Ger­many’s Villeroy & Boch Plans On­line Sales in In­dia

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Anu­meha.Chaturvedi @times­group.com

New Delhi: Ger­many-based ce­ram­ics com­pany Villeroy & Boch will start sell­ing its prod­ucts on­line in In­dia in the next 12 to 18 months.

Villeroy & Boch, which was set up in 1748, sells bath and well­ness and table­ware prod­ucts. It has been op­er­at­ing in In­dia through a joint ven­ture ar­range­ment with Gen­e­sis Lux­ury for the past three years.

“We are con­sid­er­ing the op­tion of sell­ing on­line in In­dia, and will do so in the 12 to 18 months, or maybe ear­lier,” said Ni­co­las Luc Villeroy, head of the table­ware divi­sion of the com­pany and the seventh gen­er­a­tion mem­ber of the Villeroy fam­ily. “We are analysing the two op­tions of sell­ing through our own web­site and through other on­line com­pa­nies, and the bet­ter one would be to go with spe­cialised por­tals here.”

He said con­trary to Europe, the ac­tual trac­tion of the brand would not be strong enough to at­tract con­sumers di­rectly. “It’s a new mar­ket and it will make more sense to go with a part­ner who is able to at­tract peo­ple who are not fa­mil­iar with the brand.”

Be­sides In­dia, Villeroy & Boch prod­ucts are sold on­line in mar­kets like the US, Europe and China. Villeroy said the com­pany is look­ing at de­vel­op­ing other chan­nels of dis­tri­bu­tion in In­dia besi- des its own three stores.

“We started with di­rect oper­a­tions with one store.We are closely look­ing at de­vel­op­ing other chan­nels of dis­tri­bu­tion be­sides our core chan­nels, own store re­tail ac­tiv­i­ties,” he said.

Pub­li­cally-listed Villeroy & Boch posted con­sol­i­dated rev­enues of around 803 mil­lion in fi­nan­cial year 2015, up 4.9% over the pre­vi­ous year. The com­pany's two di­vi­sions, bath and well­ness, and table­ware, posted rev­enues of around 500 mil­lion and 306 mil­lion, re­spec­tively.

“In­dia is cur­rently a small mar­ket but it fits the brand be­cause there is a huge culi­nary and food cul­ture in In­dia. We see so many brands rush­ing in and out of In­dia. But we want to have a stable base here. We are tak­ing our time to build the brand,” said Villeroy.

TOI PHOTO IN­DIA CALL­ING: Ni­co­las Luc Villeroy

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