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India to become hub for sanitaryware

Ruchita Saxena  |  Mumbai 

India could soon become a manufacturing hub for international sanitaryware brands. International brands like Roca, Kohler and H&R Johnson plan to expand their scale of operations in India. The expansion will be either through brownfield expansion of their joint venture partners or through setting up greenfield ventures.
Apart from supplying to the global market, the facilities will also cater to the rising consumer demand within India for branded and premium sanitaryware products. Close to Rs 1,000 crore will be invested over a period of two years in the Rs 2,500 crore Indian market.
Kohler India vice president and commercial director Sharad Mathur told Business Standard that Kohler will start operations in its 250 acre plant, one of the biggest plants in Asia, in about 17 months. The company is investing Rs 900 crore in this facility. " Products from this plant would not just be sold in India but become a source base for US and Europe markets," said Mathur. Kohler India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the $ 5.2 billion US-based company that manufactures both sanitaryware and kitchen products.
Parryware Roca India, the joint venture between the South India-based Parryware and the $ 2.35 billion Spanish giant, Roca also intends to make the Indian operations abroad. K E Ranganathan, managing director, Parryware Roca India said, "We have been serving the demand for premium sanitaryware products in India by importing Roca from Europe and China. In the next four years we have a target to manufacture the entire Roca range, keeping export markets in mind." The company plans to invest about Rs 100 crore in the next two years to scale up its factories in India.
On the other hand, are also looking at expanding the premium end of the Indian market. "The average cost of making a branded Parryware bathroom in India is about Rs 15,000 to Rs 20000. But a minimal Roca bathroom can be made in about Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000. Younger generation is willing to spend this extra amount to get a branded product as it is also seen as part of lifestyle." explains Ranganathan.
"The growing spending power in India has led to opulence entering into ordinary living. This is the reason we are expecting critical volumes from our luxury products in the first year of operations itself. The overall luxury segment will contribute over 20 per cent to the targeted turnover of Rs 1,200 crore," said H&R Johnson India Managing Director Vijay Aggarwal. H&R Johnson India, the country's leading tile maker has recently entered into a tie-up with the premium sanitaryware brand Twyford to market its products in the country.
The market size for sanitaryware and bathroom solutions within India is estimated to be Rs 2,500 crore. Out of which the the branded segment accounts for a larger share of 55 per cent and is growing at a rate of 20 per cent whereas the market share of the non-branded segment has shrunk to a 45 per cent growing at lesser pace of 8 to 9 per cent.

First Published: Wed, August 01 2007. 00:00 IST