German plumbing solutions specialist SCHELL has been in India for more than 8 years. Over the years, Schell has successfully positioned itself as a technology player that prides itself in the quality it offers. A buildingandinteriors.com exclusive with Mr.C.V.Dilipkumar, Managing Director, SCHELL India Pvt.Ltd.
B&I: How has Schell journey in India been till now?
DK: India as a market offers many challenges, and these only add-up for a player like SCHELL. But what is gradually changing in India is the fact that the market for quality and robust solutions like ours’ is seeing a very encouraging trend. Our customers, having used our products over the years, are our solid support in the Indian market.
SCHELL has been a brand that has progressed steadily in the Indian market. This shows in the brand recall value in the market. Over a period, many quality channel partners have associated themselves with SCHELL India. Today, our products are available at approx. 135 sales points where customers can have the ‘touch and feel’ experience and are able to appreciate the quality associated with SCHELL.
B&I: What are your objectives from the Indian market over the next 2-3 years?
DK: We have been strong in sensor/contact-based products and due to the virus outbreak, the market realises how important it is to have products which promote hygiene. We will concentrate on our sensor-based products like washbasin draw-off taps, urinal flush valves and WC flush valves. To be even more cost competitive, we are also concentrating on setting up an assembly unit in India.
B&I: Tell us about your upcoming facility in south India?
DK: As the moment we do not have a manufacturing facility. We will begin with an assembly unit for angle valves – something that the Indian plumbing market knows SCHELL for. We will gradually add other products to this assembly plant and as I said, get even more cost competitive. Over the years, the idea is to have a manufacturing facility in India.
B&I: How important are Architects in Schell India’s strategy?
DK: For SCHELL, Architects are one of the main target audiences. We feel that Architects are one of the important links in any building project. They are getting increasingly sensitive to the issues related to plumbing solutions. A wrong/sub-standard product in plumbing leaves a bad taste for the Architect, the project owner and the ultimate user. Water conservation, which is central to our plumbing solutions, is another important factor that the Architects are increasingly concerned about. With SCHELL, the Architects can be sure that they are in safe hands as far as plumbing solutions are concerned.
B&I: How can an Architect associate with Schell?What are the advantages for an Architect to work with Schell?
DK: We have our presence across India. The Architect can get in touch with us on our toll free no. 1800 258 3101. We are very proactive to address the enquiries that we receive. Alternately, we also have a centralised email address – firstname.lastname@example.org for any specific product enquiry.
On the advantages part, I can say very confidently that with SCHELL, the Architects will have a complete peace of mind as far as the plumbing solutions are concerned. When an Architect specifies SCHELL, he can be sure that he is proposing a company which is a plumbing specialist and one that has a strong presence on ground for any installation/after sales support.
B&I: How do you see the role of large PMCs in Schell India’s business plans?
We see PMCs as an important customer. They buy in bulk. We usually discuss the merits of our solutions with them. The PMCs know that the quality versus price proposition is very well addressed by SCHELL. By using our solutions, PMCs is able to get lot of plumbing problems out of the way in their projects.
B&I: Tell us about your after-sales network. Dealer is a ‘physical contact-point’. How does that change for Schell in a post-Covid world, where social distancing are important?
DK: We have our sales presence at 9 locations covering 10 states. For after sales service, we have our technicians to attend to such calls. A customer can call us on our Toll free number for both installations and complaints, if any. We respond to the calls within 48 hrs of receiving them.
At Schell, our focus is to make products that do not require much maintenance. The market knows us by that recall. As markets open for business, we are fully geared to service our ever expanding customer base. Our service technicians would be moving in the market maintaining all protocols like social distancing, personal hygiene, etc.
B&I: How do you see the competition scenario?
DK: Competition is present almost in all sectors and a company should not be worried about it. We have specialized products like filter angle valve, space saving appliance connection fittings, etc. We are also strong in our sensor-based products. The market acknowledges that we are a German company and we come from an extraordinarily strong engineering background. A well engineered product is never expensive. It’s better value for money.
B&I: Do you see any chances of competing and non-competing brands teaming-up to do business in India, especially on the project side of business?
DK: As of now we do not see it happening. There is scope in non-competing brands, for. e.g where ever commercial RO system is used with conventional taps, this can be replaced with sensor taps, companies who have provided RO systems can contact us in case these taps needs to be replaced.
To know more about plumbing solutions from Schell, click here.