Minotti, a leading Italian furniture brand, is now available in Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Minotti by Moie)

Covering the Essentials With the Best in Interior Design

JUNE 23, 2015

Indonesia is currently witnessing a renaissance in the realm of interior design with many local talents starting to gain recognition on the international stage. For Zalfrid Pardomuan, this relatively newfangled phenomenon is an applaudable achievement.

“Some people might say that Asia is still facing an economic crisis now, but I am proud to see that the interior scene in Indonesia keeps growing,” he says, crediting the success of these designers to their grit and enterprising spirit.

It is not surprising to see Zalfrid’s enthusiasm when he touches on the topic of interior design. This is not simply because he is the director of Goodrich Indonesia, a well-respected interior furnishing company in the country. In fact, his first interaction with this particular industry goes back many years to when he was a teenager

“My father started his interior business back when I was still in junior high school. He would talk and discuss interior every time we had lunch and dinner together. So basically, it’s already in my blood,” the affable 36-year-old businessman enthuses one recent morning at one of Goodrich Indonesia’s galleries in South Jakarta.

Nestled in a corner of the Senopati area, the gallery functions as a showroom of sorts, where clients looking to spruce up their home, office or other interior projects can browse a myriad of furnishing offerings. The spacious two-story gallery is shared with the store of designer Alvin Tjitrowirjo, who once collaborated on a wallcovering collection with Goodrich Indonesia.

“We sometimes work together with local talents who develop the designs for our products, but we will produce them with our suppliers that are mainly based in Europe,” Zalfrid explains. “The alvinT collection, for example, was produced in the Netherlands.”

As one can expect, the gallery features a sophisticated yet eclectic interior divided into four main sections — each representing Goodrich Indonesia’s premium product line. In addition to wallcovering, patrons can also find carpet, fabric and flooring selections at the location.

“We are targeting everyone whose house or office has floor and walls,” Zalfrid half-jokingly says.

Befitting the company’s tagline — “Your Cover Story” — every surface of the gallery is decked out in its most exceptional products with a sprightly range of patterns. Showcased just behind the receptionist desk, for instance, is a geometric wallcovering designed by avant-garde fashion label Maison Martin Margiela for Omexco, a Belgian-based supplier. Its blue-and-turquoise mosaic pattern is screen-printed on a non-woven material, resulting in an exquisite three-dimensional effect that will create a statement in any interior setting.

Meanwhile, an indigo-blue vinyl wallcover by Élitis is displayed in adjacent to the floorings section. Its intentionally washed-out surface — with a paint-splotched wooden ladder resting on it — exudes an atmosphere that is arty and charmingly patinated in equal measure.

“It’s one of the most expensive products we have here,” reveals Zalfrid.

Continuing a legacy

Listening to Zalfrid’s well-versed views on matters pertaining to interior, one might instantly assume that his involvement in the industry has begun from a very early stage of his career — but that was not the case.

Zalfrid spent his college years at the Manchester University in the United Kingdom — attributing this to the fact that he is a devoted fan of the football club Manchester United — although halfway through, he transferred to Australia’s Curtin University. After graduating, he worked in a number of tech companies in the land down under as well as Singapore, where he became involved in the software industry.

It was not until his father Andry Mutheardy asked him to join the ranks of Goodrich Indonesia in 2002 that he made a significant jump to the interior business. Still maintaining his position as the company’s chairman until now, Andry is a pioneering figure that his son genuinely looks up to.

“I felt a responsibility to take up the baton from my father and continue this company,” Zalfrid recounts. “I also happened to like interior myself.”

The head company itself, Goodrich Global, was first established in Singapore in 1983 and now has broadened its operations in eight countries, from China to the United Arab Emirates. They expanded to Indonesia in 1991 by partnering with Griya Interindo Abadi, Andry’s company at the time.

“The founder decided that my father is the right person to lead the company’s expansion in Indonesia,” says Zalfrid. "He started Goodrich Indonesia with only eight people in his team, and we’ve been growing since then.”

When he began working for the company, Zalfrid did not automatically rise to the highest level of the management team.

