LIXIL to bring best-in-class win­dows to In­dia, in­forms San­deep Mathur, GM & Di­rec­tor

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With the ac­quisiɵon of Star Alubuild, our aim is to bring LIXIL’S in­ter­naɵonal ex­perɵse in mak­ing win­dows to the In­dian mar­ket and pro­vide a wide va­ri­ety of choice and best-in-class qual­ity prod­ucts with the right tech­nol­ogy, fi­nesse and com­fort, says San­deep Mathur, GM & Di­rec­tor, LIXIL Win­dow Sys­tems Please tell us about LIXIL Win­dow Sys­tems Pri­vate Ltd.

LIXIL has set up the new en­tity LIXIL Win­dow Sys­tems after ac­quir­ing 100% stake in DLF’S arm Star Alubuild. Un­der this new en­tity, we plan to ser­vice both re­tail and in­sti­tu­tional projects in In­dia. In line with the Gov­ern­ment’s ‘Make in In­dia’ vi­sion, we will man­u­fac­ture prod­ucts for re­tail busi­ness lo­cally in our Mane­sar fa­cil­ity, which will also cater to the mar­ket for pre­mium homes and vil­las in In­dia, which re­quire cus­tom­ized prod­ucts and short de­liv­ery time­frames. The projects’ busi­ness seg­ment will im­port prod­ucts from the Tostem Thai Co. Ltd. (TTC) fa­cil­ity in Thai­land. This model will be best suited for large res­i­den­tial projects which re­quire well en­gi­neered prod­ucts, from a sin­gle source. This will also en­sure last-mile qual­ity since the win­dows are pre-en­gi­neered (sup­plied in a box), mak­ing assem­bly and in­stal­la­tion at site quick and easy. Our aim is to im­prove con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence by re­duc­ing the com­plex site work and ex­pe­dit­ing the speed of in­stal­la­tion and en­sure guar­an­tee in terms of last-mile qual­ity. An­other ben­e­fit of mass man­u­fac­tur­ing is that even the largest projects can be com­pleted at great speed from a sin­gle source.

What are LIXIL’S man­u­fac­tur­ing strengths?

LIXIL (Tostem) is one of the ear­li­est com­pa­nies in the world to start man­u­fac­ture of win­dows in large vol­umes us­ing in­dus­trial pro­cesses. The TTC in Bangkok is an in­te­grated com­plex ded­i­cated to man­u­fac­ture of alu­minum win­dows. Start­ing with prod­uct de­sign to cast­ing, ex­tru­sion, sur­face treat­ment, coat­ing and win­dow fab­ri­ca­tion - all pro­cesses are car­ried out in­house. LIXIL has the sec­ond in­te­grated win­dow man­u­fac­tur­ing com­plex in Viet­nam, be­sides many other coun­tries. Our ap­proach to win­dow de­sign is dif­fer­ent from other man­u­fac­tur­ers. Un­der­stand­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties de­vel­op­ers face in com­ple­tion of large projects, the Tostem win­dow is com­pletely man­u­fac­tured at the fac­tory. Since the quan­tum of work to be done at site is much re­duced, it be­comes pos­si­ble to work at high speed and yet achieve last-mile qual­ity.

What are LIXIL’S plans for the In­dian mar­ket?

By in­tro­duc­ing our Ja­panese legacy to the In­dian mar­ket, we are cre­at­ing world-lead­ing tech­nol­ogy and con­stantly en­gag­ing in in­no­va­tion to make high qual­ity prod­ucts that solve ev­ery day, real life chal­lenges. Ja­pan is the most ad­vanced bath­room and

