By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
Tiles titan Somany Ceramics Ltd wants to clock 30-40% growth in its newly set up sanitaryware business in the next year. The company also aims to aggressively expand its dealer network for the sanitaryware product segment, besides adding retail and experience outlets across the country. All these initiatives are part of Somany’s strategy to become a Rs 3,000-crore turnover company by 2020.
“The domestic sanitaryware industry is pegged at Rs 5,000-crore, and we have just reached `100 crore in revenue in this product segment. So we see a massive opportunity in the space, and we will capture the market share from industry leaders such as Roca, Kohler, Hindware, Cera, and Parryware. This year we are eyeing a 30% to 40% growth in our sanitaryware business,” says the company’s managing director Abhishek Somany. “This is a part of our strategy to emerge as a company’s managing director Rs 3,000-crore company by 2020,” he avers.
Until 2008 Somany Ceramics was purely a tiles company. Thereafter, it responded to the growing convenience needs of consumers and began to offer bathroom solutions including sanitaryware and faucets through the outsourcing route. “Our entry into sanitaryware and bath fittings will transform the company into a one-stop shop for interior needs. As consumer preferences have evolved, so has our product mix. We have expanded from tiles to sanitaryware and faucets, and in the process captured the demand across a wider product and value spectrum,” says Somany. And once these markets had been seeded, he added, the company expanded to high-margin sanitaryware manufacturing and marketing. In 2017-18, the company clocked a turnover of Rs 1,765-crore, with sanitaryware and bath fittings contributing Rs 150 crores.
In 2012, the company’s subsidiary Somany Sanitary had invested Rs 20 crore to set up a small-scale unit at Morbi in Gujarat. The plant’s initial production capacity was 3.03 lakh pieces annually, which was expanded to 11.5 lakh pieces with a further investment of Rs 30 crore in 2017. “With this increased capacity we will be better placed to market our additional throughput without compromising brand identity or realisations. We are now the fifth largest sanitaryware manufacturer in the country.”
Somany Ceramics has been building its sanitaryware portfolio by bringing cabinet-basins, basins, toilets and urinals into its fold and unveiling new styles and designs in each category. Also, it has launched a high-end collection, the French Collection, as part of the premium segment to compete with foreign brands as well as the exports market. “The French Collection has gone on to become a rage and is still expanding. The launch led to setting standards within the Indian sanitaryware industry, which was very well appreciated by internal and external audiences. We are being recognised for our exclusively designed and quality range of sanitaryware and this is a matter of great pride for us,” Somany stresses.
Somany adds that the company will augment its dealer network for sanitaryware by appointing 60 to 70 multi-brand dealers in various parts of the country. “This step is vital for our business expansion,” he says.
Alongside building a dedicated dealer network, the company is widening its reach by launching experience centres as well. Very recently it set up the flagship Somany Experience Centre in Noida, which is going to be the first in the series. “With the launch of the 6,000-sft Somany Experience showroom in Noida, we have reiterated our commitment towards offering our consumers the best retail experience in class. We also plan to open two more Somany Experience Centers, an 8,000-sft centre in Bengaluru, and a 5,500-sft centre in Pune,” says somany.
Located in Sector 6 of Noida, the showroom will provide consumers with an “extensive” portfolio across various categories including ceramic wall and floor tiles, polished vitrified tiles, glazed vitrified tiles, digital tiles and sanitaryware and bath fittings. “It will be a one-stop destination catering to the bathroom needs of all discerning customers. It also has a team of dedicated and highly trained staff to ensure the on-time and efficient sale and after-sales service to ensure that the purchase of Somany products remains a hassle-free experience.”
Somany asserts that the company has one of the largest networks of ceramics and sanitaryware products in India, with 15,000-plus touch points across the country. “We will continue our network expansion drive in 2018-19 by opening 100-plus franchisee showrooms and company-owned experience centers pan-India.”