From 1200 Sqft to 46000 Sqft: A Gigantic Journey


Our several in-depth conversations with dealers, traders and showroom owners from cities like Rohtak, Allahabad, Delhi, Noida, Sonipat, and Panchkula in the past have truly enlightened us. This time we have new guest from Panipat, Mr. Surender Singh, MD, Rajasthan Marble & Granite Industries, who 's speaking about how's the market after lockdown and helping us decode future opportunities¬ with tier-2 tier-3 markets in India.

BMR: How long have you been in business? Share your journey so far.

It was about 18 years ago. We entered the building material industry selling marble and granite. After a few years, I realized that tiles have huge market potential and we started with Kajaria Tile. Business owners in the area criticized us a lot, because cities like Bhiwani, where even today McDonald's, KFC and Big Bazaar are not in the city. Nobody asked for branded tiles, only cheap and local materials were sold, there was no one in the market who bought the branded or expensive materials.
Bhiwani is a slightly backward market where agriculture and industry are not so strong compared to other cities with low purchasing capacity of the locals. However I stuck to my intuition and belief in tile category and ignored the criticism from similar business owners and focused to build my brand along with Kajaria Tiles.

Kajaria supported us a lot and just because of their support from one 1200 sqft showroom from a city like Bhiwani; we have expanded to 8 showrooms in different cities like Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Jind, Karnal, Panipat, and Sonipat alongside 46000 sqft of display area across the state of Haryana. Moreover, in near future, we are planning to launch three more new showrooms in Haryana.
The business ride along with Kajaria wasn't smooth and with each ups and downs we learned, unlearned and grew stronger. We have also gone through a tough time and seen a recession period. But I will wholeheartedly thank Kajaria's top management and their leadership quality as they have always stood by us.

Building material supplier in Panipat

We always has in mind that if we will join a good brand and work hard then we will definitely grow in future. Kajaria strengthened this belief of ours and helped us in strengthening our business.

BMR: Why Kajaria Tiles only? What interests you about the tile brand.

'Kajaria Ek Company Nahi, Kajaria Ek Soch Hai'. If you ever meet any channel partner of Kajaria, you will see a different kind of confidence in them. There is never any fear inside the partner of Kajaria tiles that the company will not support them. Kajaria brand has become the market leader because of their unconditional support to channel partners. For example during the lockdown, all the businesses were shut down completely; our CMD Mr. Ashok Kajaria ji personally spoke to everyone and supported us at that time.

Kajaria keeps in mind their customers' needs and to make the dream of a 'Dream House' come true they have developed all range of products under one roof. One always feels proud by joining, working with people who have mature thinking. Plus, the product range is quite vast.

BMR: What do you think? How a brand and its quality help their channel partner to grow its business?

Unlike other industries, the growth in building materials channel business is by organic means. The biggest advantage of working with a brand is that there are systems, commitments, services, future planning and solutions within the company for everything that you need.

Secondly, brands do a lot of R&D and bring new products according to the market demand and are focused on its customer service. Kajaria tiles have always taken care of all these things perfectly, and that is why Kajaria tiles is the market leader today.

BMR: How did you build yourself as a brand in Haryana? How much a well-trained & educated sales force is important for a showroom.

Kajaria has been a major contributor to our success. Honestly, after starting with Kajaria we were able to understand, if you are loyal with your work, how much a company supports their channel partners to enhance their talent.

Kajaria dealer in Panipat

Today, people only know that Kajaria tiles is India's number one brand, and one of the top 10 tile companies in the world. But no one knows the efforts the brand must have made in order to reach here. Our CMD Mr. Ashok Kajaria is a visionary leader. He started implementing the things that are going to happen in the future long ago.

The employees being skilled and well trained are the result of the same thinking that the company has applied to all the showrooms in India, almost 5 years ago. The staff there had started taking proper training and explaining about the product by taking them to the factory. Which is still a routine and today probably because of the same thinking, every showroom of Kajaria in India is performing very well.

BMR: What kind of marketing support Kajaria Tiles provided you?

If you are doing business with someone today, then the biggest thing is you have the confidence to do the business with him. If you do not have that confidence, then perhaps you will not be able to do business at that level as you have thought, or even above that. Kajaria gives all their partners the confidence that they perform more than their capability.

Kajaria always support their investors, they have developed such a support system If, there is any issue with any partner they immediately get it resolved. Kajaria's investors never seem to have a fear of future trends and the planning company itself does a lot of research and upgrades themselves and their partner according to the future market. Kajaria keep services on their first priority. Because they know one satisfied customer will bring more business to them and will motivate others to buy from you.

Best quality tiles in Panipat

Kajaria works with full transparency; they have a single policy for every channel partner across India. This is why, there is never a second thought in their partner's mind that builds trust. It is very important to have this confidence, perhaps only then you are able to work with focus and contribute your 100% to the brand with which you are associated with.

