If you haven’t been formally introduced, meet IndusParquet, the Brazilian manufacturer whose exotic products have been marketed here for the better part of the last 20 years under its importer’s very familiar brand. But after the two companies parted ways in 2010, IndusParquet opted to go direct into the North American market, in most cases via the same distributors that were handling the products through its U.S. importer.
So, with continuity of product and supply, what has changed? Only the name under which these exotic imports will be sold. In fact, it is inarguable the IndusParquet name more accurately reflects the products’ heritage and source.
Truth be told, IndusParquet products are largely responsible for driving the exotics trend that exploded over the last decade.
“We have unlocked the mystery of every species and how to work with them through partnerships with leading agricultural and forestry universities in Brazil,” said Flavia Baggio, who is overseeing the business in North America. (Baggio’s father, Jose Antonio Baggio, co-founded the company with his cousin, Kiko Luis Francisco Uliana.) “We have the most comprehensive line of exotic hardwoods in the market offered through any installation type—gluedown, naildown, floating—for residential and commercial applications in both solid and engineered formats.”
Aside from depth of product, IndusParquet brings a certain expertise that comes only with a company that has stood the test of time. After 40 years in business, it has built a reputation as a trusted source of supply. That’s because it has 20 million board feet of lumber sitting in the yard. It’s enough to produce 15 months of sales globally, making IndusParquet the largest manufacturer of solid exotic hardwood flooring in Brazil.
IndusParquet purchases lumber from multiple suppliers to ensure constant and reliable supply to the dealer in all species. “The long-lasting relationships we have with the lumber suppliers are a huge competitive advantage,” Uliana said. “We can buy from many suppliers, which is how we get the variety. Actually, we want these relationships to mirror the relationships we have with our distributors and retailers in the marketplace.”
IndusParquet has always put a premium on quality, which is why millions of square feet of lumber sit in the yard. “This process we call ‘breathe’ allows the wood to come down to a natural moisture content on its own before we kiln dry it. This results in a harder, more durable, stable and better-performing product,” Uliana said. “We have had consistent quality throughout our 40 years.”
While quality is primary No. 1 for IndusParquet, then service is No. 1A. Its distributors are among the best in the country. Along with many in the Bravo network, the roster includes Wheeler in Florida, All-Tile in the Midwest, BPI in the Southeast and parts of Texas, and Golden State in California.
IndusParquet backs up these distributors with 2 million square feet of domestic inventory in a 40,000-square-foot ware- house in Miami to immediately service distributor and dealer needs. It can also ship direct containers at an even more competitive cost. In addition, IndusParquet is one of the few non-domestic manufacturers to have claims and customer service departments within the U.S. “The structure we have in Miami is not to add cost or be another importer,” Flavia Baggio said. “Rather, it is to deliver more service to the dealers and distributors.”
But at the end of the day, IndusParquet’s innovative products are what separate it from the competition. For example, the recently unveiled Solidarity offers a solid-on-solid construction—a solid 4mil face on top of a solid exotic hardwood core— combining the look and feel of solid hardwood with the performance of an engineered. “We are the only manufacturer in Brazil to have this type of product,” Baggio said.
Jason Strong, vice president of sales and marketing, noted that IndusParquet is always pushing the envelope in innovation and design as evidenced by the Coterie Collection, a high-end residential and commercial line targeted toward the A&D community.
“Coterie features incredible wall patterns and textures along with mosaics that can be used on floors, walls or ceilings,” he said. “It’s a mixture of Solidarity and 5⁄8-inch solids. Species include Brazilian pecan, Brazilian cherry, teak and something new called teka. It is truly leading-edge design in exotics.”
And while many retailers have been shying away from exotic imports because of the Lacey Act, Uliana assures there are no compliance issues whatsoever with IndusParquet-manufactured product. “All our wood comes from managed forests. The Brazilian government is extremely strict with where the wood comes from. In fact, its regulations for logging are on par with those of the FSC.”
IndusParquet partners with many sawn wood producers, ensuring they are harvesting the wood in an ecological way. Its financial support helps. Plus, the beauty of utilizing small suppliers is they have multiple species they can log.
Distributors attest to the importance of IndusParquet. “IndusParquet has been the most consistent, reliable manufacturer of exotic floors for probably the last 30 years,” said Keith Slobodien, president of Apollo Distributing in Fairfield, N.J. “Its product line is exceptional. Recently there has been a lot of confusion with Chinese product, but IndusParquet is exactly as advertised: the most beautiful exotic floors from South America.”
Slobodien added that despite the slight change in IndusParquet’s go-to-market model, it has been business as usual. “After having to transition from its previous business partners, Indus- Parquet is up and running and completely functional. It remains a reliable source of supply and inventory.”
To further separate IndusParquet from its former North American importer, the company is in the process of rolling out a new merchandising vehicle with the primary goal of simplifying the selection process for the consumer. Product will be displayed in 32-SKU towers. Four potential packages are available: solid, engineered, solid/engineered combo and Coterie.
IndusParquet has been manufacturing hardwood flooring since 1970, but the company’s roots date back to 1890, when an Italian family migrated from Italy to Brazil searching for a better life. They opened a sawmill that supplied wood for ceilings, doors, windows and cabinetry. The next generation started producing more sophisticated products such as doors and windows.
Current owners, Uliana and Baggio started working in the saw mill when they were 3. At the age of 22, they started to use the leftover wood from the sawmill to produce parquet flooring during the week and install it in homes over the weekend. “So the name IndusParquet recalls the tradition of how the company started,” Flavia Baggio said.
When the cousins started selling their parquet, they would reinvest basically any profit back into the company. “That’s how they learned to grow the business.”
Today, the company is selling products on five continents.
It has been the principles on which the company stands today. In illustration, IndusParquet recently purchased an engineered flooring plant from MasterPiso, giving it ownership of both solid and engineered plants.
Actually, the company had its sights set on an engineered plant for the last six years, but because MasterPiso was its partner, IndusParquet could not compete against them. But then something changed.
“MasterPiso started looking to sell the business two years ago,” Jose Antonio Baggio said. “We introduced MasterPiso to other customers around the world, and there was an increasing demand for us to produce the flooring. People wanted to buy from us. In addition, we had been supplying MasterPiso with the top veneer for its thick sawn products and were already drying and preparing the wood for them, so we had been a part of the process.”
So, with its manufacturing, distribution and product portfolio solidified, all that’s left is execution in the North American market. The challenge right now is to establish the brand and separate its products from its former U.S. partner. With that, short term IndusParquet is looking to get the dealers to “believe in our line and trust our family,” Flavia Baggio said. Long-term is to develop relationships and continue to add value to its partners. “And, of course, to always push the envelope to have the most creative products and best exotic line both in styling and quality.”