Asutosh Shah, managing director of Duravit India Pvt Ltd, on why design matters and how the Indian consumer is responding to it
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Are design and technology exclusive? What spurs the development of new products at Duravit?
Duravit stands for ‘living bathrooms’ and over the last few years the brand has become synonymous globally with high-quality materials, careful manufacturing and timeless design.
Our philosophy is that bathroom design is not only about well-designed products, but also about technology that enhances comfort. Useful technology should be available to the user at all times but, ideally, hidden from view. That’s why we have developed integrated, discreet technologies which improve comfort, ensure intuitive operation, and deliver the highest standards in design and quality. These characteristics are increasingly important for consumers when purchasing any bathroom product. With new technology comes exciting advancements, clever innovations like night lights on mirror cabinets and shower toilet seats, which are making life in the bathroom easier and more enjoyable.
Why do you feel that the Indian consumer would be sensitive to design?
India has witnessed rapid urbanisation, and the number of young people with a regular income and purchasing power has been consistently increasing. These people aspire to have a certain lifestyle, and they have a good awareness of brands. Furthermore, Indian consumers are demanding sophisticated products and services which are found in the developed countries.
Duravit brought the idea of design in the bathroom from Germany, and carried it forward successfully in India. Understandably, within a span of 14 years the Duravit brand has propelled itself to become one of the most loved designer brands in the Indian market.
What makes Duravit so optimistic about India?
India is a very important market for Duravit. It has a growing lifestyle consumer base, due to its healthy economic development and demographic trend of a growing, young and working population. There is an increasing demand for family homes with private bathrooms, and we believe that this will benefit the entire sanitaryware industry. There is a desire for lifestyle and interior brands like Duravit. This upcoming target group knows exactly what makes a real brand, and can easily differentiate it from hype.
That’s why the construction of the Duravit ceramic factory in Tarapur in 2010 was not only a milestone for Duravit India, but also for the history of the entire Duravit Group and its broader internationalisation strategy. n