Rising affluence among Indians has led to smart bathrooms and toilets finding further inroads in the overall market. So much so that share of smart toilets and bathrooms in the overall Rs 7,000 crore sanitaryware market has risen from single digits to now 10 per cent.
Built using both hardware and software and connected to smartphones and other devices, these high value bathrooms and toilets are currently being manufactured or imported by players like Jaquar, Kohler, Cera Sanitaryware, Roca Bathroom Products Pvt Ltd and Parryware among others.
Incurring high costs and technology heavy, these smart bathrooms and toilets carry a price range of anywhere between Rs 2 lakh and 15 lakh. From integrated toilets to digital faucets and showering systems, the market has everything to spruce up the bathing space, making the players bullish about the market segment.
"As users are getting more aware and want to have the best with being more responsible user. Today ready to move in bathrooms, use of digital showers, wellness products like spa, steam cabin, water saving showers etc. Jaquar Group through its luxury bath brand Artize and Premium brand Jaquar has been offering such concepts and products not only to metros but to Tier 1 n 2 cities," said Sandeep Shukla, head- marketing communication, Jaquar Group.
Consumers are increasingly focusing on bathrooms as a wellness space and are spending more time there, not merely for hygiene reasons, but to relax, recreate and get a sense of well-being.
Jaquar Group, which has multiple products in the smart toilet and bathroom category under its brand Jaquar and brand Artize in India, has 40 per cent of its R&D budget for R&D towards smart products, and almost 10 per cent of its revenue (from the category) goes into promotion. Having registered a turnover of Rs 2,335 crore in 2015-16, Jaquar Group is now expecting to reach Rs 3,000 crore in current financial year.
International players too are being lured to India given the rising demand for smart bathrooms and toilets. German player Sternhagen too recently forayed into the country with designer bathrooms.
"Designer bathrooms are now becoming style statements amongst the Indians and it is because they are traveling and meeting different countries people. We are producing high end designer bathroom products including tiles and we are expecting 15 per cent growth in this segment in next two to three years," said Corrina Schmidt, marketing head, Sternhagen which imports almost 60 per cent of its products from Germany.
However, as the cost of this kind of smart bathroom products is much higher than normal products, the products are limited to higher income affluent households in India.
"There is an eager and varied market for bath services at present. Although budgets vary, consumers are willing to spend more money to enhance their bathroom and seek the assistance of professionals to help guide them through the dizzying array of products available and to transform their current rooms into attractive, convenient and functional spaces they can enjoy for years to come, said Salil Sadanandan, president - South Asia & EMEA at Kohler Co.
With technology in living spaces becoming more common across the country, consumers are looking for ways to keep their home on-trend by combining luxury with technology. Industry also believes that adoption of smart bathroom products has increased but it will take some more time to create good market size as the prices are not affordable.
"Price is an issue in this segment and therefore growth has been at around 10 per cent. We are not expecting a very big market growth at least in near future," said Abbey Rodriges, senior vice president - Sales at Cera Sanitaryware Limited.