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Indusry Overview of Italy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By vijaysurani
Words 2246
Pages 9
As in all other advanced Western economies, the Italian industrial sector is declining, decreasing the level of employment in industry and affecting the sector's contribution to the GDP. Industry employed 32.6 percent of the workforce in 1999, while contributing 30.4 percent to the GDP in 2000. However, manufacturing was the key to Italy's post-World War II economic boom and remains important. The steel industry in particular allowed the country to become one of the strongest economies in the world. All branches of the industrial sector grew very quickly, and Italian exports soared. Then, in the second half of the 1980s, the industrial sector went though a crisis, while the service sector expanded. With the onset of the second millennium, the loss of jobs in the industrial sector seems to have stabilized, and although facing tough international competition, Italian companies appear ready for the challenge.

Rumors have it that the first clay tiles were produced seven to eight thousand years ago in the area now known as the Holy Land. Many sources independently verify that the actual known history of Tiles, (and the known usage of wall and floor tile coverings) can be traced back as far as the fourth millennium BC (4000 BC) to Egypt.

In those days, in Egypt, tiles were used to decorate various houses. Clay bricks were dried beneath the sun or baked, and the first glazes were blue in color and were made from copper, very exquisite!

During that period ceramics were also known to be found in Mesopotamia. These ceramics bore decorations, which were white and blue striped and later possessed more varied patterns and colors. Later on, in China too, the great center of ceramic art, a fine, white stoneware with the earliest Chinese glaze was produced during the Shang-Yin dynasty (1523-1028 BC).

The usage and the art of making and decorating ceramic tiles had spread and by 900 A.D., decorative tiles had become widely used in Persia, Syria, Turkey and across North Africa. As transport and communication developed, tile usage and its penetration in other territories increased. Wars and territory take-overs caused this art to spread even faster.

The Romans introduced tile making in Western Europe as they occupied territories. The Low Countries of Northern Europe somehow acquired the technology from Persia, while the Moors brought African tiles with them when they invaded Iberia (Spain). It was aboard the ships of Spanish conquistadors that decorative clay tiles found their way to the New World, where they were used primarily to decorate the Churches of newly built missions.

By the end of the 12th century, use and manufacture of Ceramic Tiles had spread across Italy and Spain and into the rest of Europe. Till that time they were mainly used to decorate the floors of Cathedrals and Churches. The skill had eventually vanished from Europe in the 16th century following the reformation. But the decorative wall tile art had survived in Turkey and the Middle East and the Delft tiles art survived in Holland.

A form of tile making had also evolved among the natives of North and South America at some point. The first decorative tiles to appear in Colonial North America were imported from Northern Europe, mainly England the Brits having hijacked the technology from the Dutch. The tiles were too expensive for utilitarian purposes in the Colonies and were found almost exclusively in the homes of the wealthy.

Through the centuries, tile decoration was improved upon, as were methods of tile manufacture. For example, during the Islamic period, all methods of tile decoration were brought to perfection in Persia. Throughout the known world, in various countries and cities, Ceramic tile production and decoration reached great heights. The tile mosaics of Spain and Portugal, the floor tiles of Renaissance Italy, the faiences of Antwerp, the development of tile iconography in the Netherlands, and the Ceramic tiles of Germany are all prominent landmarks in the history of Ceramic tile.

In the early days, the tiles were hand-made, each tile was hand-formed and hand-painted, thus each was a work of art in its own right. Ceramic tile was used almost everywhere on walls, floors, ceilings, fireplaces, in murals, and as an exterior cladding on buildings.

Today Ceramic tile throughout the world is not hand-made or hand-painted for the most part. Automated manufacturing techniques are used and the human hand does not enter into the picture until it is time to install the tile. They are used in an almost infinite number of ways and you dont have to consider yourself wealthy to own them. In commercial buildings, where both beauty and durability are considerations, ceramic tiles will be found, particularly in lobby areas and restrooms.

In fact most modern houses throughout use Ceramic tiles for their bathrooms and kitchens and in every vital area of the premise. Ceramic tiles are also the choice of industry, where walls and floors must resist chemicals. And the Space Shuttle never leaves Earth without its protective jacket of high-tech, heat resistant tiles.

(Note: The above history has been compiled after taking varied sources of information into consideration)

Industry Highlights | Ceramic Tiles today have become an integral part of home improvement. It can make a huge difference to the way your interiors and outdoors look and express. | | The Indian tile industry, despite an overall slowdown of the economy, continues to grow at a healthy 15% per annum. | | Investments in the last 5 years have aggregated over Rs. 2000 crores and production during 2006-07 stood at approx. 340 million sq mts. | | The Indian tile industry is divided into organized and unorganized sector. | | The organized sector comprises of approximately 16 players. The current size of the organized sector is about Rs.2625 Crores. | | The unorganized sector accounts for 70% of the total industry bearing testimony of the attractive returns from this sector. The size of the unorganized sector is approximately Rs.6125 Crores.s | | Revenue earning industry - excise mops up over Rs. 350 crores annually from the organized sector itself. | | India ranks in the top 3 list of countries in terms of tile production in the world. | | With proper planning and better quality control our exports (presently insignificant) contribution can significantly increase. |

Apart from their decorative looks, Ceramic Tiles are primarily hygiene products and that is how our broad spectrum of consumers view the product. This is fairly evident from its varied usage from bathrooms and kitchens in average Indian households to medical centers, labs, milk booths, schools, public conveniences, shopping malls and numerous other centers; which dot our day to day life. A ceramic tile is basically a "utility product" and that remains our promotional slogan. Popular housing projects are increasingly switching over to Ceramic Tiles moving away from the traditional use mosaic and even granite or marble, owing to several factors viz. ease in laying ability, versatility, low price and hygiene.

