Industry pioneer sheds light on Northeast's ceramics scene

Priyanka Chakrabarty

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Guwahati: Global Ceramic Private Limited, which started in 1965, is considered one of the pioneers in the ceramics sector of the Northeast. Business North East had a quick conversation with the Director of Global Ceramics Private Limited Rahul Gupta, who shared insights about their business model and prospects for the sector in the region.

Rahul Gupta, Director, Global Ceramics Private Limited

Excerpts of the interview are as under:

Business Northeast: Can you tell us about the history and journey of Global Ceramics, from its inception to its current position in the market?

Rahul Gupta: My grandfather, Hari Ram Gupta, started the business in 1965 in Nagaland. Initially doing business in Nagaland, my father and uncle expanded the business to New Delhi. In 2008, this company was formed as Global Ceramics Private Limited, and we started a showroom in Guwahati in 2008. It was a trendsetter for the Northeast because ours was the only one of its kind. We imported tiles, had an in-way gallery, and started our trade as pioneers. Several showrooms like ours have come up in the ensuing years, but we were the pioneers.

BNE: With a diverse range of products like floor tiles, and wall tiles, how does Global Ceramic ensure quality innovation in its products? 

Gupta: We only sell products from a national brand Kajaria tiles, one of the highest-selling tiles in India. They are doing a business of roughly around Rs 20,000 crores. So they have a huge potential, they have a huge customer base and I also visited their factory, which is a high-tech factory. When I saw their factory I was amazed at the products that they are building. Everyone opts for brands these days and no one is going for local because most people build houses only once. They want everything to be perfect. So we want to give them experience in the showroom.

BNE: You have started a new showroom. So what are the things customers can expect from this showroom? 

Gupta: We will go for a one-stop-shop solution. If you enter our compound, you will get everything starting from steel, cement, pipes, and then sanitary ware, tiles, paints, UPVC doors, and windows. People don't like to travel here and there for building requirements; they want everything in one place. If you go to a shopping mall, you get everything under one roof. If you want jeans, t-shirts, shoes - you will get everything in one store. We have a similar vision. And if the billing is done from one single point, the customer is assured that he is getting authentic branded material from Global Ceramics.

BNE: How does Global Ceramics ensure quality and innovation across its offerings? How does Global Ceramics ensure customer satisfaction throughout the process? 

Gupta: We have a section in our showroom where we have designer tiles from other countries required by the interior and architect segment. We are also catering to interior and architects. It offers the possibility of customization. We can show them 3D designs also.

BNE: what are the plans of Global Ceramics so far as market expansion and product development are concerned?

Gupta: We recently opened a second showroom and the third showroom is coming up in Khatkati, which is in the Karbi Anglong district. Also, we are planning a showroom in North Guwahati, an upcoming market in Assam. 

BNE: Can you share some insights into the partnerships and collaborations that Global Ceramics has established with brands?

Gupta: We have everything ranging from Kajaria, Jaipur, Asian paints, Asahi UPVC windows, and Dr. Fixit Pidilite which is a waterproofing solution. We only sell branded items. So what we have done is we have not partnered with them but we are their dealers. So we buy products from them and then service the entire market. 

BNE: What is the revenue generated by Global Ceramics and what is the sales figure in Northeast? 

Gupta: If we talk about the sales figures in the Northeast, we are doing a business of around Rs 250 crore for the whole year. Year on year we are having good growth - for instance, this year we will have better growth because we just came up with a showroom and people are getting to know about this. So this will boost the retail part we have been lacking for the past few years. Our main focus is on retail now. Wholesale will always be an integral part of the business, but we are focusing more on retail because it is like a D2C business where we are interacting directly with the customers.

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Priyanka Chakrabarty