<p>Surya is complementing its rugs with thousands of other home accents.&nbsp;</p>

Surya is complementing its rugs with thousands of other home accents. 

<p>Satya Tiwari</p>

When Satya Tiwari became president of his family company in 2004, Surya Inc. had built a respectable $2.7 million in sales. 

A decade later, revenues for the provider of rugs and home furnishings have rocketed to $80 million per year, earning Surya a spot in Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies for three years running.  

The rapid rise is paying dividends for Georgia, as the Calhoun-based firm recently announced that it would put an additional $33 million office and distribution center in Cartersville that will create 200 jobs by when completed. If Mr. Tiwari has his way, the company won’t be slowing down anytime soon. 

Founded in 1976 by Surya Tiwari in Ugapur, India, the company started out selling simple hand-knotted rugs in one or two colors made by villagers to The Federated Group (now Macy’s). A decade later Surya opened a small office in New York before eventually relocating to Georgia. In 2004, the elder Tiwari named Satya, his son, president of the U.S. division. 

The last few years in northwest Georgia have been far from rosy, but the company has built on its long-term vision and made aggressive moves even amid the uncertainty. 

“It takes courage to succeed in a downturn,” he said. “You have to have the right plan, discipline, fortitude that you can excel in any condition and the vision. We are excited about the industry and being in this state. We don’t believe the world is doomed. We have vision, courage and a belief in the fundamentals.”

Mr. Tiwari’s vision includes a balance of focusing on the all-important U.S. market even while staying open to new opportunities overseas. 

Likening the home accessories market to the film industry, he noted that no other country can compete with Hollywood and that if a film is successful in the U.S., it will almost by definition be a hit just by the sheer size of the U.S. market.

“It is the same with us,” he said. “The U.S. is 50 percent of our market.”  

Coupled with domestic growth due to its expanding product lines and distribution outlets, Surya is looking internationally to augment its plans.

Currently Surya exports less than 10 percent of its rugs and home accessories, but in five years, the company expects that figure to be at least 25 percent.

Canada and Mexico are the company’s largest international markets, with France, Ecuador, Peru, Malaysia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Nigeria and New Zealand rounding out the top list of countries. 

“We shipped to 45 countries last year, which is quite a lot. It surprised me,” Mr. Tiwari said. “Sometimes you don’t realize it until you analyze it.”

To aid in the international growth, the company has hired an international sales manager who will work with export authorities and build an independent sales team in each market. Trade shows, particularly the ones in High Point, N.C., and Las Vegas, attract significant overseas retailers, distributors and designers. Priority regions are Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Lissa Wyman, editor and publisher of Rugnews.com in New York, said Surya is on the fast track. 

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