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With a national presence of over 4,000 retailers, Orient Tiles is well on its way to success.
Tell us about Orient Tiles. What is Orient's USP?
Orient Ceramics and Industries Limited (OSIL) was formed in 1977 as a public limited company. The company got listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 1993 and on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1997. From an initial installed capacity of 4,000 TPA in 1977, the company's production capacity now stands at 2,20,000 TPA or 38,000 sq.mt per day. With an in-house European designer Maria Jose Castillo, Orient Tiles also has a designing centre in Europe. As of now, OCIL enjoys a national presence with 4,000+ retailers.
How did the idea of tile manufacturing company come into your mind? What range of tiles do you manufacture?
The idea came primarily due to the nature of the product (tiles) in terms of its importance in the construction industry. A tile has no real substitute, thus, the importance and longevity of its contribution in the construction industry stands without any parallel. OCIL manufactures the widest range of non-vitrified, vitrified, ultra-vitrified and 3rd fired decorative tiles for walls, floors and facades. The company also imports the vitrified porcelain tiles, borders, motifs and other value-added accessories from various countries.
What market research did you conduct to reach the target consumers?
Tile consumption in India is at a meager 0.5 sqm/capita. There is endless potential for tiles to be used both in new construction as well as the refurbishment market. This important statistic of low tile consumption combined with the fact that tiles are a fundamental part of the construction industry were the driving factors to get into the tile business.
What challenges did you face in the business and how you overcome them?
Technical challenges were the prime source of concern. Although the machinery was imported and expensive, it was not easy to control quality and consistency of production. These challenges were tackled with a combination of good training and development as well as consistent technology absorption at the plant.
What kind of training will you provide to the franchisees for effectively operating the stores?
Since our franchise stores will be a natural extension of our brand, we will be investing significantly in training the franchisee and their staff in many areas like company history, brand values, tile selection criteria, product knowledge, store maintenance, merchandising and after sales service. OCIL adopted franchising as it provides a unique platform to showcase our products to the masses/target audiences.
What are your marketing strategies to beat competition?
We do not have much competition due to strategic marketing and world-class products we offer. We are focusing on visibility expansion and eyeing 100 thousands sq.ft of retail area via company-owned company-operated (COCO), shop-in-shops and franchise stores.
How many manufacturing units do you have in India?
We have our state-of-the-art manufacturing unit at Sikandrabad, UP, with a production capacity that exceeds 9 million sq.mtrs per annum and conforms to IS 13753-56: 1993 of BIS specifications and ISO 10545-1/17 ISO 13006 for dust pressed ceramic tiles. We also have manufacturing units in Gujarat.
Interviewed by Amanpreet Kaur