Bhupendra Vyas, Chief Operating Officer, Asian Granito India Ltd

“We are very hopeful that Gujarat would be made as a ceramic HUB & cheaper Gas availability would improve tremendously.”

Jun 11, 2014 08:06 IST India Infoline News Service

Bhupendra Vyas, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Asian Granito India Ltd, has over three decades of experience in the industry. He holds a Master's Degree in Management from one of India's premier Management Institutes, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), University of Mumbai with specialization in advanced marketing, advertising & sales promotion and international business. Mr. Vyas has exceptionally sound experience of introducing Indian brands in the International markets such as: USA, Canada, Europe, Middle -East, South Africa, Australia, Taiwan, Russia, Korea, Latin America and Singapore. Mr. Vyas has also been the recipient of Best Marketing Professional award towards his contribution to Indian Ceramic Industry at Las Vegas, USA (Year 2013).

Asian Granito India is among the top five ceramic tile manufacturers in India. The company manufactures and markets interior and infrastructure products like vitrified wall and floor tiles, marble and quartz stone. Established in the year 2000, company has grown its manufacturing capacity 40-fold in 14 years, from 2500 square meters per day in the year 2000 to over 1 lakh square meters currently (including outsourcing). Company also exports to nearly 42 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, Asian Granito India Limited is listed on NSE and BSE.

Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of IIFL, Bhupendra Vyas says, “We are very hopeful that Gujarat would be made as a ceramic HUB  & cheaper Gas availability would improve tremendously.”

Give us a brief overview of the ceramic tile industry in India.

In the last decade, the tiles industry has evolved into a more organised market with new users emerging in various industries. Competition and affordability have transformed the industry and tiles have become a fashion product and its application areas have undergone a tremendous change.

The Indian Ceramic Tile industry is estimated to be of Rs. 23,000 crore of which 40% is organized while 60% is unorganized sector. The organised players in the industry (consisting of floor tiles, vitrified tiles, porcelain tiles etc.) are expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% in the coming years. However, last year the industry grew by 13%, this was due to the fact that there was an industry shutdown for a month.

India’s rank in the total world production improved from fifth in 2008 to third in 2012, with a CAGR growth of 15% during the period as against the global CAGR growth of 7%. In India 60% of the tiles market is still unorganised and 40% is organised and there is a clear shift from unorganised market to organised due to the superior product quality, latest design, technology etc. The organised player in Indian tile industry is growing at 25-30% while growth of unorganised players is lower.

Also increasing proportion of fast-growing GVT segment tiles in the total consumption clearly shows a clear shift in consumer preference for higher value-added products.

What are the changing trends in tile consumption in India?

Per capita consumption of tile in India is very low as compared to global standard and hence there is huge scope for improvement. Homes are becoming more and more aspirational for consumers and they are willing to spend those extra bucks in home beautification.

Earlier tiles were mainly found in bathrooms and kitchens but now due to the wide range of designs and beautiful characteristics, interior decorators, architects and individuals as well are willing to use tiles for flooring, drawing rooms, bedrooms, exteriors and balcony as decorative products. Printing technology too has transformed dramatically as digital printing has opened up new avenues for the tiles industry.

Headquartered in Ahmedabad, what benefits did you see with Narendra Modi as the CM? Now that he has taken over as Prime Minister, what benefits do you expect for the industry as a whole?

Mr. Modi has been a dynamic and forth coming leader, who understands the importance of development and believes in processes that would help in quick decisions.  Post Mr. Modi taking charge as the prime minister we are hopeful that the same will continue at the national level. We are very hopeful that Gujarat would be made as a ceramic HUB  & cheaper Gas availability would improve tremendously.

What are some of the triggers which will boost growth? What are the opportunities and challenges for the sector in general and the company in particular?

Growth of the ceramic industry is fuelled with the increasing domestic demand in various sectors. Be it the increasing need for quality products in sectors like hospitality, construction, corporate spaces or residential premises, the demand curve has been very positive and motivating for us as well the entire industry. 

