An undisputed market leader in the segment, HSIL Limited (better known for its brand Hindware) has perpetually moved ahead of time ever since it brought virtuous china sanitary ware to the country over fiVe decades back. With a strong focus on technology, design and innovation, the company has constantly tried to reinvent itself as the market profile of the segment changed. In this new series, Realty & More profiles the sanitary ware and faucets major on the basis of a detailed conversation with company Vice-President V Krishna murthy.
Stunningly-designed homes with ultramodern features, majorly driven by latest technology, caught the fancy of the upwardly mobile, high-income families in the country a few years ago. The developers, and those in the allied and accessory segment, were quick to grasp the phenomenon by launching projects and products to suit the requirements of this newfound clientele. Among many such players, the one which prides itself in vying for the prime slot is HSIL Limited which introduced Hindware virtuous china sanitaryware in India way back in 1960. The company also has the unenviable reputation of having stood the test of time by coming out with regular innovations and moving along with, or rather ahead of, time.
Having begun its journey over five decades back, Hindware has continued to grow through sustained focus on technology as well as design. But not content with attaining an iconic status and becoming virtually synonymous with sanitaryware and faucets in homes and housing projects across the country, HSIL turned its gaze on premium highend market by acquiring Queo- the luxury range of sanitaryware by Barwood, UK, in 2010 and launching it in India the next year.
Over the years the brand has performed well and today the company has close to 100 showrooms and channel partners where Queo is available to the end-customers. “The brand is doing pretty well”, V Krishnamurthy, Vice-President, HSIL Limited, told Realty & More in a candid chat and added, “We have been able to tap into some very high-end luxury projects, some of the very wellknown hospitality projects, apart from doing very well in the retail segments”.
Pegging the premium segment market size close to a whopping ~1 0,000 crore, Krishnamurthy said HSIL has set “very aggressive targets” for itself but he refused to disclose the exact figure. In fact, he said, “This segment of the market is growing at a much faster pace. Our guesstimate is that the growth rate is 25 per cent plus in the luxury end.”
Emphasising that retail is the main target of HSIL, Krishnamurthy said, “The idea of launching Queo in India was to tap into the premium-end of the market, where our other brand Hindware cannot reach. The HNIs, the luxury-end of the market, the highend premium-end of the market, where people primarily are looking into the high end designer product, that is the segment where Queo is meeting the demand.” According to HSIL, the Queo range of sanitaryware denotes elegance and reflects the design expectations of affluent Indians aspiring to own premier brands in their home. The first exclusive experiential store ofthe brand, Queo Emporio, was set up in Gurgaon. Now it has made its entry into Delhi with a debut store in Greater Kailash-11. Gradually it is expanding its reach across the country .
And not just metros and big cities! The company is quite bullish about the acceptability of a high-end brand like Queo in Tier-2, Tier-3 as cities well in not-too-distant future. Krishnamurthy said, “Disposable income is going up there also. As compared to metros, there are people in such cities who are willing to invest in such kind of designer products. Although the size of the market would be smaller, but yes there is good scope. “The company has already started getting into these markets. “Apart from the top 20 cities, we are getting into these smaller markets where we have our own distribution strength”, he said.
Quizzed about the initial response of HSILS recently-launched faucet brand ‘Element’, Krishnamurthy said excitedly, “Element is launched under Hindware brand which is completely inhouse designed, and perfect mixture of round and square.” It is good for people who like rounded design as well as people who like minimalistic design, he said, adding, “The initial response has been very good.”
Krishnamurthy also claimed that HSIL is currently “very close to Number 2 slot” in the faucet category which has about Rs 6000-6500-crore market.
HSIL Limited comprises two primary business divisions–Building Products and Packaging Products divisions. Within the Building Products division, the product line includes sanitaryware, faucets, well ness and other allied products, tiles and kitchen appliances. The product basket is available in the market under the brands Hindware Italian Collection, Hindware Art, Hindware, Amore, Vents and Benelave. The Container Glass Division, which the company claims to be the second largest today, constitutes glass and PET bottles, available under AGI and Garden Polymers respectively.
The company recently came up with a bathroom planning DVD app which, it claims, has huge takers. “At most of the exhibitions, we have architects coming and asking for this on a regular basis,” Krishnamurthy told Realty & More. He said the app was an initiative by Hindware to work with the architect segment. “The architects today work on bathroom planning with their customer in a very close manner. So looking at that need, we developed this software for them so that we can help them work better and offer a solution to the endcustomer,” he elaborated.
The company also claims to be having specialised solutions for developers in residential segment. “We work with most of the renowned developers on a regular basis. We try to offer them solutions depending on their project cost to meet their requirement,” Krishnamurthysaid.
With changing times, as bathrooms become integral part of home-planning and a place to showcase, HSIL has lined up massive plans for retail expansion. “Currently we have 1 00-plus Hindware Gallerias and we are in the verge of creating 100 more,” Krishnamurthy said wrapping up the chat.