Kajaria Ceramics is the largest manufacturer of ceramic/vitrified tiles in India with manufacturing units equipped with cutting edge modern technology. Intense automation, robotic car application and a zero chance for human error. Be it technology, research, design or quality, Kajaria has set its sight on all these factors adopting new production techniques in order to enhance the quality of its products. Known for innovation and exclusivity, leveraging the two invaluable assets - the Kajaria brand and unparalleled, multi-layer distribution network aims expand the product bouquet to cater to the growing aspirations of the discerning Indian customers. #SURFACESREPORTER spoke to B G Vyas, COO, Kajaria Ceramics Ltd, a man known for his decade long experience in the field & exceptional marketing insights on the qualities that sets the brand apart, the upcoming trends, industry stats and more.
What are the qualities that set Kajaria Ceramics apart?
- Management- Vision of our CMD, Ashok Kajaria and his personal touch with the dealers is exceptionally good. He regularly visits the market. People lovingly call him. He showed the path of tiling internationally. He used to take the dealers to exhibitions abroad. Its a great feeling to work with Kajaria. Even our vendors are happy to work with Kajaria.
- Quality of our distribution network is so strong that our dealers just help us even in tough market conditions. They are closely associated with us, they are our true partners.
- The trade level support. Today’s product category is such that we need to display it very aesthetically at the showroom. You acquire space to place it, and then dynamically change it as per requirement. We invested, spent and developed these showrooms. A very enriching experience for the walk-in customers to give them an international experience.
- Investment in the media branding is over 100 crores for us. So this type of investment fetches us good returns.
It improves our brand recall value.
- We invest in technology. You name the technology available in the world, we have it there. Whatever
new designs or technologies coming to India, we have
it in Kajaria.
- Lastly, a huge product portfolio for all types of customer needs/ applications. We have SKU’s catering
all price points.
We also conduct small training sessions with dealers sales staff about the product, technologies, our facilities, our system and all that. With this, they gain confidence in selling the product
What are the Top trends of 2019 for ceramic industry according to you and what kind of designs will gain more focus? Also, what kind of technology, type, and size of products will gain maximum spotlight?
I think today the buyer wants 2 things Durability & Aesthetic value, keeping that in mind, we have come up with Full body tiles and Terrazzo in Polished vitrified category, that is growing faster. Second thing, in terms of sizes, the larger sizes will start getting better response now such as 800x800, 1000x1000, 800x1600. Kajaria was actually one of the first to bring large formats way back in 2006.
Then there is a new concept introduced of slabs. It will take some time but I see a good scope for that product category. This product will have all the properties to compete with Italian marble. It will most likely replace that market but it will take some time. But the product has to be positioned against Italian Marble. The Indian market may take time to accept something but I must tell you that the Indian manufacturers have done a great job in terms of product quality, manufacturing facilities, and the volume is at par with any of the developed countries. We are the third largest in the world now.
Thirdly I think, Full body vitrified Tiles with larger size will make a comeback.
How actively do Indian manufacturers accept new technologies?
As far as the technology is concerned, Indian manufacturer don’t take that much time to adopt these technologies. When we talk about slabs, today almost over 12 manufacturers are coming up with it in different techniques and variants.
Are tiles getting accepted in more areas of applications?
Tile application goes beyond the bathroom and Kitchen. Today tiles are accepted both inside and outside the house. Once upon a time, the situation was restricted to only indoors as aesthetic values laid inside the house only. Today people are considering tiles across all avenues. It is now used in exterior applications like parking, pool, pathways, exterior cladding etc. The slab style large tiles which are coming up will be preferable for inside the house.
Kindly enlighten about your showrooms.
We are present on pan India basis with our 10000 plus touch points. We are having our company-owned showrooms in all major cities and our distribution reach on pan India basis.
Tell us about the contribution of Polished vitrified tiles in the industry.
This product category possesses around 42% market in India. We are the largest seller of this product in India. Though we started late, in 2005-2006, but today we are the leading brand of this product in the market. We have double charged, full body, Solid Colours & Terazzo in this. We see good growth potential in this category. We are reinventing the ‘Salt & Pepper’ technology in this category. This product is good for showrooms/ corporates/ public areas.
How is the consumption of tiles in India?
I think the consumption pattern of Tiles in India has increased. In 1996 it was 0.26 to now it has grown to 0.6. It needs to grow further above 1. In another 5 yrs,
India will most likely hit the target of 1.
How do you ensure your market reach?
We keep doing market mapping and based on this, Market penetration is done. We keep increasing our network. There are two things, one is market development and second is market expansion. We do both as we increase our capacity. We provide all the support required.
Your vision for 2019 for Polished Vitrified Tiles.
First Vision for PVT - We are selling approximately 21 lakhs sq meters per month of PVT or Polished Vitrified Tiles; we are gearing up for 30 Lakhs sq meters. Secondly, we want to grow the larger size 80x80 by almost 50%. Thirdly, establish Full Body Vitrified Category. Fourth, we are nearing around 200 Kajaria Studios (1500-2000sqft), shop in shop concept. We wish to increase and to grow it to 300. We are also developing Kajaria Ambience (more than 1500sqft) – Currently, we have around 25 and we need to develop around 50 more.
Message for Architects & Designers.
First of all a very big thanks to all Architects/ Interior designers for making us No. 1 tile company in India.
We have a huge portfolio of tiles for all your requirements, we will keep developing new products in line with your requirements.
One wish & one foresight for 2019.
India is doing well and time ahead will be good for us. We have passed through tough times with GST and all but I am sure 2019, acche din ane chahiye. We may get more stable by next year, builders have also realized what the issues are and they will. The concept of branded homes will become popular.