US-based Kitchen and bath fittings major Kohler has said India’s reforms reform process will help make it more transparent and drive productivity over the long run, and consider it as a key market for the company’s growth. “We think that the future in India is exceptional with demographic outlook the country has, with a young population and productivity that will inevitably pick up in the country over the decades to come. “So, we think that this is certainly one of the most important markets in the world that we should be present in. We have been here for over 12 years in plumbing. We have invested $200 million in the country. Kohler is the number one international brand in the country,” company’s President & CEO David Kohler said here speaking on the sidelines of inaugurating a retail outlet.
Commenting on the company’s business plans for the country, he said, “we are excited to be in India. This is our 12th year with our kitchen and bath business. It is on the most strategic markets in the world, it is one of our top ten markets for us”. He said Kohler has 400 retail outlets across the country. “This is an important part of showcasing our brand and all the different choices in style and design that you can have,” he said. Kohler also sees the similarity in Indian and Chinese markets.
“They are both very similar in terms of high growth rates. We have been in China little bit longer—21 years as against 12 years in India. But, they are both growing at a very high rate. For us, they are the two most populous and strategic markets outside of the US that we have,” he added. He also said that the company will be opening a new Experience Centre in Delhi on Friday.”We are opening our new experience centre in Delhi. They are larger spaces that not only have our product line for the domestic market, but they also have the product line for global specifications.
Because a lot of projects that are designed in Delhi may be for markets outside of India,” he said. Asked to comment on challenges in the Indian market, Kohler said, “We don’t see challenges, sometimes you see temporary obstacles. One of the challenges, historically, has been infrastructure. But, infrastructure, step by step, is improving in the country, which is helping the country and that needs to be continued to be invested in.
Prime Minister Modi has made that a priority, we believe.” Asked about his comments on the Goods and Services Tax rollout in the country, he said, “there has been a lot of change recently, with demonetisation, real estate reforms and the GST.
So, we will see how that impacts the economy, I think in the long run it will be good. There will certainly be some short-term bumps…but in the long run it is good for the economy and it should help make it more transparent and drive productivity in the economy over the long run”. He also said that the company has plans for opening more such centres around the globe.