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Oct, 08 2018

WHEN BATHROOMS BECOME LIFESTYLE SPACES

The sanitary ware industry is witnessing high demand for luxurious, innovative and technologically smart bathroom solutions from the emerging metros and with smart cities, by Khusnuma Parween.

Today we are living in an era of personalisation, uniqueness and technologically smart products so that consumers look for the same value propositions while choosing products for their bathroom spaces. Today’s consumers are increasingly focusing on bathrooms as a wellness space and are spending more time there, not merely for hygiene reasons, but to relax and get a sense of wellbeing. Therefore, designer bathrooms are now becoming style statements amongst Indians, given their global exposure. In fact, the sanitary ware industry witnessed growth of 12-15% CAGR with an estimated industry size of Rs 3,500 crore.

Thanks to advance technology that has redefined the industry and taken hygiene to the next level, there are now a plethora of new offerings like water-reuse technology, soft air vortex technology, in-tank and rimless technology that ensures maximum flushing performance, etc. Solutions such as high efficiency flushing systems, infrared controls and sensor taps and showers have gained maximum popularity. The average spend per mid-segment bathroom is now Rs 30,000 as compared to Rs 20,000 five
years ago.

The Experience Centres

Interestingly, a new concept of in-store experience has grown tremendously important and manufacturers have established ‘experience centres’, which are one-stop shops where a customer can view a virtual version of their bathrooms, post-renovation. This has led to a boom in the industry. “As a part of our growth strategy, we are focused on giving enhanced first-hand experience of our products to consumers and we have been adding exclusive Roca and Parryware display studios in the country. With around 250 outlets selling products of Roca brand in India, we aim to increase it significantly across all major locations,” mentions K E Ranganathan, Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products (P) Ltd.

Technology and Design

Technology is swiftly seeping through our living spaces today and bathrooms today are anything but mundane. Some of the leading brands have created unique spaces where technology meets with design to create a new brand experience with its wide range of products. Taking hygiene to the next level, the new range of bathroom solutions has elevated the technology standards of bathroom products. For instance, Toto, a leading sanitary ware brand, offers a range from ‘Washlet’ technology that allows water to be used for personal cleaning to ‘Tornado Flush’ circulating whirlpool of water which thoroughly and efficiently cleans every inch of the bowl. It has other technologies too such as Eco Cap, Self Power and Premist. “Our brand is certainly a next generation thing. We understand our consumers and needs and evolve our brand to be both consumer and eco-friendly,” informs, Manoj Tiwari, Manager, Toto. The brand has created a strong presence with 70% company-owned stores and 30% franchise stores all over the country.

Luxury in demand

Looking at luxury bathroom spaces, the individual spend has gone past Rs 10 lakhs per bathroom, where you have smart toilets, electronic faucets, whirlpools and bathtubs. RAK Ceramics India, for example, has brought a new range of luxury through the salt and pepper model, soluble salt models, full mass products, and techno slate.

Delarship on rise

“We are also actively enhancing our footprint by opening company-owned orientation centres as well as exclusive and privilege dealer outlets while seeping further into multi-brand outlets across the length and breadth of the country,” informs, Anuj Gupta, Head-Sales, RAK Ceramics. The brand plans to have a greenfield plant in North India, operative from 2018 - 19. Interestingly, the growth curve in the sanitary ware market is now also spreading to cover Tier II and III cities where, as industry observers say, there is now a growing aspiration value for a luxury lifestyle.

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