Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jun 23, 2004
Art d'inox targets Rs 30 cr in revenues
Shyam G . Menon
Mumbai , June 22
ART d'inox, the lifestyle products division of Jindal Stainless Ltd, hopes to see its business grow by 250-300 per cent this fiscal. The division, which recently commissioned a plant to produce 400,000 units of its products, is targeting Rs 30 crore in revenues by 2005-2006.
According to Mr Sugato Bose, Business Head, much of this growth would be driven by exports. Ninety per cent of its exports are under its own brand with only a small quantum being sold otherwise.
At present, Art d'inox has revenues split evenly between its domestic and export businesses. Its products spanning articles of use for the office to household dinner sets - all crafted from stainless steel - feature on an average 20-25 new designs every six weeks.
The division has a team of designers recruited from reputed institutes such as the IIT, NID and NIFT. Besides the advantage of backward integration into stainless steel - the prime raw material - the division sees design and product quality as differentiators.
In the domestic market, it is reckoned to be the sole player in this space using food grade steel, running second to competitor Magpie. Globally, amidst high profile brands, Art d'inox is unique for its backward integration into steel through its parent company Jindal Stainless.
The division will consume roughly 200 tonnes of stainless steel from its parent this year. Its main export markets include the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. The company plans to explore Sri Lanka and Maldives this year.
The backward linkage does not, however, render Art d'inox immune to price flux in steel. The price upsurge of the last one to two years was difficult to handle, relief found in the fact that Art d'inox does not cater to the low-priced mass-market segment. "We are not in the $3 to $5 category,'' Mr Bose said.
He attributed the parent company's foray into branded products to the proximity to customers it affords. Next month, the division is set to launch a formal advertising campaign.
Though Jindal Stainless exports stainless steel to China, Art d'inox is not focusing on that market in a big way. Among reasons cited for this are the volume-driven nature of the Chinese market, discounted role of design as differentiator and apprehension of designs being easily replicated.
On the other hand, these traits of Chinese enterprise ensure a degree of security to the India-based growth of Art d'inox, its business reposing strength in product quality and better design.
The division's products currently come in full stainless steel or the metal combined with other materials such as porcelain, glass and wood. On the anvil is a combination of stainless steel and coloured porcelain.
As Mr Bose said, the idea is to make stainless steel products that one will not need to hide from sight when visitors come home.
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