How These Legacy Businesses are 'Shower'ing the Essence of Living Industry leaders talk about how they found a stronghold in the country
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Doing away with conventions is a mandate for every entrepreneur! Likewise, a split in the family business, prompted Somany brothers to start their ventures in the similar segments. Headquartered in Gurgaon, R. K. Somany started Hindustan Sanitaryware Industries Limited (HSIL) in 196o0, under the name of Hindustan Twyfords Ltd, which mostly manufactures bathroom durables. Far East, in Kolkata, Vikram Somany started Cera Sanitarwyare Limited (CSL). While, H.L. Somany in 1969 forayed into embellishing floor tiles and started Somany Ceramics. Today, together they capture above 50 per cent of the market space.
Hindustan Sanitaryware Industries Limited
They say legacy is not made but built, and the story is no different for HSIL. Started in 1960, the company continues to lead the sanitary ware industry for over five decades, through continuous innovations and inspiring designs. "We saw the need to bring in a completely new brand to match the consumer demands in terms of design sensibilities and quality," says Sandip Somany, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, HSIL. The brand manufactures relevant bathroom solutions and recently, they have launched their kitchen range. Taking pride in their innovation, Somany adds, "We were the first in India to use pressure die cast machines. These highly advanced technological processes ensure our ceramics are flawless," says Somany. They got Shah Rukh Khan on board as their brand ambassador.
Leading brand in ceramic tiles, Somany Ceramics has about 15,000 touch points including a network of 1800 active dealers and 350 plus showrooms.
The brand evokes a deep-rooted trust amongst customers. "We aim to enhance the buyer's experience through an expansive network of dealerships and stores pan India," says Abhishek Somany, MD, Somany Ceramics.
Recently, the team even launched their latest 360? brand campaign - 'Apka style, Somany style' through which it is aiming to create a youthful and trendy recall. "Currently, we are further strengthening our existing product portfolio by innovating and introducing new products including sanitary ware and bath fittings," he says.
What started as a small plant in 1979, with a capacity to manufacture about 1,000 pieces of sanitary ware per day, is now the third-largest sanitary ware company in India. Cera now commands a 20 per cent share in the Rs 1,000-crore organised market. Having transformed according to the changing customer needs, the company has continuously upgraded its technology and their brand logo is redesigned every five years. Speaking of innovation, the company has introduced 3-D printing technology to convert a product idea to a manufactured sample within a week's time. This technology is unique to CSL and hence, launch of new products has become much faster. "Though we have online presence for product promotion, sale through online platforms is currently insignificant. However, we are future-ready. Our current brick-and-mortar distributors are quite well-entrenched," says Deepshikha Khaitan, Vice Chair person, Cera. Essentially, the company remains an Indian brand, made in India and made for Indian consumers. With its wide range of network of over 2,000 distributors and over 10,000 retailers, it is available practically everywhere.