home mar­ket, where the process of mak­ing end-to-end jour­ney for the con­sumer has al­ready been done. In In­dia, we wish to bring ground-break­ing Ja­panese ex­per­tise into the mar­ket with an aim to trans­form end-to-end home so­lu­tions, mak­ing them easy, en­joy­able and of true value for the con­sumer. Our aim is to cre­ate a con­sumer-cen­tric busi­ness with an un­der­stand­ing of the evolv­ing needs of In­dian cus­tomers and how LIXIL prod­ucts will add value to their life­style. We plan to of­fer the en­tire gamut of so­lu­tions across seg­ments in In­dia. We will be man­u­fac­tur­ing the fin­ished win­dow and not es­sen­tially fol­low the fab­ri­ca­tor route. This will en­sure con­sis­tency and re­li­a­bil­ity in terms of qual­ity, which will be far ahead of the ex­ist­ing in­dus­try stan­dards. As per pro­jected busi­ness vol­umes, we are well equipped with tech­nol­ogy and have mapped out our lo­gis­ti­cal ca­pac­ity to en­sure re­turns.

How has the con­cept of fen­es­tra­tion evolved in In­dia?

The needs of In­dian con­sumers are evolv­ing. Be­ing a pioneer in the wa­ter and hous­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions, LIXIL con­tin­u­ously fo­cuses on adapt­ing ex­ist­ing tech­nol­ogy and dove­tail­ing it with lo­cal con­sumer pref­er­ences to cater to lo­cal as well as uni­ver­sal con­sumer needs. At the core of LIXIL’S de­sign phi­los­o­phy, is solv­ing real life chal­lenges with break­through Ja­panese tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion. We fo­cus on mean­ing­ful de­sign with a con­cen­tric fo­cus on in­no­va­tion at our core. The win­dow to­day is much more than a safety and weather bar­rier. It pro­vides real com­fort to the cus­tomer against rain, wa­ter, dust, and noise. Be­ing a struc­tural el­e­ment, it has to be safe against the higher wind pres­sure ex­pe­ri­enced in high-rise build­ings, es­pe­cially dur­ing the rainy sea­son. Ja­pan has cold and cy­clonic cli­mate and the win­dows are de­signed to pro­tect in­hab­i­tants from air and wa­ter ingress. Win­dows for long has been an ar­ti­san prod­uct. The com­mon ma­te­rial was wood, which is re­duc­ing in pop­u­lar­ity due to less avail­abil­ity and high cost. Metal and alu­minum win­dows are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar due to their greater strength, fin­ish and low main­te­nance. The man­u­fac­tur­ing process, how­ever, has re­mained suited to batch process and low vol­ume pro­duc­tion.

What busi­ness prospects does LIXIL see in In­dia for its prod­ucts?

“The cur­rent out­look of the in­dus­try is op­ti­mistic. The di­ver­sity of LIXIL’S busi­ness in In­dia can be seen with its two power brands: Grohe and Amer­i­can Stan­dard, and busi­ness units (LWT, LHT), which makes In­dia a prof­itable mar­ket. Rapid ur­ban­iza­tion, rise in dis­pos­able in­come, cou­pled with the gov­ern­ment’s ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams on safe san­i­ta­tion, are fu­el­ing de­mand for san­i­tary­ware in In­dia. Growth in the com­mer­cial seg­ment is also likely to grow man­i­fold in the near term, due to an up­ward growth tra­jec­tory of the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor in In­dia. In In­dia, we wish to bring ground break­ing Ja­panese ex­per­tise into the mar­ket with an aim to trans­form end-to-end home so­lu­tions, mak­ing them easy, en­joy­able and of true value for the con­sumer. We plan to of­fer a full bun­dle of so­lu­tions to ev­ery seg­ment of mar­ket. The fact that we will be man­u­fac­tur­ing the fin­ished win­dow and not fol­low fab­ri­ca­tor route will en­sure con­sis­tency and re­li­a­bil­ity of qual­ity far ahead of the ex­ist­ing in­dus­try stan­dards.

We will be man­u­fac­tur­ing the fin­ished win­dow, which will en­sure con­sis­tency and re­li­a­bil­ity in terms of qual­ity, far ahead of the ex­ist­ing in­dus­try stan­dards. By in­tro­duc­ing our Ja­panese legacy to the In­dian mar­ket, we are cre­at­ing world-lead­ing tech­nol­ogy and con­stantly en­gag­ing in in­no­va­tion to make high qual­ity prod­ucts

San­deep Mathur

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