Building healthy habitats: Woodbarn India | SupportBiz

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Building healthy habitats: Woodbarn India

Sanjay Sharma, the man behind Woodbarn India, is a firm believer in the potential of wooden houses in India, a nascent market in the country at present.

“I strongly believe that wooden houses are highly appealing and valuable for Indian consumers. We want to make each customer who owns a wooden house to be proud of his decision,” said Sharma in an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

How did you come up with the idea of building log houses in India?

The idea came when I saw people in other parts of the world preferring to move away from houses made of concrete and sand. Such houses are not very healthy environmentally, and wooden houses or log houses are fast becoming a better alternative. I realized the need to introduce an alternative construction material for Indian houses too. That is how I decided to bring the concept of log houses to India, the utility of which is very high for green belts, resorts, hill areas, and many other segments too.

What are your business priorities at the moment?

We were the first firm to introduce log homes in India, in 2006. Currently, our priority is to spread awareness about them in the market. In India, this concept is quite popular in the hospitality segment, but it has lot more potential.

Extensive awareness needs to be spread among people in India regarding log houses. We see that people have a lot of misconceptions about wood or log houses. Awareness of the facts might lead to a conclusion that this is fairly decent option, when you compare it with the conventional concrete-and-sand houses.

What is the biggest USP of wooden houses?

The time taken in the construction process of wooden houses is extremely less as compared to those using conventional construction methods. These houses are modular, and can be transported very easily from one place to another. They can be easily dismantled, if the owner wants to change the look-and-feel of the house. They are eco-friendly, and help save upto 60% energy.  Also, log houses have a contemporary design, and are extremely stylish. What's more, wooden homes are earthquake-proof, water-proof, and have a very high resistance to decay and attack by insects.

What is the typical life span of log houses?

A major part of the wood used in building a log house is premium-quality Kiln Dried Spruce Canadian Wood, which comes from Canada. They typically have a life span of upto 100 years.

The concept of using wood for building homes is at a very nascent stage in India. What are the key challenges that you are facing due to this?

Apart from low awareness and some myths about the utility of log houses, business in this domain in India is presently completely driven by imports. We have to import everything that is needed to build a log house from China. This leads to a higher cost of construction.

How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far?

We are growing at the rate of 100% year-on-year, and the market for our products is rising. In the previous financial year, we registered a turnover of approximately Rs. 15 crore. In the coming financial year, we expect to register a turnover of at least Rs. 30 crore.

What are your plans for 2013?
In 2013, we plan to start our own manufacturing facility in India, which will be the first of its kind in the country. This will help us greatly in bringing down the cost of construction of log houses.