Forgive the pun, but Dorset India holds all the keys to the doors of success. In the little-under-two-decades of its existence, the firm has managed to breathe art into utilities as existential as security, doors and bath fittings for homes. Imagine luxe bathroom faucets with highbrow designs, but with price tags that go easy on the pockets. The touchstone of Dorset’s success, however, is the extent of the reach it has achieved in home fittings. From sturdy metal locks, door handles, faucets to electronic access control systems, the company caters to classical and modern architectural hardware needs.
Blaze to Brilliance
In 1995, with a capital of Rs 5 crore, Rajesh Bansal, took a detour from his family business of dry fruits wholesale and started Dorset. Today, the group proudly counts well known MNCs like Tata Consultancy Services, IBM, Ernst and Young, and Tech Mahindra among its clients. But there are a few that stand out in this list of stellar clients – hospitality majors Hyatt and Taj Hotels, which define the standard of luxury fittings, the US Embassy and the British High Commission (clients with high security needs), and DLF and Tata Housing (both catering to the realty needs of high-income group clients). The fact that the array of products from Dorset has something for each of these and these companies see value in them reinforces the group’s standing in the market. Dorset started with making embedded locks for door and now makes furnishing fittings like door handles, glass handles, floor springs, and sanitary and bathroom fittings like luxury faucets. It is now expanding into the technology enabled security fittings market with electronic stand alone access control systems, mechatronic locks, automatic sliding glass doors and full-body turnstiles. In 2007, it entered a joint venture with the Swiss architectural hardware major Kaba to start Dorset Kaba Security Systems. A simple yet pertinent measure of its growth is that it now has two manufacturing units (one in Haridwar and another in Gurgaon) and employs over 1,250 people. Nineteen years ago, Bansal’s start up was making do with a 500 sq ft office managed by five employees. Dorset’s business has grown by an average of 30% in the last two years. If presence in foreign markets is an indicator of the spread of a company, then Dorset has outshot its age with a significant presence in the Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and UAE markets.
On the quality front, Dorset assures adherence to some of the most stringent checks in place around the globe – 5S, TQM, Kaizen and Poka Yoke. It got an ISO certification as early as the second year of its existence, a sign of its steadfast commitment to delivering quality. However, some of the most pertinent recognition of its brand value and repute has come from industry bodies itself. In 2010, it won the Export Excellence Award (North India region), instituted by EEPC India, a Ministry of Commerce body promoting engineering exports.
Engagement that Enthralls
Dorset takes bonding with the clients as seriously as it does it core business activities. Pioneering after-sales engagement in an industry not known for it, the company has set up a hotline for registering customer feedback. It also offers installation services through its wide dealer network. Help is at hand, if sought, in the form of a posse of trained technicians equipped with the latest tools in the business. The arrangement is an attempt to contain outliers that can erode the optimum product experience for a Dorset client.
Design is the fulcrum on which most of Dorset’s success is levered on. The company’s design studio is propped by an internal research and development section. The signature design practice at Dorset is that the studio focuses on the avant garde. The practice helps the company customise products according to the aesthetics of a client. Besides, Dorset has developed a hardware selection application that helps a customer refine her/his choice of fittings. One of the recent augmentations in their outlook towards their customer end is their new series that was recently launched – The Luxury Living. The application generates an image of what a door would look like with a particular fitting before the client actually makes her/his purchase.
Dorset’s mission statement is refreshingly free of posturing or pomposity. Two words, “Dorset Inside”, sum up succinctly where it wants to be – inside all building projects, meeting security, sanitary, and furnishing needs, and wherever required, luxury standards.