Since first opening its doors in 2003 in Cairo’s Mohandessin district, C.Reality has established itself as one of the country’s finest design houses. Especially known for their locally produced, high quality, modern, sleek furniture, the company moved into larger premises in the trendy Zamalek neighbourhood in 2016. C.Reality’s founder, Amir Dous, sat for a chat with eniGma’s Farida El Sayed to reminisce on how it all started, his latest projects and his aspirations for the future.
Dous graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1999 and went to work for the telecommunications company, Mobinil. However, he soon grew tired of corporate life and was pulled in a totally different direction by one of his friends working in advertising. “I would sometimes attend photo shoots with my friend and would be amazed at how quickly he was able to set up a shoot. He could build a location along with an entire house that was fully furnished in no time,” he recalls. Watching his friend at work spawned a new career for Dous, who was inspired by the fast track furnishing business in advertisement. “I started helping my friend, checking the market to see what was available in terms of furniture and selecting the items needed for the photo shoot. That’s how it all started,” he adds.
By 2003, Dous decided to set up his own firm, C.Reality. “I wanted to focus on transforming low-resolution living spaces into refined living experiences” says Dous. That essence, of uplifting interiors and spaces, has been at the core of C.Reality ever since.
C.Reality’s first big break came with the opening of Andrea in the North coast. This made Dous realize that clients were craving modern furniture, but it was hard to find unless it was imported and very expensive. So in 2005, he decided to produce furniture locally, turning C.Reality into the full-fledged furniture production house it is now.
In 2007, with business booming, C.Reality expanded its services to include interior design, side by side with product design. In 2016, the energetic entrepreneur moved their master showroom to Zamalek, to a space large enough to properly showcase their latest offerings of distinctive furniture, which remains their main business. Today, C.Reality’s Zamalek space is considered more of a modern art gallery than a showroom.
“Customers really care about two things, the quality of the product and the customer experience,” says Dous. In terms of quality, Dous notes that C.Reality focuses on innovation. For example, instead of using the same upholstery products widely used by other producers, it uses cold cured foam on all its chairs and couches for long-term comfort and endurance. C.Reality’s paints and dyes are also specifically chosen to ensure their long-lasting performance.
Dous’ attention to detail spills over to his customer service approach. “Our service doesn’t stop once the client receives his order. To be sure of the client’s satisfaction, I send out customer satisfaction questionnaires with every product delivered,” he explains. To further ascertain their full satisfaction, Dous also personally reaches out to the clients once they’ve settled in. To Dous, it is the positive appraisals of genuinely content customers that makes his job most rewarding.
Aside from working on personal residential spaces, C.Reality has a roster of real estate developers that call on the design house to revamp their sales center or to create mock-ups for their sales offerings. C.Reality has worked with a variety of developers, ranging from Emaar, to Palm Hills and NEWGIZA, to transform their visions to reality.
Dous also works on commercial projects. A multitude of projects, including 30 North, Frank & Co, and Ted’s, have been furnished by C.Reality. “With commercial projects, everything has to be fast, from producing the samples and prototypes to the delivery dates. But no matter how stressful it is, I enjoy the change of pace,” he exclaims.
Looking forward, Dous still aspires to achieve more. “I am always looking forward to improving, but my main challenge is how to keep it fresh. I’m always thinking,‘What new experience can I offer to my clients?’ I don’t look at the future in terms of numbers. That comes naturally as long as you keep offering your clients new things and new experiences,” says Dous, adding, “I also hope that someday I could set up a hub where open collaborations between designers and producers can take place. I would love that.”