Founded in 1969 by late Shri H. L. Somany, Somany Ceramics is an internationally acclaimed organization that specializes in ceramics and allied products segment. In the last four decades, Somany Ceramics has established itself as an unchallenged leader in the Indian Ceramic Industry and globally as well. Somany is a complete décor solutions provider and its extensive range of products include – Ceramic Wall and Floor Tiles, Polished Vitrified Tiles, Glazed Vitrified Tiles, Digital Tiles, Sanitaryware and Bath Fittings as well as Tile Laying Solutions. #Surfaces Reporter recently spoke to Abhishek Somany, MD, Somany Ceramics Ltd on the launch of their new Premium bath-fittings Collection - French Collection, furture plans and more.
How has been the journey so far with the Somany Sanitaryware – from starting at a basic level to launching the premium collection?
When we launched sanitaryware, it was at the basic level. In sanitaryware, the largest part of sales is at the bottom end of the Prism. So we started at that level and slowly moved up. We launched the Somany Signature which was one step up. Post that, we launched the Somany French Collection.
We didn’t want to get into the Top end series without own manufacturing facilities. Today, we are the 5th largest in India in terms of manufacturing. The whole segment is fairly busy, and there is competition in each segment. However, with our products, we aim to differentiate within the segment with some unique designs.
Entering the CP Fittings market is not easy. How has it been for Somany?
Sanitaryware has not been that tough for us, it was much smoother for us compared to CP fittings which had been tougher. We did have issues with delivery and quality in the first couple of years. Now that we have our own plant, I think this is catching pace. A lot of our success has been to do with the establishment of the brand in the Tile segment and the strong distribution network that we have, which is a good thing.
The not so good thing about it is, people expect a lot from Somany. I think most brands have failed because distribution becomes a challenge. Fortunately, this is something what we already have at home. We have 1700-1800 dealers and 10000 touch points. With the pace that we have taken now, I must say that between the two, Sanitaryware has been a smoother ride.
How are you going to display the French Collection for the Architects and Designers in India?
We have 330 different exclusive outlets across India, most of them will have the French Collection. So in each Tier 1 and 2 cities, we will have at least 8-10 dealers who would stock the French Collection Sanitaryware and the bath fittings.
As and when the capacity builds up, these franchises will also go up. We have 19 company owned showrooms across india today in cities like, Delhi, Chandigarh, Noida, Cochin, Banglore, Chennai, Coimbatore, etc. There is already a dedicated area for French Collection Bath fittings and Sanitaryware within the showroom.
Do you have any Message for Architects & Designers regarding your recently launched collection?
One message is that we have tried to differentiate. Amongst the 8 ranges, we have already got two Red Dot winners in our kitty. We have got a beautiful range of accessories, showers and mirrors to complement so an architect can design the bath space from a single design source, specially curated for them.
Secondly, we have been able to get new finishes, which are world class. We have the matte black, bronze, gold and more. Not many Indian companies have that kind of collection. The 8 design collection are distinctly different from each other and markedly different from the competition as well.
You have also launched a very high tech WC in a reasonable price range, as compared to competition with similar features. What has been the thought behind it?
Yes. Features remain the same. I think the kind of demand that have come with the Automatic Smart Toilets have gone to such an extent that they have become cheaper. Just like you get smartphones in various price points, you can say it is an affordable smart toilet. We are trying to make this more affordable. We have two different categories in these Smart toilets, one is at the higher end, while one at the lower end which has really been priced competitively to provide the best in that category.