Form and function both get a boost as suppliers try to reach more markets.
India's selection of bathroom and kitchen sinks is expanding in line with suppliers' efforts to strengthen competitiveness overseas. Makers are also exploring opportunities in the domestic market, where demand has been on the upswing thanks to a booming construction industry.
To meet growth objectives, companies are offering a wider selection of sizes, shapes and colors to cater to various home interiors. Some manufacturers in the country are broadening design choices further through the use of handpainted or embossed artwork.
India hosts about 2,000 manufacturers of ceramic sinks, although the organized sector consists only of 400 enterprises. For stainless steel types, there are nearly 1,000 makers, 150 of which ship products overseas.
Copper and bronze models, meanwhile, can be sourced from 10 or so exporters.
More than 95 percent of the supplier base is locally owned. The rest consists of foreign-invested entities.
Most makers of stainless steel and ceramic sinks focus on the domestic market. In the first category, only 10 percent of output is shipped abroad. Manufacturers of ceramic sinks send 20 to 25 percent of production overseas.
Copper sink providers, on the other hand, are relatively export-oriented. Up to 60 percent of yield is bound for the international market.
The Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal are the top overseas destinations of India's basins.
Functionality is also getting a boost. The latest releases from India are durable and convenient to maintain, coming in finishes that resist corrosion, repel dirt and prevent bacterial development.
Jains Brothers, which specializes in stainless steel kitchen sinks, offers models featuring an underbody coated with ceramic for rust resistance. Designs come with single, double or triple bowls.
At Vani Crafts, the selection includes bathroom basins made of copper, which has natural anti-bacterial properties. Round, oval and polygon pieces in oxidized and lacquered finishes are available.
Barrack International, another supplier interviewed for this report, offers ceramic bathroom sinks in a range of colors, depths, widths and heights. Styles include pedestal, wall-mount and countertop.
India bathroom and kitchen sink makers see sales and exports rising 10 to 20 percent this year. Besides their strong design capability, companies believe the skilled workforce, availability of raw materials and affordability of products will propel growth.
The government has also implemented several programs to encourage the improvement of the industry. Under the Market Development Assistance Scheme, for example, financial support is provided to exporters that want to participate in international trade fairs.
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