The biggest opportunity is the huge middle class population of India have an increased ability and desire to spend with more disposable income on hand. Along with this, a changing life style better cost of living are others factors that are drivers for growth. Besides, this India has attracted quite a handful multinationals to set up in India which has further pushed the growth of the Indian tile industry.

However, there also a few challenges for the industry. The increasing input costs and the steep rise in energy costs are the most critical issues for the ceramic industry. Apart from these, the overall slowdown in the economy has also brought about a slump in the real estate and construction sectors which has indirectly affected the ceramic industry as well.  

How has Asian Granito transformed over the years. What would you describe as your big success stories? Any anecdotes?

Asian Granito India Ltd (AGL) is today one of India’s top five tiles companies manufacturing and exporting ceramic, vitrified tiles, marbles and quartz. Company exports its products to nearly 42 countries. Company has grown its manufacturing capacity 40-fold in 14 years, from 2500 square metres per day in the year 2000 to 1,00,000 + sq. mtrs per day currently (including outsourcing).

The company started its productions from Idar, Gujarat in the year 2000 and within a year production capacity of its ceramic floor tiles reached 2500 sq. mtr. per day. By 2004, company increased the production capacity of ceramic tiles to 6000 Sq. mtr. per day and also started manufacturing  20"x20" and 24"x 24" vitrified tiles with a capacity of 4000 sq. mtr. per day. Till 2007 company was well equipped to produce ceramic and vitrified tiles in different sizes & formats and also launched its own display centres - AGL's Tiles World in 14 cities namely Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Gandhinagar, Himmatnagar, Jaipur, Kochi, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh & Surat.

In 2008, we launched an exclusive collection of wall tiles and introduced India's largest and finest range of tiles in the sizes of 900x300 mm with production capacity of 10,000 sq. mtr. a day. In 2009, 2010 and 2012 we added new products in our catalogue like Quartz Stone (10x4 Feet Slabs) and Grestek Nxt Digital Ceramic wall tiles respectively. In 2012, we also launched ‘Digital Vitrified’ tiles and in 2013 our ‘Microcrystal’ and ‘Third Fire’ collections have been launched.

Asian Granito India Ltd has introduced many world-class products in India and has emerged as a corporate brand that is ‘Leading the Change’ in the tile industry of the country. It has focused on constant product innovation and has kept pace with rapidly changing technologies in the industry.

Asian Granito India Ltd has focused on constant product innovation and latest technology in tiles industry and has introduced many world-class products first time in India. Popular products of the company include Digital Wall Tiles, Micro Crystal Tiles, Hi-Tech Tuff Guard, 3rd fire Décor tiles, Porcellanto digital tiles, Digital Glazed Vitrified etc. Company has taken a further leap on the technology front to become the first company in India to be able to indigenous manufacture high-tech ‘Micro Crystal’ collection of floor tiles for the luxury segment.

The latest offering from Asian Granito India Ltd. is the ‘Carrara White’ double charge tiles in 800 x 800mm; it is the world’s whitest tile in the unglazed larger format with ‘L value > 90’.

Company has eight state-of-the-art ultra modern plants manufacturing world class Tiles, Marble & Quartz in Gujarat. Company has 1200+ tiles designs on offer. Focusing on having a strong retail presence pan-India, company has already opened more than 50 ‘AGL Tiles World Exclusive showrooms’ and plans to set up 100 more exclusive stores across India in a year’s time. Company has its own more than 15 display centres pan-India.

Company posted turnover of Rs. 796 crore for FY 2012-13, has managed strong CAGR growth of over 20% in its revenues in last five years.

How much is institutional and retail sales. Which are the major infrastructure projects you are involved?

Asian Granito India Ltd has focused on constant product innovation and latest technology in tiles industry and has introduced many world-class products first time in India, and as a result, the company has been involved in various projects across the country. Some of its projects for Hi-Traffic  “TuFFGUARD” digital tiles are:

  • Gaur Gravity Mall – Indirapuram [Ghaziabad] – Gaursons Builders

  • Tech Mahindra – Pune

  • DLF Commercial – Hyderabad

  • DLF OMR Project – Chennai

  • Hotel Royal Orchids - Bangalore

  • Karpagam Hospital – Coimbatore

  • NTP College – Coimbatore

  • Kankaria Lake Development – Ahmedabad

  • Central Office Building [PWD] – Surat

  • Acropolis Mall – Ahmedabad

  • Sports Club of Gujarat – Ahmedabad

  • Airport Arrival Terminal 1D - Delhi

Brief us about your manufacturing units and its capacity? How much of this is outsourced?

