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~'.--.;~.., November-December

2008

A BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR BUILDING PRODUCTS


CERAMIC

TILES

Indo-Italian

Connections

The Indian market has caught the fancy of the Italian ceramic tile industry

T

HE ITALIAN TILE INDUSTRY, known for its unique concepts and designs, is exporting to more than 180countries worldwide.With a remarkable 38% share in the international market, Italy is the largest supplier of designer tiles, and now its tile manufacturing companies are testing the waters in the fast evolvingIndian market. India has emerged as one of the most important markets for the Italian ceramic industry, and in 2007 registered one of the most substantial increases in tile consumption. Due to the extraordinary growth potential ill the building industry, the market for Italian tiles tripled since late 1990s. However, it is only in the last few years that the Indian market has been 94

witnessing an increased interest by Italian tile experts. To increase their visibility, Italian manufacturers are making a point to attend more business shows and exhibitions in the country. Recently, an Italian trade mission representing Italian tilemanufacturers came to explore the. Indian market, and harness some business. The team also participated in the first edition of the BuildArch trade show in Bangalore that was held from 2124 October. With an exhibition area of 12,000 sqm, 172 exhibitors and around 5,000 trade visitors, BuildArch 2008 offered the Italian trade mission a platform to showcase their latest products to Indian buyers, and make contacts with importers and distributors. Sourcing Hardware _ November路December 2008

Andreas De Rosi (aderosi@gmail.com) of Ceramica Mediterranea, who was at BuildArch, says, 'We are aware that India is a vast market with a growing demand for products that are unique in design and character; in fact, the market here has developed immensely and is even ready to welcome products that cater to a niche market." To get a foothold in this market, Ceramica Mediterranea has recently finalised an agreement with Eon Interio products and is setting up a showroom in New Delhi. It is also negotiating with 16 other companies for a similartie-up. Rosi as well as many of the Italian exhibitors confirmed that inquiries from Indian trade buyers were pouring in so fast that they are expecting good revenues in the corning year. "We are geared up well for the next year and expect to generate a revenue of around a million euros by selling around 2,00,000 sqm of tiles in 2009," says Rosi. With its vast pool of tiles, Ceramica Mediterranea is looking forward to appointing distributors in India. "For us, an ideal distributor would be one with at least five years of experience, who has a good number of showrooms, and has made strong inroads in the tile industry," adds Rosi. Clearly, there are signs that the companies coming to India are aiming at a long-term relationship. However, what remains to be seen is whether the highpriced Italian tiles will get a good response in the price-sensitiveIndian market. . Interestingly, most Italian tile manufacturers are extremely optimistic about being accepted in the Indian market. "India is a huge market, and we envisage a lot of business potential for Italian companies," says Giuseppe Sala (g.sala@r ondinegroup.com) of Rondine Group. "It is our observation that this market is higWy receptive to new products, materials and designs across all price segments." The Rondine Group has entered an agreement with Cera Sanitaryware Ltd, a sanitaryware major with a wide dealernetwork. By adding premium ceramic


Italians at BuildArch 2008 •

A1raeco (export@altaeco.com)

Cedir (cedir@cedir.it)

Re.6n (customer-care@refin.it)

Novabell (marco.pellacani@novabell.it)

Impronta Cerarniche (g.fomanesi@ improoraceramiche.com)

CeramicsMediterranea(b.mazohl@cermed.info)

Ceramiche di Siena Gambarelli (fcanovi@ gambarelligroup.com)

Rondine Group (g.sala@roodinegroup.com)

Cir (cir@cir.i t)

Litokol (info@litokol.it)

Lea (a.muttoni@ceramichelea.it)

Ceramica Lord (commitalia@ccramicalord.it)

Gres di Montevecchio(wwwgresdimontevecchio.ir)

tiles of its Italian partner, it will become a complete bathroom solutions provider. What comes as a surprise is that even in these times of recession, Rondine is highly optimistic about getting bigger gains from the Indian market in the coming year. However, these Italian companies are very emphatic about finding a suitable distributor in India. They are looking for channel partners who cater to high-end consumers who would be more likely to buy the trendy and glamourous Italian products. Sandeep Chadha (chadha.sandeep.ne wdelhi@ice.it), senior trade analyst with Italian Trade Commission holds a similar view."Italy is known as a global trendsetter, and its designer tiles need no introduction. In India too, there is an ever-increasing demand for these tiles, but due to a huge difference in the prices, Italian tiles can be targeted only at the high-end segment of the Indian market." Speaking about the future of Italian tile manufacturers in the Indian context, Chadha adds, ''Although the Italian comparues are presently looking for channel partners in India, we cannot rule out the possibilityof their investing in India sometime in the near future. They have shown interest, and are definitelyevaluating the feasibility of setting up manufacturing units here to develop products specifically for the Indian buyer." It is clearlyvisible that the Indian market is opening up to Italian tiles, for with their uperior manufacturing processes and high esign quotient, they bring a strong element f fashion to the staid building materials in ndia. •

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Distributorship / Deale k

"A

TRAdES

ip Enquiries Solicited

Regd. Off. AK DANUM Design Lounge

SA] GAURAV 'A' Wing, 2040 Jan Mohd St. Pune-411 001, INDlA Tel: 91 02026340064, fax: 91 02026340062 e-mail: sales@akdanum.com

www.akdanum.com

Kannni Kulsbresbtba

Sourcing Hardware - November-December 2008

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Sourcing Hardware