The Challenging VUCA years:
While pre-pandemic, we talked about VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. Macro economics and micro economics and how it is affecting the world. However, PANDEMIC gave us the actual experience of how VUCA would impact lives of people, businesses and the interdependent world.
COVID -19 showed us disruptions and unseen challenges that created unprecedented chaos. In years to follow, we have managed to adapt and move on. Indian Ceramic Industry has been the leader in doing so by showing how growth can be attained despite such challenges.
Post-Pandemic, the 2 Years have seen a near exponential growth of exports in the ceramic sector for Indian industries.
Adapting to the new world
Disruptions in supply chains, ships grinding to halt and transportation costs going through the roof, were just a few problems faced by exporters. Labor shortages, mass migrations, and re-starting of factories added to the chaos.
Explore and Promote
Marketing teams went overboard to explore options of price-value propositions they could offer the world. Networking digitally, understanding in depth and comparing global competition provided a broader view of the global landscape in the ceramic sector.
Exploring was done in multiple regions. The American Subcontinent, Europe Africa and Australia were the points of focus for new markets. While Middle East and Far East were already connected to Indian ceramic products imports, the exploration of increasing their value as well.
While each region had its own set of requirements and needs, the entrepreneurs in Morbi had the resources and experience to meet these requirements.
Innovate and Create
The business houses began to innovate their processes, equipment and people efficiencies. The operation performances were improved with better industrial engineering practices.
Creation of new designs and better performing products for the global world became a norm rather than an event. Applying global standards of quality made sure products met expectations of markets and importers across the world.
Quality and Universal Acceptability
New products, Existing products with high performing properties and totally new categories, all were upgraded to meet global demands.
With players investing in international marketing there were more players willing to go offshore for personal meetings, trade show participations and exhibiting their products.
Competitive Pricing and Cost Advantage
Not new at all the factor of costing and pricing in the Indian sub continent has always favored Indian businesses, be it ceramic or others.
For ceramic exports, nearness to ports and smooth road transport to the ports have both added to the cost advantage.
Competitive pricing the ceramic products while maintaining sustainable profits matched perfectly for both the sellers and buyers across borders, leading to long term sustained trade.
Government Support and Initiatives:
The Indian government has been supporting the ceramic industry during the pandemic and beyond. Through better policies, consistent problem solving and making exports procedures smooth, the government and its machinery has supported the exporters as they bring in the vital foreign currency and help maintain a beneficial trade deficit scenario.
Various initiatives, such as the "Make in India" and “Start-up India” campaign, were aimed at promoting ceramic manufacturing and boosting exports. The government also provided financial incentives, relaxed regulations, and facilitated trade partnerships to encourage Indian ceramic manufacturers to expand their global footprint.
While this phase has been pretty rewarding, the going is getting tougher by the day. All factors aside, the Indian brands competing amongst each other is leading to buyers making the most of price wars.
To sustain and further capitalize on this growth, it is crucial for Indian manufacturers to invest in research and development, expand their product portfolios, and strengthen trade relationships with existing and emerging markets.