We have eight states of art ultra modern plants manufacturing world class Tiles, Marble & Quartz in Gujarat. Company’s facilities are ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certified and are fully equipped with latest technologies to give contemporary touch to its products. We regularly invest in expanding, upgrading and modernization of our manufacturing capacities.

The company has grown its manufacturing capacity 40-fold in 14 years, from 2500 square metres per day in the year 2000 to over 1 lakh square metres. Currently out of which 25% is outsourced.

Moreover, with our tie up with Affil Vitirified (Pvt.) Ltd. for introducing higher-end Double Charge tiles, we will be able to produce 7,000 sq. mtrs of Double Charge tiles per day.

Brief us on your financials. What is the outlook?

Asian Granito India Limited posted turnover of Rs. 796 crore for FY 2012-13. During last five years company has managed strong CAGR growth of over 20% in its revenues. Going further company plans to double its turnover to around Rs. 1,500 crore in the next 3-4 years and significantly expand its footprints in global markets.

Which are the different segments you cater to? Which is your costliest tile?

We cater to almost all segments - residential, commercial and industrial. We have supplied our products to malls, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, educational institutions, Airports, etc. 800 X 800 mm microcrystal tiles are one of our costliest tiles because of special coating layer that makes it super high gloss.

What is the vision of the company?

We envision the company to be leader in ceramic industry and remain as innovative global leader. We want to be known for our exquisite quality and the ability of consistently introduce innovative and value-added products in the market and win the Trust of our Valued Customers Worldwide.

Tell us about your marketing and distribution network.

Since the past decade, we have persistently worked and planned to build a pan-India network in order to reach as many sections of the country as possible. We have today developed an extensive marketing and distribution network which comprises over 4000 dealers and sub-dealers spread across each and every state of the country. Apart from a strong national presence, globally we are present in 42 countries across the world.

We have been strategically working to build a strong retail presence pan-India, Asian Granito India Ltd. and have successfully opened 52 exclusive showrooms till date in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Amravati, Gonda (Uttar Pradesh), Udaipur, Trichy, Nasik and Jalandhar.

What has been the response to ‘AGL tiles world exclusives’? How many such outlets do you have?

We felt the need of an exclusive tiles showroom for people with discerning taste, who are always on the lookout for something different and exclusive. A place where one can choose from a wide range of tiles available in varied sizes and types for home & office spaces. The AGL Tiles World Exclusive showrooms are a way of the company to bridge the gap between the wants and desires of the customers.

At Asian Granito India Ltd, we believe in providing more to customers, not only in terms of quantity, but also quality, which is precisely what we are set to achieve through the AGL Tiles World Exclusives.

Company has already set up over 52 such exclusive showrooms and plans to set up 100 more exclusive showrooms across India in a year’s time.

Tell us about your international presence. Which are the new markets you are tapping?

Asian Granito India Ltd is the first Indian tiles company to have set up an exclusive and the largest showroom in Johannesburg, South Africa spread across 7,000 square feet. We have also been exporting to over 42 countries across the globe. In last few years our presence has further strengthened in Middle East & Gulf countries, Africa and even Europe & America.

In the FY 2012-13 export sales stands at Rs. 23.3 crore as compared to Rs. 14.2 crore in FY 2011-12 – growth of over 50%.

In the years to come company will focus on increasing its presence in more export markets. Company is confident of getting good response from export market for its high end product range including Microcrystal range, Double Charge Tiles, Tuff guard range. Company expects to increase export sales to cross Rs. 100 crore in next 3 years.

What is the ownership pattern of the company?

As of March 31, 2014, the promoter group of  Asian Granito India Ltd. holds around 37.5 % of the equity stake in the company, FIIs have a 4.2% stake and the rest is with the Indian public.

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