Government initiatives have created additional demand for the building materials sector.
Atul Sanghvi, Executive Director, CERA Sanitaryware, confirms, “CERA has been able to benefit from affordable housing and has brought out an exclusive range under the brand name Jeet, aiming at this segment.”
Dinesh Vyas, Senior Vice-President and Head - Marketing, H & R Johnson (India), Division of Prism Johnson, believes the expectation of low-cost tiles has brought in the perception of low quality tiles. “The interesting thing is that some part of these perceived lowest cost products get converted to reasonably good quality products at a lower cost and we could exploit this new segment by making a budget category,” he says.
The tiles, sanitaryware and bath fittings industry appears to be over its slump following issues such as GST, RERA Act, demonetisation, and has witnessed good performance in the past year. As Sanghvi says, “CERA is growing, despite the not-so-buoyant market scenario.” In his view, the market growth for sanitaryware and tiles has not met expectations on account of slow-paced housing construction.
For his part, Vyas says, “The trend is positive and improvement on many parameters is encouraging. The continued thrust on housing and infrastructure will benefit the whole industry and us.” He believes the Indian ceramic industry has evolved in the past two decades. “Tiles made of ceramic are wonderful materials for wall and floor covering, superior on many counts than alternative materials. Tiles that are stronger, larger in size and in a range of aesthetic options using the latest technology have become much more affordable and a preferred choice in all types of construction—housing, commercial, industrial and infrastructure.” He is confident that, overall, the Indian tiles and sanitaryware industry will continue to do well and brands with superior products and service levels who connect with end-users as well as influencers will continue to grow. Part of their growth could also be at the expense of marginal players, who are slow to respond to changing consumer expectations, product quality and service levels.