After having become the market leader in the bathroom and the home furnishing industry in Thailand, Siam Cement Group, Thailand’s largest industrial conglomerate, is setting its sights on expanding its operations in the growing Indian market.
A market where families attach a lot of importance to home furnishing, India is still in its infancy in terms of high-quality sanitaryware, and SCG hopes to be able to tap this new demand.
To enter the market, SCG Trading, a unit of the SCG, joined hands with India’s Hydrobaths Ramco and has last week opened its first showroom of home decor products in the country of more than 1.2 billion people.
SCG said the opening of the showroom in Gurgaon, just minutes away from the international airport in New Delhi, was intended to target India’s home building market with high-quality SCG products.
The opening ceremony was presided over by Pisan Manawapat, the Thai ambassador to India, and attended by members of Team Thailand New Delhi — a group comprising Thai government officials and business leaders in Delhi who meet monthly to review plans to promote Thailand’s interests in India — to which SCG Trading has recently been included.
The Thai team met with Vineet and Harsh Bhutani, the two brothers who founded and now run Hydrobaths Ramco, as well as their Indian associates including some high-ranking officials from both local and central governments.
The opening of the showroom is part of SCG’s drive to make inroads into India’s booming home construction market.
“SCG’s initial focus will be to create brand awareness by targeting architects and home builders who influence homeowners on their choice of products,” says Yongyos Pholtanawat, regional head of SCG Trading.
Product lines on display at the new showroom include SCG Smart Board, SCG Smart Wood, and Cotto ceramic tiles and luxurious sanitaryware.
Cotto is a popular brand in Thailand and has grown considerably in the ceramic tile business. It is currently the world’s largest producer of ceramic tiles, annually making 160 million square metres of tiles annually with plants in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Apart from SCG, Hydrobaths Ramco is also in a partnership with Sonite, a Thai brand for synthetic mosaic tiles, which focuses on creative design for luxury living as well as environmentally friendly materials.
The SCG showroom will also have a design centre that potential homeowners can visit to get expert advice from in-house architects on how they can best build their dream homes. In its first few days, the centre was attracting five to 10 walk-in customers daily.
SCG Trading has been in India for nearly five years and currently is active in four areas: construction materials, recycled materials, raw materials, and auto parts. It is now planning expansion into agro-machinery.
It has offices in Chennai and Mumbai, and plans to open an office in Gurgaon. In addition to the showroom in Gurgaon, two more showrooms are in the pipeline in Mumbai and Kolkata.
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Writer: Praphan Samphaiworakit