The water and housing products major, which was formed in 2011 through merger of five of Japan’s most successful building materials and housing companies, is entering pre-fabricated bathroom vertical in India to add to its primary water technology business.
Under this segment, the USD 16 billion firm offers total solutions for bathrooms and currently sells products under premium GROHE and mass market American Standard brands in India.
“I would say currently India is not a very big part of our overall business globally. We are a USD 16 billion group globally and India is a very small part of that. But, we expect for the water technology businesses, India becoming our third largest market globally after China and the US,” LIXIL Asia Pacific CEO Bijoy Mohan told.
When asked about the timeline to meet such expectation, he said: “That might take us 7-8 years to get there”. Right now, India is probably number 15 globally, he added. Elaborating on where the growth will come from, Mohan said, “In terms of volume and revenue in business, I would expect our largest business would be the pre-fabricated bathrooms. That will be the single largest business. It will lead the way for sure, because the value or size of the home or the bathroom is much bigger”.
Under its pre-fabricated bathroom system, LIXIL is offering integrated bathroom systems through construction of the entire bathroom in a factory, flooring, tiling, walls, piping everything together and deliver it within 16 hours at the proposed site.
“This we believe will be huge for India because of the construction demands, the scale that is required, there is not enough skilled labour to be able to do all of this on site and the speed of construction and regulations like now make it essential to complete a project at a certain period of time,” Mohan said.
LIXIL has been doing this in Japan for the last 50 years, he added. The company has invested Rs 400 crore at its Vijayawada factory, which has a capacity to produce 1.2 million pieces of ceramics and can be doubled up.
It has also set up a windows fabrication unit at Manesar at an investment of Rs 20 crore. When asked if LIXIL would make further investments in India to meet its growth targets, Mohan said it may invest another Rs 100 crore to double the capacity of ceramics business in another three years. However, it is not decided on the same for the windows fabrication unit.