of Art and Craft,” he says. “The point is, everyone, whether at home or at work, likes to put up pictures. But what good is a painting on a wall or a photograph on a table without a proper frame' People realise that, but they just don't have enough choice,” he adds.

Lion India has tied up with Vic Faulkner and Associates, an Anglo-Italian firm based in the UK, besides collaborating with 18 international companies. “We are the only ones in the city who supply imported equipment, and are also talking to the authorities about starting a training school, with diploma courses in framing,” explains Gourisaria. “We want to train individuals, and then provide them with the right tools to set up shop.”

The store on Hungerford Street is the first of about 200, targeted in the next two to five years, in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. It will have framing facilities, prints, frames and a whole lot of gift items, like cigar and jewellery boxes, with seasonal additions and promotions during Christmas, New Year and Valentine's Day. The 600-sq-ft gallery will have an additional 300 sq ft of workshop space. All staff will be trained, since although the parts are imported, the frames will be assembled here.

“Calcutta is not just our base, but very strategic as well. Because it is so rich in art, I am confident we will be well received. Our products are reasonably priced, and we aim to provide same or next-day delivery. Also, we will offer a combination of quality and range. People have the taste here, and the means. We just have to let them know what is out there,” Gourisaria concludes.

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