“My father was very disciplined so he would assign me with a lowly position first. I can say I’ve been involved in 90 percent of all divisions here until becoming a director now,” he remarks. 

A consistent growth

Under Zalfrid’s direction, Goodrich Indonesia has been enjoying an immense success. More than two decades after it enters the market here, the company now boasts 12 galleries spread across eight Indonesian cities, including Surabaya, Medan and in Bali. 

“We chose to open in these cities because they are developing rapidly. Our target market happens to be the middle and high-end segments, and we think that the people living there already understand and have the capacity to purchase our products,” he explains.

He also cites the increasing problem of traffic congestion, adding that, “We want our customers to be able to reach us more conveniently.”

In Jakarta and surrounding area alone, they maintain four galleries, situated in Pantai Indah Kapuk in North Jakarta and Gading Serpong in South Tangerang, among others.

Each gallery aims to give a fully immersive and sublime experience for the clientele. At the Senopati location, there are numerous tables on which customers can skim through endless swatches of fabrics — to be transformed into pillowcases, curtains and the like — as well as catalogs of many other furnishing products in every shade, pattern and texture imaginable.

According to Zalfrid, most customers are looking for their wallcovering products when visiting a Goodrich gallery. Meanwhile, the demands for fabric, flooring, and carpet products are pretty equal in numbers.

“Thanks to our growth, we are working together with some of the best suppliers in the world. We also have an certain advantage — now, the new suppliers are the ones who approach us first and ask whether we want to be their distributors,” he says.

Aside from individual customers who want to give their living space a makeover, Goodrich Indonesia also caters to corporate clients. By offering installation services for them, the company has been involved in some of the most prestigious development projects in the country, which run the gamut from the offices of Bank Indonesia and private companies to department stores like Debenhams and Sogo.

Zalfrid tells that one of the most challenging projects they have handled so far is for The Pakubuwono Residence, a luxury apartment complex in South Jakarta.

“It was not challenging because of the materials, but because of its very huge volume. We needed to deliver the project on time with our high standard of installation. It’s a big project,” he says.

Cultivating an optimistic outlook

Despite his busy day job managing the company, Zalfrid always spends some time to unwind. He admits to having various hobbies, most recently taking up fishing activity in his pastime.

“I didn’t like it at first, but after my friends took me fishing for six to seven times, apparently it is fun,” he laughs.

Yet he harbors a constant fascination toward sport motorcycles.

“I’ve been a fan of big motorbikes since I was in high school,” he says, while proudly showing an imposing orange two-wheeler by the American brand Victory parked in front of the gallery.

His self-proclaimed simple style can be chalked up to his relaxed and good-humored personality, although Zalfrid also has a particular penchant for luxury watches. Adjusting the Cartier timepiece on his left wrist, he mentions, “Just like other guys, I like to collect accessories like watches and sunglasses.” 

When it comes to the interior of his own house, though, he eschews contemporary trends for a style that he likes best: modern colonial.

“I don’t like the minimalist style; I like something that is more natural with colors like peach and brown. The style might be colonial, but it has been translated for the modern era,” he explains.

However, in true entrepreneurial spirit, one of Zalfrid’s utmost priorities now is to bring Goodrich Indonesia to an even higher ground. As the company grows bigger, he already has several expansion strategies currently in the works. One is to launch a dedicated customer service team that will respond to customers’ queries and complaints more immediately. 

At the same time, he is planning to delve into the e-commerce world, too.

“Later this year, we will launch our own microsite, so customers can purchase our products directly online. They will be able to browse through all of our product selections — every color option that we have will be available there,” he adds. 

Over the years, Goodrich Indonesia has been recognized through numerous accolades, including the best in carpets category award in BCI Asia’s “Architects’ Choice Awards 2014” as well as eco-friendly certifications for their products from Green Listing Indonesia. This sort of accomplishment is only one small example that embodies Zalfrid’s unwavering dedication to constantly innovating and providing the best products and services possible for all customers of Goodrich Indonesia.

“We always stick to our main goal in making more people understand and interested in our products,” he says. “For me, that’s my biggest dream.”