Nevertheless, this decorative aspect of a Ceramic Tiles has forever been in the forefront. Heavy churning out of bolder and colorful designs by the industry are testament to the fact that most households regard a ceramic tile as an "adornment" for an otherwise "drab look" of their age-old floorings or an unfurnished wall.
Overall picture of the Industry

Ceramic tiles as a product segment has grown to a sizeable chunk today at 340 Millions Square meters production per annum. However, the potential seems to be great, particularly as the housing sector, retail, IT & BPO sectors have been witnessing an unprecedented boom in recent times. The ceramic tiles sector has been clocking a robust growth of 12-15% consistently over the last few years. Today, India figures in the top 5 countries in the world manufacturing ceramic tiles.

The key drivers for the ceramic tiles in India are the boom in housing sector coupled by government policies fuelling strong growth in housing sector. The retail boom in the Indian economy has also influenced the demand for higher end products. Overall the bullish growth estimates in the Indian economy has significantly influenced the growth of the Indian Ceramic tile industry.

The main product segments are the Wall tile, Floor tile, Vitrified tile and Porcelain tile segments. The market shares are 35%, 53% and 12% respectively for Wall, Floor & Vitrified/Porcelain tiles. The tiles are available in a wide variety of designs, textures and surface effects. They cater to tastes as varied from rustics to contemporary marble designs in super glossy mirror finishes.

Both, traditional methods of manufacturing (tunnel ) and the latest single fast firing methods are deployed in manufacturing. Some of the latest trends in manufacturing methods can be seen in India.

The investments in the last five years are approx. Rs 2000 crores. The industry also enjoys the unique distinction of being highly indigenous with an abundance of raw materials, technical skills, infrastructural facilities despite being fairly capital intensive. A total of over 5,50,000 people are employed in the sector. Out of this, 50,000 people are directly employed and 5,00,000 are indirectly associated. The potential is huge considering the per capita consumption of ceramic tiles in India. Currently it is at 0.30 square meters per person in comparison to over 2 square meters per person for like countries like China, Brazil and Malaysia
Where we stand and what we must do?

As a foreign exchange earner or a global player, Indian Tile industry has captured the attention of the world in the ceramic tiles segment. India is projected to figure in the top 3 countries manufacturing ceramic tiles by 2010. This however is subject to policies favorable for the tile industry to complete with international players on an even ground.

To compete internationally, our plants must be geared up to large units currently operating in China and Turkey are driven by economies of scale. These will also help us in lowering our cost of production significantly. Also, infrastructural support is a key factor that determines the speed of growth. Better infrastructure will bring in better growth in terms of consistency and sustenance. Freight, supply of power and gas remains the key cost-related issues impacting the industry. Availability, consistent supply and reasonable rates are extremely important for the growth of the ceramic tile industry.

Also, the prevailing anomalies pertaining to Basic Customs Duty on import of ceramic tiles from China and raw materials imported from abroad need to be corrected to prevent dumping of tiles from China. Rural thrust should be enhanced by favorable excise duty and MRP structure

Current status of the Industry

The ceramic tiles industry in India has followed similar trends internationally which have been characterized by excess capacities and falling margins. Countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are setting up their own plants. China has emerged as a major competitor. Producers from Spain and Italy have the advantage of lower transportation costs while exporting to USA and Germany. In India, the per capita consumption is as low as 0.30 square meters per person compared to China (2 square meters per person), Europe (5 to 6 square meters per person) or Brazil (2.5 square meters per person). Rising disposable incomes of the growing middle class and 40 million units of housing shortage hold out a great potential.

A major change that took over the ceramic tiles industry, was the introduction of vitrified and porcelain tiles. These new entrant product types are said to be the tiles of the future. Internationally these tiles are already the major sellers. These category of products account for 13% of all organized sales in this industry.

These new products and the conventional wall & floor tiles have together made the organized industry grow to a formidable Rs. 3000 crores industry. This coupled with a spate of expansions by many players make the industry look very promising in the future.

The Indian Industry has developed an export market although at the lower end. In volume it constitutes less than half a percent of the global market. (Presently India does not figure in the list of major exporting countries). But this reality could change as Indian exports are rising at the rate of 15% per annum. The top-end of the global export market is presently dominated by Italy (40.8%) and Spain (26.4%).
(Source: Compiled using information from Corporate Catalyst India, ASCER and other associations.)
World production: 6900 Million
India's Share: 340 Million
World ranking (in production): 5
Per capita consumption: 0.30
Global Industry Growth Rate: 6%
Growth Rate (India Domestic Market): 15%
Organized industry turnover (India): Rs 3000 crores Glazed Wall Tile share: 40% Glazed Floor Tile share: 46% Unglazed Vitrified Tile share: 8% Glazed Porcelain Tile Share: 6% Unorganised Industry Turnover Rs 3500 crores Glazed Wall Tile share: 57% Glazed Floor Tile share: 35% Unglazed Vitrified Tile share: 6% Glazed Porcelain Tile Share: 2%
Investments in last 5 years: Rs 2000 crores
Organized sector: Share of Production: 56% No. of units: 16 Revenue (excise duty): Rs 300 crores
Unorganized sector: Share of Production: 44% No. of units: 200 (approx..) (70% based in Gujarat region) Revenue (excise duty): Rs 350 crores per annum or less
Job Potential: 50,000 direct 500,000 indirect

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