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Transit Architecture Time for a Drastic Change

Transit Architecture Time for a Drastic Change

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Interview Share insights on OBL’s recent foray into Nepal. Orient Bell Limited (OBL) recently tapped into the flourishing market of Nepal by launching our Channel Partner owned Orient Bell Tile Boutiques in Kathmandu and Pokhara. These launches of OBTB have enabled OBL to expand transnationally and experiment and expand outside of India as well. This endeavor is also driven by the goal to equip various segments in this region to explore and enrich future prospects via our interaction with the latest breakthroughs in the tile industry. According to Ashish Mehta, President, Sales & Marketing, OBL, 2018 is going to be a crucial year for the premier wall and floor Tiles Company. It will be focusing on 360 degree marketing and simultaneously expanding further in the digital world to create more awareness among the masses who are key customers for future. Mehta talked about the growth of the company in terms of demand it is expecting for the ceramic industry this year, in an interaction with Kajol Tamang. ‘OBL will focus on 3 segments to outperform industry growth this FY’ How will OBL outperform industry growth rates in 2018? 2018 is going to be a crucial year for OBL and it will focus on 3 segments to outperform industry growth this FY. • Target of opening more than 200 franchisee owned boutiques to drive retail sales, resulting into more penetration in B and C Class towns. • OBL is approved in all major Govt. projects and various housing schemes proposed by the Govt. and will also focus on Central Key Accounts (big construction and Contractor) like L&T etc. • The company has dedicated GPS 34 Architecture Update February 2018

and Business Development team PAN India for getting approvals in major projects by contacting leading architects. Adding to this, we will be launching new products in various sizes, colours and textures keeping in consideration the demands of the market. What kind of benefits prevailed after the lowering of the tax rate to 18%? The lowering of the tax rate has been a positive step for OBL and the industry as a whole. It has encouraged unorganised players to pay tax which otherwise were facing problems after demonetisation. We expect that with GST (Goods and Services tax) and E-way billing, there will be a marginal drop in the sales of the unorganised sector. Do you have any products in the pipeline? We have quite a few products in the pipeline in terms of sizes, colours and textures. The year 2018 will see bigger slabs from OBL like 800x1600mm, 1200x1200mm, 1000x1000mm and more following the demand of the market. What kind of growth in terms of demand are you expecting for the ceramic industry this year? Unlike any other flooring options like marble, concrete, carpets, rugs, resilient and non-resilient materials, ceramic tiles are more durable, recyclable and are highly resistance to frost, water & thermal expansion / shocks. Due to their availability in various sizes, colours, shape, glaze, anti-skid, anti–bacterial properties, they are becoming an excellent choice for hotels, hospitals, and laboratories etc., where hygiene is of prime importance. Some of the key factors that are currently driving the global ceramic tiles market include rising disposable incomes, increasing urbanisation & industrialisation rates, growth in the real estate sector, technological advancements and increasing personalisation and customisation trends. Currently the market is dominated by floor tiles which accounts for more than half of the total global production volumes. Also, we are expecting a double digit growth in the industry with the current boost in Govt. initiatives in housing for all sectors. What are your marketing strategies? - Soon OBL will be launching a new media / outdoor plan. Not just this, a lot more activities are planned for this FY. What are your views on “branding is a key prerequisite for success” in the ceramic industry? Good branding increases the face value of the company, provides direction and motivation to the employees along with helping acquire new customers. The most profitable companies are those who have established themselves in a particular industry by building a strong brand. OBL will be focusing on 360 degree marketing and will be expanding further in the digital world to create more awareness among the masses who are key customers for future. kajol.tamang@saffronsynergies.in Ashish Mehta, President- Sales & Marketing, Orient Bell Limited graduated in Physics (Hons) in 1986, and thereafter went on to complete his MBA (Marketing) in 1988, both from Kurukshetra University. Mehta has more than 23 years of illustrious career in sales and marketing, started his career with Atlas Cycle Industries (Auto Division), and thereafter joined Berger Paints where he had a long stint for 16 years. During this time, he moved up the ranks from Area Sales Manager to General Manager – Sales. From there he moved to Huntsman Advance Materials Pvt Ltd (a Switzerland based company) as Head Sales for All India and Middle East markets. In mid-2009. He joined Pidlite Industries as Chief (Retail) Sales and Marketing and worked there until August 2011, when he joined Orient Ceramics and Industries Limited as President Sales & Marketing. At OBL, Mehta is responsible for overall Sales and Marketing operations and is poised for a major turnaround in the top and bottom lines for the company. Architecture Update February 2018 35

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