Growth plans for Vitero by Aparna Enterprises

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Ashwin Reddy, MD, Aparna Enterprises, shares growth plans for Vitero, their new tiles manufacturing brand

Founded 26 years ago, Aparna Enterprises has an excellent track record in the distribution of building materials and is now venturing into manufacturing the next generation of Double Charge Vitrified Polished Tiles and GVT Tiles. Aparna Enterprises part of the highly successful Aparna Group. The company is associated with every landmark project in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over 2 decades and is globally renowned for meeting the highest standards of Technology, Research, Design, and Quality.

In conversation with Ashwin Reddy

 You are the leading tile distribution company in India. What inspired you to venture into the tile manufacturing business? How is the response till now?

Aparna Enterprises is part of Aparna Group, a business conglomerate from Hyderabad which is primarily into construction, trading, manufacturing, and fabrication of a variety of building materials ranging from tiles, to ready mix concrete, to sanitary fittings to uPVC doors and windows.  We at Aparna Enterprises believe in serving quality products to our customers and provide ultimate satisfaction within the time frame promised for any work. Starting as a tile distributor as the core business of Aparna, we also realized the customer’s need for premium tiles in the given period of time is crucial. Through backward integration from tiles distributing company and moving to real estate, uPVC doors, and windows, RMC, Aparna Unispace, lead-free profiles, Aparna is now entering into tiles manufacturing with the new brand VITERO. This approach helped Aparna Group to improve on better efficiency and saving costs.

We are receiving an amazing response from our Distributors who have seen samples of our first production. Having built great trust throughout the years, we have already received huge orders even before the product is out from the factory. This is a very encouraging sign.

How many manufacturing units you have currently in India? What is the manufacturing capacity per day?

Our advanced high technology 900,000 Sq.ft plants in Kakinada (AP), can manufacture 15,000 Sq. mts of double charged vitrified tiles in a day with consistent quality and unparalleled uniformity in colour, design, and size. Our production line is backed by SACMI, Keda & Appel technologies along with an automated assembly line. We are also introducing the most sophisticated Kilns to India with the launch of VITERO – The 265-meter long SACMI kiln is the longest in South India and 3rd largest in India.

How do you expect tile demand to evolve in India?

Ceramic tiles as a product segment have grown to a sizeable chunk today at approximately 680 Millions Square meters production per annum. However, the potential seems to be great, particularly as the housing sector, retail, IT & BPO sectors have been witnessing an unprecedented boom in recent times.

The key drivers for the ceramic tiles in India are the boom in the housing sector coupled with government policies fuelling strong growth in the housing sector. The retail boom in the Indian economy has also influenced the demand for higher-end products. Overall the bullish growth estimates in the Indian economy have significantly influenced the growth of the Indian Ceramic tile industry.

The main product segments are the Wall tile, Floor tile, Vitrified tile, and Industrial tile segments. The market shares (in value terms) are 20%, 23% 50%, and 7% respectively for Wall, Floor, Vitrified, and Industrial tiles. The tiles are available in a wide variety of designs, textures, and surface effects. They cater to tastes as varied from rustics to contemporary marble designs in super glossy mirror finishes.

Both, traditional methods of manufacturing (tunnel) and the latest single fast-firing methods are deployed in manufacturing. Some of the latest trends in manufacturing methods can be seen in India.

The industry also enjoys the unique distinction of being highly indigenous with an abundance of raw materials, technical skills, infrastructural facilities despite being fairly capital intensive. A total of over 5, 50,000 people are employed in the sector. Out of this, 50,000 people are directly employed and 5, 00,000 are indirectly associated. The potential is huge considering the per capita consumption of ceramic tiles in India. Currently, it is at 0.50 square meters per person in comparison to over 2 square meters per person for countries like China, Brazil, and Malaysia.

Tell us about your latest innovations and new product launches in tiles? What are the unique features of your products?

The latest innovations, in the ceramic tile industry, such as Nanotechnology, best of best Kilns efficient dryer systems help us in producing the best double charged vitrified tiles, making them versatile, durable, design-oriented. Some of the unique features are extra durability due to literally no absorption, Extra gloss and shine due to Nanotech, detailed and more varieties of designs due to a good no of feeders, and resemblance and closeness to natural stone.

What do you think the government has done to promote ease of business for the tile industry? Has it impacted exports?

The tile industry seems bright due to growth in the overall economy which boosts the housing sector and real estate sector, which in turn will help building materials industries like us. Also, the government of India has launched many initiatives like developing infrastructure in metros, tier two cities, and small towns. Some of the known initiatives are affordable housing tax reduction, home loans interest reduction, etc. Also, initiatives to build new airports, educational institutes, hospitals have further propelled our industry.

How does your brand add to the ‘Make in India’ campaign?

Our Peddapuram, Kakinada, AP plant is one of the largest and most sophisticated in South India. What it means is that we will be able to make World-Class tiles in India giving tough competition to international brands in terms of Quality, Pricing, and logistics. We are also making strides into exporting out tiles to the Middle East, Africa, and APAC. We are proud of creating jobs and employment throughout India.

What is the latest technology used in manufacturing tiles? What role does technology play in giving a product the end look?

We are very proud to say that Aparna Enterprises is one of the pioneers in bringing the world-class Nanotech process to India. VITERO tiles are manufactured using advanced feeders; NANOTECH COATING TECH to give the highest quality double charged vitrified tiles. Our technological prowess will let us manufacture the most premium tiles with long-lasting shine and toughness. Nano polishing machine will help us in achieving the best sheen that stays for long compared to the shine produced using old technology.

 What are your latest investments and what’s next in your expansion program?

Aparna Group has invested Rs. 320 Cr to build the state-of-art facility in Peddapuram, Andhra Pradesh for manufacturing tile. Currently, we are looking at manufacturing 15,000 Sq. mts. of Double Charged vitrified flooring tiles per day. As for the expansion plans, it is too early to talk about it at this stage.

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