The sanitary ware industry in India is experiencing a growth of 12-15% CAGR and it is being expected that by 2021, this growth will attain stability due to higher disposable income and changed preferences. Water closets have always been the higher stake holder in the market, followed by cisterns and basins. But this trend is expected to go through a change as it is said that in the upcoming years there will be an increase in demand for pedestals, bidels etc.
Manish Bhatia, President, Building Products Division, HSIL said that European water closets, wall mounted and over-the-counter wash basins have shown the highest growth in the segment. Abhishek Somany, MD, somany ceramics said that the FY 2016-2017 has been great for the brand as they trebled their sanitary ware manufacturing capacity during the same at the Morbi plant in Gujrat. They increased their production from 3.03 lakh units to 11.50 lakh units to meet the increasing demand.
The reason behind this growth, Manish Bhatia of HSIl said, was that the majority of consumers are shifting from traditional standard closets to wall mounted closets and pedestal basins to over-the-counter basins because they are more contemporary in design. He said, “This shift can be attributed to the easy cleaning and thin rim designs which are space efficient and look trendier as well.
Abhishek Somany explained that mere functional bathrooms no longer interest urban customers. At present the demand in the market is for contemporary design with environment friendly and technologically superior product options. It is mandatory for manufacturers to keep up with the technological prowess and advancement. He added,” With remarkable innovations, stunning product portfolio, exquisite designs and ingenious solutions, Somany Ceramics is poised to be a frontrunner in the sanitary ware sector’s growth in India.”
Upon being asked about the innovations in the industry, Manish said that consumers are becoming increasingly hygiene conscious. “There has been an increase in demand for Wall Mounted EWCs with superior functionalities rimless basins which are 100% Cleanand ensure complete hygiene and water efficiency through powerful flushing” said Manish Bhatia.
Real estate slumps, according to Abhishek Somany, haven’t been a big headache either. He attributed this to the favourable government policies like corrected gas prices and anti-dumping duty on Chiniese vitrified tiles have acted as the major catalyst in boosting demands and sentiments across the market. These factors have led to the increase in the competitive edge for tiles manufacturers more so for the organized sector. But, there has been a real estate slump that has come into play since demonetization and GST, but this would be relatively short-lived. “The recently rolled out GST bill will eventually help in reducing project costs at the developer’s level, which should have a positive effect on real estate rental and buying rates” said Mr Somany.
When asked about the new innovations that the brand has brought in the market, Manish Bhatia of HSIL said, “We have introduced Aqua-Sheet, a very superior flushing technology, first time in India. We have also introduced rimless wall mounting WC’s which are 100% Clean and Rimless, as recommended by IMAPH. These come with integrated jet technology which is also a first of its kind product in India.”
On a similar note, Abhishek Somany said, “we are constantly trying to elevate the buying experience by allowing them to virtually experience products as they might look in their own homes through technological tools such as the Somany 3D Tile Visualizer. It is the first of its kind in the industry to tap the space of virtual reality, which is now one of the most powerful mediums of communication.”
He also explained about their flagship studio on wheels – the Somany Design Studio, which is a strategic initiative undertaken to increase the brand accessibility. This first-of-its-kind experience centre on wheels is travelling across the country to reach out to consumers, architects, contractors, builders and dealers.
The sanitary ware industry is no longer a segment that is thought loosely upon. It has become an intrinsic part of every urban household that adds definition to the way of living.