The ceramic tiles industry in India has followed similar trends internationally which have been characterized by excess capacities and falling margins. Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are setting up their own plants. China has emerged as a major competitor. Producers from Spain and Italy have the advantage of lower transportation costs while exporting to USA and Germany. In India, the per capita consumption is as low as 0.30 square meters per person compared to China (2 square meters per person), Europe (5 to 6 square meters per person) or Brazil (2.5 square meters per person). Rising disposable incomes of the growing middle class and 40 million units of housing shortage hold out a great potential.
A major change that took over the ceramic tiles industry, was the introduction of vitrified and porcelain tiles. These new entrant product types are said to be the tiles of the future. Internationally these tiles are already the major sellers. These category of products account for 13% of all organized sales in this industry.
These new products and the conventional wall & floor tiles have together made the organized industry grow to a formidable Rs. 3000 crores industry. This coupled with a spate of expansions by many players make the industry look very promising in the future.
The Indian Industry has developed an export market although at the lower end. In volume it constitutes less than half a percent of the global market. (Presently India does not figure in the list of major exporting countries). But this reality could change as Indian exports are rising at the rate of 15% per annum. The top-end of the global export market is presently dominated by Italy (40.8%) and Spain (26.4%).
(Source: Compiled using information from Corporate Catalyst India, ASCER and other associations.)