Technological advancement in the sanitaryware sector has led to growth in the bathroom industry. Awareness about safe sanitation has increased among people and bathrooms have become an important part of a structure’s design. Serhan Ates Yagiz, India Country Manager, VitrA, in conversation with Ambarin Chougle gives an overview on the current demands and forecasts how the market will shape up.
How is the market for the bathroom industry today?
The growth of the bathroom industry is being fuelled right now by 3 different things: the increase in disposable income of families, the growing interest in re-evaluating the ideas of hygiene and most importantly, access to new technologies. The idea of redoing bathrooms to make them more efficient and hygienic is what most families’ desire fervently and VitrA, with their line of bathroom series like the AutoClean washbasins and V-Care WC pans, are tapping into just that need. The process of hygiene in the bathroom has been rethought and amplified with help of some intelligent technology to create functional solutions and sculptured designs that make something that every family would love to own. There has been an increased awareness about proper sanitation in developing countries resulting in an increasing number of initiatives by the governments towards the same. The revenues in the Indian Sanitaryware market are almost 20% of the overall market revenues and these are expected to keep growing by over 12%.
With the ever-changing styles in bathroom designs, what are the demands of people? How do you cater to that?
A home today is an extension of an individual’s personality and his beliefs. This concept of style and cohesiveness extends to the bathroom as well. A person generally wants to have an overall well-designed, harmonious feel to the bathroom and not just individual fixtures when they redo or design their bathroom. From the faucets to the basins to even the bathroom cabinets, they are looking for a complete look overall. It is similar to buying an entire outfit. However, in case of something as big as designing a bathroom, individual buying can be a long, tedious and exhausting process for people. VitrA caters to this problem by providing complete bathroom solutions. We collaborate with leading international designers and create entire bathroom looks, if one may call it that, to give a sense of cohesive and beautifully elegant style that our customers are looking forward to.
How did you come up with the idea of reinterpreting the traditional bathroom layout?
Knowing that today people are keen on emulating the newest trends or fashions, we reinterpreted the traditional bathroom layout. Modernity is everywhere, so why leave it out of something as basic as your bathroom? We were focusing on bringing trendy current elements that are current to a place where the style is difficult to envision. One would definitely enjoy the convenience and comfort of the advanced innovative hygiene technologies VitrA has to offer. For instance, our toilet seats with built-in bidets, programmable thermostats that let you set preferences for temperature, timing, water pressure and more. An example would be V-care, designed by the renowned German Design Studio, NOA. It is a remote-controlled VitrA innovation that offers the ultimate experience for personal hygiene and comfort with its bidet that is self-cleaning. Programmable water temperature and washing options, air drying and odour absorption features are among VitrA’s futuristic elements.
VitrA is a leading brand of Eczacbaş, a prominent Turkish industrial group. Eczacbaş, core sectors are building products, healthcare and consumer products. VitrA manufacturers 5 million units of sanitary ware, 350,000 bathtubs, 370,000 units of bathroom furniture, 3 million faucets and 2.5 million bathroom accessories every year.50% of production is exported to over 75 countries worldwide for sale in 150 exclusive showrooms and 2,000 sales points across the world.
Which are the new technologies & innovations you are coming up with after the ‘Water Jewel’ collection?
VitrA offers a number of technological advancements one of which is the ‘VitrA Fresh’ known for maximising hygiene. The liquid cleaner tank on top of the WC pan adds liquid detergent to the flushing water and with every flush it maximises hygiene. Our exquisite bathroom series like Metropole and Nest Series and many more are equipped with this technology. VitrA Fresh ensures a pleasant odour in the bathroom together with superior hygiene and sanitation. This series gives maximum hygiene and fresh odour along with sophistication and ease of operation.
You offer a different bathroom series. Please tell us more. Any new bathroom series we can expect in the near future?
Innovation is at the core of VitrA. We are always trying to find ways to make our collections more aesthetically pleasing, as well as bringing new ideas into the market. Our designers are some of the most talented, award-winning mavericks who understand the design philosophy of VitrA, as though it is hard wired in their brains. They are constantly creating and designing. So, of course, yes, we have a lot of tricks up our sleeves. The launch of our next series will happen this year. We intend to bring 2019 in with something very fresh and exciting! We intend to amaze our customers like we have done in the past and so, won’t be disclosing any details of the collection yet. I guess we like our element of surprise a little too much to give our secrets away just. But, it will certainly be well worth waiting for.
What are your specials attributes while delivering your services?
VitrA envisions the bathroom as the embodiment of flawless design: a living space with refined aesthetics, inspiring design, complementary and compact furniture and fixtures. The large in-house design studio in Turkey collaborates with a world-class array of award-winning industrial designers: to introduce original and complementary, theme-based designs, where every element from washbasins and toilets to bath and cabinets flow together like a visual symphony.
Where do you see the market going in the next few years?
India is emerging as a sanitaryware manufacturing hub, with several domestic and overseas brands setting up across the country. The fact that VitrA, a leading brand from Turkey has set up its stores widely across India, is one of the biggest examples of this. In India, water closets, followed by cisterns and wash basins, account for the highest revenue share in the overall sanitary ware market. However, with increasing urbanisation and awareness about safe sanitation, the demand for other sanitary products such as sinks, bidets, pedestals, etc., is expected to increase over the forecast period. Further, with increasing brand awareness and demand for technologically innovative, luxurious and stylish sanitary ware, the market share of organised players in the overall sanitary ware market is expected to increase in the coming years. Individuals have become more and more brand and style conscious along with the requirement of comfort and hygiene which paves the way for continuous growth in the sanitaryware sector.