Writing, Faber-Castell style

04 Nov,2011

By Insiyah Rangwala

 

Celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, Faber-Castell has reason to rejoice. In the last 15 years it has seen extraordinary growth and an expansion that has taken it from being a ‘German company that exports’ to a globally familiar brand. But for the company which has seen eight generations, it was not all smooth sailing. With the two World Wars and the Depression, it was disowned by several countries and lost a lot. It was bought back and it fought back, though.

 

Count Andreas von Faber-Castell Director, Asia-Pacific Region Faber-Castell Group, and his wife Countess Virginia are on a tour all of this year celebrating 250 years of the company and talking about the company’s legacy and heritage. They have already visited Indonesia and Singapore. There was also a massive celebration in Germany in July where they had a multi-vision show and showcased the company in context of its history. This was attended by 5,000 guests among which 120 were Indian but they still hoped for more.

Count Andreas told MxM India that Faber-Castell is completely decentralized, and in that spirit has set up in the Indian market which is run by Indians for the Indians, as it believes in using local expertise. India was a very obvious expansion especially since it is so well connected to South America.

He talked about being a family company means that it can challenge any public company. “As a family company we make ideal partners as we care just a little bit more. We have the freedom to make a long-term decision which might pay off only in 100 years.”

When asked about his view on digital art and how it might hurt the company he said it only complements the firm, and he has no fear. “All sports can be played on video games now; does it replace the real thing? There is a magical feeling to writing.”

While talking about this expectations from India as a market he stated that for India to become a well saturated market   is still in the future and will probably happen after his time, though he is heavily involved with the process and visits India almost once a month and works closely with the Indian team.

Faber-Castell has set up its manufacturing units in India itself as it gets into new markets with long-term interests, and it is always better to be present within the country as this makes it more flexible and reliable.

It wants the Indian customers to have an experience that can be remembered when they use their products. “Any product is completely safe for kids. I can go in and drink a glass of my ink without any worries that I might fall ill.”

As for the luxury range, this has just been started and the company will set up its own shops in India to build the brand over time, as has been done in other countries. To mark the 250th anniversary, Faber-Castell has introduced Graf von Faber-Castell luxury range and Faber-Castell Design range of Pens.

When asked what he would personally like Faber-Castell to be known as, the Count replied, “I just want people to smile and say this is nice.”

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