‘Indian bathing industry has become fashion-led’

‘Indian bathing industry has become fashion-led’

From purely a functional space to an aspirational one, bathroom space traverses a long distance. No doubt bathroom design is a skilled art and requires talented professionals to combine the latest trends and fashion with advanced technologies, says Sandeep Shukla, Head, Marketing & Communications, Jaquar Group, in an interaction with Prasenjit Chakraborty.

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has emerged as an undisputed market leader in the organised bath fitting category. Can you give some details on the group’s roadmap to keep the momentum in the sector going?

The space has come a long way from being the most neglected to the most inspirational and experiential space. Nowadays, bathrooms are changing from being a purely functional space to an aspirational one that is a retreat from the stresses and strains of modern, urban life. This is the change that is driving consumers towards products that are not just beautiful to look at but are also capable of delivering an indulgent experience with therapeutic benefits.

Jaquar Group offers numerous bath solutions to all segments across India, through its value brand Essco, luxury brand Artize and premium brand Jaquar.

Understanding the needs and demands of the consumers has helped us grow and lead the way in this industry. For instance, we have introduced the unique concept of orientation centres that allows a consumer to view over 150 complimenting bathing products under one roof. Trained staff provide expert advice, installation assistance, free estimation and a live demo to assist while you choose, visualise and create your bathroom.

India is a young and ambitious nation. People are looking for quality lifestyle not only in bigger cities but also in the tier-II and tier-III cities where we see a lot of potential. We have adapted an innovative and dynamic way of branding our bathing and sanitary products to effectively appeal to such a huge base of potential clients.

What is the ratio of consumption of your brand Artize commercial vis-à-vis residential segment?
Consumption for the brand Artize is 70% in residential segment and 30% in commercial segment.

In bath fitting segment, do you think design influences purchasing behavior of customers? If yes, explain.
Good design is that which adds to the user experience. It must combine a pleasing aesthetic with engineering prowess that incorporates perfect functionality and reliability. There are product categories, like apparel, in which the design carries a strong flavour of its cultural or geographical roots, and others in which the thrust is more on taking the development of the complete user experience to the next level.

Bathrooms and cars are similar in that respect. Nevertheless, Artize offer a wide range of design options to allow for excellent congruence with any style of home interiors – including multiple colour finish choices for the chrome plating on the faucets. Artize also offers a ‘Designer range’ of ceramics that include basins adorned with touches such as patterns inspired by India’s heritage.

What gives you an edge over your competitors?
Jaquar Group’s offering of a ‘complete bathroom solutions’ that offers products under every category and for every need of a consumer is the reason we are the leading sanitary ware brand in the country. Jaquar Group caters to various segments of bath industry with different brands for residential and commercial sectors such as Brand Artize for Luxury segment, Brand Jaquar for Premium segment and Brand Essco for Value segment.

What innovation can we expect from your company in the near future?
Brand Jaquar is sensitive to water conservation and has eco-friendly design ethos, which means that almost all our products preserve water through innovative concepts and proprietary technologies. Our Air shower gives the same feeling of standing below a natural rain with the use of 70% volume of water and 30% air. Our showers mix air and water to create that feeling. The same is the case with our W/C’s, which are dual flushing system based which save 50 -60% of water every day. When a normal faucet delivers 13 ltrs per minute of water, Jaquar aerator fitted faucets gives the same feeling with nearly 2.6 Lts of water discharge which saves almost 80 % of water.

As far as bath fitting category is concerned, what are the important changes you have seen in the last few years?
In recent times with changes in living style due to global exposure, Indian homes are graduating to higher levels of finesse. Coordinated living and kitchen spaces are becoming reality where all parts of your space have a common design language. We see a similar change in the bathing spaces, from mere functional spaces they have moved to being more of an experience zone.

Jaquar strives to meet the requirements of the new age consumer in accordance with the contemporary trends through constant research and development. Jaquar’s superior features in a wide range of products bring coordinated décor for the bath spaces.

With the rapid boom in the construction sector backed by rising aspiration of the Indian consumer to have designer aesthetics dress up their private spaces, the Indian bathing industry has become fashion-led than being just function-led.

Bathroom design is a skilled art and requires talented professionals to combine the latest trends and fashion with advanced technologies. Successful designs are conceptualised through insights into the practical needs of consumers and contemporary popular culture. With these factors in mind, Jaquar Group through constant research and development predict direction in which future trends are going.

What principles do you follow while designing and executing (your products) in bath space?
Every time we start a project we dig deep into the brand story and we listen to the people who lived it. Their vision and passion is the fuel to our ideas. Our work respects this vision and brings in our expertise as an integral part of each project. This is why the products we design become an extension of a wider brand experience. Take the work we have done for Jaquar and Artize for example. We challenged the norm, we sculpted metal to go beyond simple functionality. The group designs products which are simple yet elegant in design, easy to use and ensure great functionality.

Do you face any competition from the unorganised sector?
The unorganised sector contributes to a larger section of the sanitary ware industry. But consumers these days are looking for good quality and value for money products that Jaquar Group offers. We command over 60% market share making us the undisputed market leader in the organised bath fittings category

(Sandeep Shukla is the head for Marketing
Communications at the Jaquar Group where he is
responsible for the overall branding and marketing
initiatives at Jaquar to help establish it as a global
leader in complete bathing solutions. In the past,
Sandeep has worked on brands like HMT, Pepsi,
Nestle, Asahi and Evok.)

prasenjit.chakraborty@saffronsynergies.in

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