Market for sanitary ware on the riseThe sanitary ware market is on witnessing a notable growth, thanks to a rise in the construction of residential and commercial buildings, especially in city areas.
Traders say the market has reached Rs 8 billion, although the official import figures are low.
In the last fiscal, Nepal imported sanitary ware worth Rs 2.77 billion from India, according to the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). As of the first half this fiscal year, the imports stood at Rs 1.64 billion.
But the dealers said the products are also being imported from China Spain, the US and Italy, which the NRB statistics do not reflect. Somany, Kajaria and American Standard are some of the established brands in the Nepali market.
“As sanitary ware are an essential part of building construction, the market for such products has been on the rise,” said Pradip Kumar Jha, senior territory manager for Nepal of Somany India. “Somany saw a 25 percent growth last year.”
The Kathmandu valley is the largest market for the products. A study of the Kathmandu Valley Development Authority shows there was 394.12sqkm of agricultural land in 2000, which contracted 13.2 percent to 342.08sqkm in 2010. Over the period, the valley witnessed a 103.96 percent growth in residential areas and 106.35 percent rise in mixed residential and commercial areas.
“Rural settlement expanded 64.35 percent from 1.13sqkm in 2000 to 1.86sqkm over the last decade, according to a study titled “Urban Growth Trend of Kathmandu Valley and its Projection in a Business as Usual Model”.
Not only in Kathmandu, the sanitary ware market is witnessing growth across the country, especially in urban areas. With the latest additions, the country now has 191 municipalities, with no VDC in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts. With rising income of the people, particularly due to remittance, there is a growing trend among migrant workers to settle in city areas, resulting in a construction boom. Jha also said remittance has played an important role in the growth of the sanitary ware business.
Seeing the potential, India’s Nobel Wall Tiles and Sanitaryware entered the Nepal market with “digital wall tiles” under ‘Specto’ brand three years ago.
“As a modern bathroom has become the showpiece for the people, we started offering digital tiles, which allows people to put any design on the tiles with computer technology,” said
Amit Kabra, proprietor of JJ Marble, authorised distributor of Nobel in Nepal. “We also have sanitary ware with features such as low water consumption while flushing.”
Avinash Jajodia, director of RG International, authorised distributor of American Standard, said their business has been growing at 15-20 percent annually. The company sells a wide range of sanitary wares, bathroom accessories, kitchen appliances and tiles.