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Morbi ceramic industry goes International…

MORBI | Tiles manufacturing hub of India
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The 3 days international show on ceramics has lifted Morbi to the global ceramic industry map. The Chinese ceramic manufacturers will outsource their work to Indian ceramic industry, of which a majority is expected to be bagged by Morbi manufacturers.

The event to be hosted by UK based magazine Asian Ceramics and Morbi Tiles Manufacturers Association in which 55 participants from across the world will display their products.

As an Indian hub spot in ceramic Industry, Morbi is expected to become a global destination of outsourcing in ceramic industry, affirming a place next to China in another two years.

"In the next five years, the Chinese ceramic companies are expected to outsource sizeable business to Morbi Ceramic Industry, keeping in view the quality of product and accessible logistics facilities. The Port of Mundra is located nearby from where vessels for African, South East Asian and Middle East Countries are available easily," said Andy Skillen, managing editor, Asian Ceramics.

Similarly, many more tie-ups are expected to be in the pipeline and the three-day event has aptly provided the much needed business exchange platform to Morbi Ceramic Industry.

While speaking to us, Andy said, "Morbi-based ceramic industry has all that is required to give Chinese a run for their money. The Morbi industry has appropriate skillset to produce a quality product, but lacks in marketing talent."

The need of the hour is a quality business school that can help local industry in enhancing marketing skills and help them compete globally, he added. Rather than claiming the quality scores, they should focus on displaying products made in Morbi in the worldwide exhibitions and try to let the buyers compare it with Italian and Spanish products, he commented.

Talking on the global scenario in ceramic industry as far as the feedstock goes, he said, "Chinese are also facing unprecedented rise in fuel price, like their Indian counterparts in Morbi. Chinese ceramic industry is facing the burden of 28 per cent jump in fuel price in last eight months, whereas, the Indian industry has experienced 60 per cent hike in fuel cost in last couple of months."

Presently, majority of the units in Morbi have switched over to coal gasifier plants keeping in view the fuel price hike.

"Before 18 months, LPG was available at Rs 24 to Rs 26 per kg, which is presently available at Rs 39 to Rs 41 per kg. This has put pressure on profits for the manufacturers and has eaten into their profits," explained Velji Patel, president of Morbi Ceramic Tiles Manufacturers Association and owner of Boss Ceramics.

With the state government’s effort to provide LPG through pipeline, the industry is hopeful to reduce its cost of production as soon as LPG is available as fuel.

"We hope to have LPG available in next couple of months, which will take care of much of our concerns further allowing us to compete on global grounds as far as the price war is concerned. Our prime and immediate focus is more or less in domestic market, but if required we can compete with anyone worldwide," said Velji Patel.

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