Starting with the display of the showroom to the business expansion, new product development, future trends, marketing, branding, project listing, after sales service, the company engages their partners. This keeps them confident that we are the part of the company's family, and not just a channel partner.

BMR: Describe your company's ethical priorities. How do you see those fitting with expectations of the marketplace?

Look, every person's biggest dream in their life is to have their 'own house'. With that, many of their expectations are also associated, Therefore, before doing any business with anyone we always prefer to understand their expectations and accordingly we advise them a good quality product and focus on better services.

In the process of building his dream-home, customer purchases different things from different vendors. But in the end, there are only few brands, that he remembers and speaks about. We would always like to be that one, because one day the same client takes your business forward through their word of mouth.

We are just following what we have decided, and in return you can see we have a huge data base of satisfied customers with our 8 showrooms in Haryana and sooner we are coming up with 3 more exclusive showrooms.

BMR: You have 8 showrooms in Haryana and plan to come with 3 more. How much a showroom is important if you are in a retail business?

Today the customer has become much more aware. He knows that if he has to spend millions of rupees in building a home, he prefers to go to a showroom where he can touch and feel the product better than going to wholesale where he will get some discount. Second, today the whole family together finalizes the materials, for that again they need a bigger range of products and good display, which is possible with a good showroom only.

The culture of the display has moved from big cities to small towns. And companies are also getting more sales from here, so the display has become a compulsion today. And if you have a good display, then your conversion rate will also increase.

BMR: How is your market after unlock?

After unlock, the market exceeded our expectations, as soon as the market opened, a lot of inquiries had started to come and orders for the work which had stopped were also starting to come. As soon as the lockdown opened, we had fastened the services and delivery by following the government guidelines within one week.

During this time the company has also supported us a lot. Whatever the pending orders we provided to them as quickly as possible they have delivered to us, now the market is doing quite well. There is a fairly good footfall at all our showrooms. If we look at the overall situation, from my personal experience I can say that the customer has increased his buying capacity after lockdown.

BMR: How do you see the sales growth in branded materials in future? Specially in the Tier-2 and tier-3 market, where we have seen tremendous growth in Interiors products sales.

India is a very huge market; we are a country with a population of 137 Crores. If we talk about a few years back, most of the branded companies were only focusing on the metro cities or class one cities. But education and social media have been such a factor, due to which the customer of Tier-2 and Tier-3 has become more aware, due to the same awareness that has started using branded materials with ready acceptance.

Today, the organized market has grown significantly, and unorganized players are either getting organized or are being eliminated from the market. Customers are spending money lavishly on interior products as the house is built for generations. These eventually are the factors impacting purchase in smaller markets.

In future, we sincerely hope that there will be a lot of growth in the market of interior products in tier-2 tier 3 cities.

Building material supplier in Panipat

BMR: From where the demand will come in future?

The development of a city depends heavily on its institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential development. All these sectors are interlinked, apart from this, what level of agriculture development is there in the surrounding area. All these things affect the buying power of the consumer. By the way, we are getting good business from every sector today. However, residential and institutional is one area where we feel demand will increase in future.

BMR: Online or Offline? What do you think would drive the future business?

Our tiles industry cannot exist online. There are many reasons for this, the biggest issue is tile is a fragile product. The big box retailers like Amazon and Flipkart, do approach us, but we are not able to do business with them. Untrained manpower, accountability of product during transit and "if there is breakage who pays the customer", followed by reverse logistics are unaddressed issues.

Second, building products & material buy on concepts with touch and feel, which is not possible at all in the online marketplace.

BMR: What is your message to the industry and the people who are coming new in this business?

Retail is driven by good brand association, customer experience & repeat purchase and business transparency. New entrants in the retail business of building products and materials, I suggest to all of them that firstly, they should be associated with a reputed brand and build an image of the business in the market according to the same brand.

Competition is quite tough in the market, and if you have to grow, then you have to do something different, for this I will suggest educating the customer according to his understanding. Understand customer needs and suggest quality materials according to the requirement. Transparency is very important in business today, and paying attention to after sales services definitely grows business.

About Building Material Reporter

Building Material Reporter(BMR) India's fastest growing on-, ground web #news/media company with a perspective to cover, feature and highlight the growth in #architecture and channel of building material industry in Tier 1, 2 & 3 metro's and towns. Our content is purely dedicated to the Building Construction Products & Materials Industry and the people (#Architects, #designers, #builders, retailers, #dealers, contractors, #MEP #Consultant, and #Fabricators) from tier-2 and tier-3 cities who matter the most because these cities will be a big contributor to our growth of Bharat.If you have a product or project worth publishing in Building Material Reporter, please email us or you can also submit your project online.