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Indian success stories: foreign companies finding their feet in India

With a rapidly growing economy and consumer class, India has a developing appetite for foreign products and brands – particularly in the building and interiors sector. As such, both larger and smaller players are heading to the South Asian country to scoop up some amazing opportunities.


We’ve profiled three successful international building and interiors companies, and their Indian operations, to demonstrate the bountiful business environment foreign firms can enjoy in India.


German bathroom and sanitary ware giant Grohe presents the template for Indian success. Since entering India in 2007, the German brand has expanded to become the dominant foreign company in the bathroom ware sector. The brand enjoys a 49% share of this market.

The company’s Indian operations are handled by Grohe India Pvt Ltd. As of 2015, Grohe India has 1,000 stores across the country supported by 200 direct partners and 100 sales staff.

Being a high end brand, Grohe is present in India’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities (i.e. the wealthiest in the country). The brand is planning to expand into Tier 3 territories. Part of this strategy is the opening of Grohe Live! Centres. These are one-stop shops which feature a huge range of Grohe products and allow customers to familiarise themselves with them before they buy. The company currently has three such centres, located in Bangaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai.

It was announced in April 2015 that Grohe India will expand its range of brands to cover Tier 3 cities. “Right now we are expanding our product range in the American Standard and Grohe brands, but will soon launch products in the INAX, Jaxon, Joyu and Dawn brands in the Indian market,” said the company’s Managing Director Renu Misra, in an interview with the Deccan Herald.

Representing the growing desire for premium sanitary ware in India, Grohe India recently began selling a model of bathtub which costs 10 million Indian rupees, the equivalent of nearly $150,000, in April 2015.


Roche Bobois

India is currently home to the world’s 14th largest furniture market with a valuation of $30 billion. As seen across the entirety of the interiors market, the desire for quality imported products is growing in this sector. French luxury brand Roche Bobois is one company that has realised the opportunities India represents for furniture manufacturers and capitalised on them accordingly.

Starting with a single store, which opened in Mumbai in 2014, the company has expanded into Bangalore and is eyeing cities such as Pune and Hyderabad as sites for further showrooms. However, Samvit Tara, Roche Bobois India’s Managing Director, realises there is a need to go beyond the simple showroom format if businesses wish to succeed in India.

“In luxury retailing, brand marketing is mainly driven by word-of mouth. We are engaging with interior designers and architects not just in the cities where we have a physical presence. From the store located in a city like Mumbai or Bangalore we reach out to the big architects and interiors designers in the smaller cities in the region. They are the ones who recommend the brand to our customers,” Mr Tara told the Financial Chronicle.

Word of mouth is vital. What Roche Bobois has found, however, is that many affluent Indian consumers already knew the brand from their travels abroad. Many were importing Roche Bobois products from overseas before the French firm had a physical presence in India.

The brand has also tied up with a number of local developers. This will ensure that Roche Bobois furniture will be used in numerous luxury developments. As such, brand awareness will further grow. And, in a market that is growing at a rate of 25% each year, making your brand known is an essential component of success in India.



The Panariagroup contains a wealth of Italian ceramic tile manufacturer and boasts an expanded presence in India. In 2012, the group entered into a partnership with Asian Granito India Ltd., one of India’s leading tile manufactures, to expand into India’s ceramics tile market.

Primarily, this joint venture operates under the Bellissimo brand. A network of partners ensures that Bellissimo has secured penetration across the country with dealers located in each major city – including those with Tier 3 status. Fostering relationships with dealers and distributors is something all businesses should already know the value of – Panariagroup’s cross-India presence further reinforces this.



One aspect of this partnership that has ensured Bellissimo has a flourishing brand in India is the creation of tile manufacturing hubs in key areas. This has removed import costs from the equation and allowed the brand to further expand in the luxury segment. Asian Granito’s existing plants have been updated with Italian tile technology so the brand can create top quality products on Indian soil.

By partnering with an Indian company, the Panariagroup also had immediate access to essential domestic market knowledge. And, as all international businesses know, pre-existing knowledge of local conditions and the business environment gives brands an immediate edge over competitors.


Foreign companies can find brilliant opportunities in India

These are just some of the great success stories that are unfolding in India. It is a safe assumption that, with India’s impressive economic growth being matched by a greater number of middle to high income consumers, international brands and products will continue to grow in popularity. The opportunities are many in India. Companies should be making their first steps into the market now.

The above stories indicate that the building and interiors market in India is rapidly growing. Putting your brand and products in front of domestic experts is essential for Indian success. The ACETECH series of trade shows brings together India’s major players in this industry, including buyers, architects and designers, to give businesses the ideal platform for expansion into India.

Learn more about ACETECH to see how the shows can provide your brand with a huge advantage when it comes to securing vital Indian business contacts.



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