Indian Ceramics 2007, gateway to Gujarat. This, then, is the slogan of the latest edition of the biggest Indian fair in the industry: the slogan refers to the district of Gujarat, the nerve centre of the Indian ceramic industry. Yet the host city for the event, from 11th to 13th April, will be Mumbai – better known as Bombay: a city that symbolises a rapidly developing India, a country with a GNP that economists expect to grow by 8% in 2007.
Like the country as a whole, India’s ceramic industry is also expanding at a staggering rate. So there was no way Sacmi was going to miss out on playing a pivotal key role in Gujarat, where, last year alone, some fifteen new vitrified ceramic plants were started up. The growth forecast for 2007 is equally encouraging, with consistent expansion of the Indian middle classes anticipated – a factor that is boosting tile output and consequently bringing prices down, seeing as ceramic is no longer viewed as a luxury.
In today’s India, the sanitaryware market is also booming: so the expectations of the Sacmi Whiteware Division, in terms of visibility and contacts with new customers, are riding high. For three years now Sacmi has steadily been growing together with the market by successfully meeting the fast-changing needs of customers who are in the process of switching from “single” machines to highly mechanised integrated solutions and, more and more often, robotized automation. Since sanitaryware output in India broke through the 100,000 ton-per-year barrier some time ago – meeting not only the burgeoning internal demand but also that generated by the Gulf states – this particular Asian tiger is the perfect country for foreign investors to establish new partnerships and rewarding joint ventures.
It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that major industry players, including producers of ceramic-making machines from all over the world, will be heading for Mumbai in April. Sacmi will be there to show to local operators its commitment to the local market, to illustrate what it has already achieved in the area and outline development prospects. The event, to be held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, is being organised together with the Indian Council of Ceramic Tiles and Sanitaryware.