An MBA's Journey into the Tiles Industry

Vikram Singh AGL

BMRs Editor Sandeep Lathhwal was in conversation with Mr. Vikram Singh, Sudarshan Marble & Tiles, Kharadi, Pune on a variety of issues, including trends in the local markets, growth, effects of the pandemic on business and future prospects. 

Mr. Singh reminisced how he came to Pune to pursue his MBA dreams in August 2010 and how he used to help his uncle out in his stone business that initially drew him towards his entrepreneurial journey. After completing his MBA he joined HDFC as a manager in 2012. But the entrepreneurial bug never really left him. He resigned from his job and headed back to his hometown in Udaipur. A visit to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine was followed by an offer for a business partnership from an earlier associate. The entrepreneurial journey finally took off in the last week of January 2013. 


AGL Dealer in Pune


Mr Singh fondly recollected how he started from scratch and how a quick tutorial on tiles flagged off a remarkable journey. The first sale was logged a fortnight into the business, a princely order of ten thousand rupees and Mr. Singh never looked back. Learning the ropes fast he logged in sales of rupees one crore in March itself. 


The partnership, unfortunately, lasted only a couple of years, but the journey continued. In August 2016 the new place came up despite heavy financial odds. An old family acquaintance lends a helping hand and the new showroom for tiles materialised in 2017. Three siblings gave it their all. When labours were in short supply the owners loaded the trucks themselves. 


Mr. Vikram Singh recollects how AGL (Asian Granito Ltd.) had closely collaborated with him since 2016. He explained how Asian Granito Ltd. had shown immense trust in their mutual dealings. He credited AGL for his over a dozen foreign business trips. 


Speaking on the market in and around Pune Mr. Singh said that the infra market is seeing rapid growth but retail makes up a most vibrant market segment and a strong purchasing power makes even suburban and rural areas a stable and growing market base. Mr. Singh feels that educating potential clients also plays a key role in enhancing an emotional connect, so important for any business to grow. 


tiles dealer in Pune



Mr. Singh said that tastes change rapidly in the tiles industry. Companies keep their products updated. He feels that close interaction with retail clients are an integral part of a successful business, especially in this segment, as most buyers are unaware of the availability of choices and suitability of material.


While conceding that marbles are a more durable, Mr. Singh said that tiles have taken up most of the sales. They are flexible, come in lots of varieties, textures and finishes and they are cheaper than marble. Tiles also offer easier fabrication and maintenance. 


Mr. Vikram Singh emphasised on the importance of display in the business and how he has to completely overhaul the displays and mock ups of tiles almost every quarter. Adding varieties and constantly upgrading product bouquets encourage potential buyers. Good mock ups help clients visualise the end product and helps them to make an informed choice. 

 

Marble dealer in Pune


Mr. Vikram Singh of Sudarshan Marble & Tiles explained how they chart out a clients portfolio and analyse their needs, demands, and budget and design choices before getting to the display section. Mr. Singh suggested that manufacturers should continue with innovations, while maintaining stocks of earlier styles to ensure unhindered supply. Speaking about bathroom fittings he was of the opinion that it needed very good understanding of the products on offer and their technicalities, in order to satisfy customers demands. 


Mr. Vikram Singh signed off by unveiling plans for inaugurating a bigger showroom soon.



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