Grohe plans big for Indian market
Grohe plans big for Indian market

Gunjan Piplani (GP): What makes an International brand come to India especially a bathroom fitting brands?

Bijoy Mohan (BM): India is a highly lucrative market and a fast growing market for premium products and is expected to maintain these growth rates for the next few years. Currently, the total sanitary fittings market size in India is worth Rs 2000- 2500 crore out of which 10 per cent constitutes to the premium segment. This segment is growing at a steady rate of 10-15 per cent.
There has also been a dramatic increase in the rate of construction in the past couple of years be it residential, hotels or commercial and this boom is expected to continue in the coming years as well. In addition, consumers are now willing to spend a lot more on making their bathrooms look and feel good. These factors when taken together i.e. the growth rate, the increase in construction and more money flowing into the sanitary market, will ensure a robust growth for the industry in the foreseeable future.
Thus with evolving market and consumer demand, we believe, it is the right time to showcase this industry’s current market trends including complete bathroom solutions, water conservation technology, distribution strategy, market potential in Tier II cities and growing popularity of imported fittings.
GP: What makes international brands different from Indian brands? How do they cater to the needs of Indian consumers?
BM: The Indian consumer is becoming increasingly globalized. Many are already familiar with international brands and have been exposed to their core brand values. This in turn helps international brands to get foothold into the mind of consumers although Indian brands have the home field advantage due to their cultural identity, strong community ties, and nostalgia.
In the last five years since the direct entry of the company into the market, Grohe has carved out a leading position in the premium segment on the back of superior product quality and customer service. Grohe products are universally known and accepted and have also been tested to outlast and outperform competition even in Indian conditions. 
GP: Where do you position your brand? 
BM: With the increase in competition in every segment, it is important for a brand to stand out in order to sustain itself in the market. Quality, Technology and Design are central to everything that Grohe does. GROHE continually challenges its achievements in product performance, technology and quality against the leading competitors.
GP: How long has Grohe been in India and how has the response been from Indian consumers?
BM: Today, Indian consumers are becoming increasingly globalised and are more aware of the possibilities and the options available in the international market, which in turn allows them to make a better and informed choice when it comes to their own bathroom fittings. With an evolving market and higher disposable income, Indians are increasingly spending more on beautifying homes with premium quality products and have become extremely value conscious. They are also aware of leading global brands in the space with high growth potential. GROHE is well positioned to address customer needs with a range of products designed and developed especially for the premium and mass premium segment.
GP: There has been a move towards experience zones? How is Grohe moving in this zone?
BM: We believe that Indian consumers need to experience the style, credibility, luxury and quality. We have recently launched ‘GROHE Live Center’ in the posh area of Lake Powai (Hiranandani Gardens), Mumbai, which is a medium for visitors to experience the unique way in which GROHE has synergised Design, Technology and Quality into their products, allowing customers to truly Enjoy Water through them. This is the second Live Center Grohe which has been launched in India. The Grohe Live Centre in Bangalore was opened in 2009. 
All of GROHE’s other product ranges and technologies like the SilkMove, StarLight, DreamSpray, CoolTouch etc. can be experienced at the Live Centre.  Besides this, the Live Centre will also enable GROHE to impart requisite training to plumbers and technicians.
GP: What are you Investment plans for the Indian market?
BM: GROHE India Pvt. Ltd. has completed five years of direct operations in India. India is a focused market for GROHE and we aim to achieve Rs 500 crore revenue by 2015. GROHE soon plans to set up manufacturing plant in the country at an investment of $10-20 million.
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