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Eco-sensitive Lifestyle Bathrooms

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Nowadays, consumers are interested in bath products that are not only functional and practical but also enhance lifestyle and are in consonance with their well-being. Roca Corporacion Empresarial, S. A, which has a legacy of over 90 years and a strong presence in over 135 markets with 76 factories spread across 18 countries, has been constantly innovating to create products that are sensitive to present as well as future needs. It is the market leader in Europe, Latin America, India and Russia and is a strong player in China and the rest of Asia, Middle East, Australia and Africa as well.

Starting their business activity in 1917 as Compañía Roca Radiadores S. A, Roca was initially dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of cast-iron radiators for home heating at its factory in Barcelona. Firm expansion plans backed by corporate acquisitions and operations all over the world led Roca to become the leading global bathroom brand.

In India, Roca’s consolidation took place in 2006, with its joining hands with Parryware, India’s leading sanitaryware manufacturer. Pau Abelló, Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products Private Limited says, “Parryware gave us the infrastructure, access to its distribution network and the insight into the Indian sanitaryware market. On the other hand, Roca has provided the technical expertise and the production processes that are world-class. As far as the brands in the market are concerned, the brand architecture is very well defined, as Roca and the Parryware brands have their own sets of audiences, their own exclusive distribution networks and also their entire unique product portfolio. While Roca caters to the premium segment, brand Parryware caters to the standard/mass segment. The estimated sanitaryware volume of India is around 25 to 30 million vitreous ceramic pieces annually and brand Roca caters to approximately 15-20% of this market in terms of volume. ”

Roca is dedicated to the creation of highly versatile products which are easily adaptable to the habits of consumers all over the world ranging from vitreous china, baths, saunas, shower columns and cabins, faucets to bathroom furniture, accessories, bath screens and floor & wall tiles. Vijay Asrani, General Manager (Marketing) at Roca Bathroom Products Pvt. Ltd. adds, “Roca brand values namely Innovation, Design, Sustainability, Wellbeing and Leadership define the actions and the directions within the group and transcend all the way from headquarters to its subsidiaries around the world as well. ”

With over 250 showrooms in more than 120 Indian cities, Roca aims to bring its global range within easy reach of the discerning consumers. In India, the company offers various bathroom collections under four brands – Armani/Roca, Laufen, Roca and Parryware to cater to specific segments of consumers. The company has also successfully tied up with key partners for significant projects across regions. The hospitality projects featuring Roca bath products include 5-Star hotels like Hyatt (Chennai), Intercontinental (New Delhi) and Sheraton (Bangalore) to name a few. In addition, Roca products have been installed at the Delhi International Airport – Terminal-3 and 11 Stadiums for Commonwealth Games.

Design

Over the years, Roca has earned critical acclaim, as well as a large and loyal clientele, for its well-designed and high quality range of products. The world’s most prestigious architects and designers, such as Belén & Rafael Moneo, David Chipperfield and Gabriele & Oscar Buratti, Antonio Bullo, Ramon Benedito, Giorgetto Giugiaro, and Schmidt & Lackner are empanelled with Roca, and they bring together creativity, convenience and technology to create products that are known for their exceptional design concepts and aesthetic expressions.

This brilliant confluence has resulted in the creation of extraordinary collections, year after year. Gabriele & Oscar Buratti created the W+W, an extraordinary product in terms of design and sustainable solutions. The Wash basin + WC, designed to maximize space and conserve water, is a perfect example that reflects Roca’s “water-reuse technology”. It filters waste water from the washbasin to fill the toilet cistern. Here, integration took on the expression of innovation and design. As a result, W+W was appreciated worldwide, sweeping up a series of awards, including the coveted Silver Delta Award in 2011 for best product design, the European Environmental Design Award in 2010 and the Design Plus Award in 2009.

Antonio Bullo’s Gap collection is both compact and functional. Its wide range enables one to optimise any bathroom space. Its modern and stylish lines make it an intelligent choice. David Chipperfield too has added his modernist approach to Roca through the Element Collection, which is a pure, geometrical, radical proposal and is a class apart…

Likewise, the Laufen luxury bathroom range offers integrated bathroom concepts ranging from ceramic sanitaryware to faucets, bathroom furniture and mirrors, to shower trays, bathtubs and whirl systems. The product range is enhanced by innovative material developments through the production of a near white porcelain body that allows smaller radii and a slimmer appearance. Various Laufen design lines have been created together with famous designers and architects like award-winning ensemble Ilbagnoalessi by Stefano Giovannoni characterised by a timeless form, MyLife bathroom series by Hartmut Esslinger, the Palomba collection, bearing the signature of the Italian designer couple, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba and the ceramic design concept of Modern Plus created by Swiss designer Peter Wirz.

The technologically advanced Armani/Roca bathroom collection created by renowned designer Giorgio Armani fulfils the strictest criteria of pure design without compromising on luxury and sensuality. This luxury collection achieves a fine balance through the selection of materials, choice of textures and some unexpected pairings. The bathroom nucleus is configured as an island with the exquisite touch of the finest porcelain, where the basin, sanitaryware, bath and shower area are concentrated. This is a modular system in a range of sizes offered in a dual palette of materials and shades such as black with tap fittings in the same shade, ceramic wall tiling in a shagreen effect (a rare and precious material that epitomises the Armani style) and greige, with wall coverings in a reeded texture and fluid colours for sanitaryware and flooring. Faucets, where functionality prevails, are reduced to the minimum. The bath, filled with water by an internal shutter, features a system unique to Armani/Roca, inspired by vanishing edge pools and never used in this context before. The system is completed by the jet shower, which performs a traditional and targeted massage. Abelló adds, “The World One towers in Mumbai by the Lodha group which is set to be the tallest residential building in the world will feature Armani/Roca bathrooms in all the apartments. Besides this, there are plans to set up six exclusive retail showrooms across India by April 2014 showcasing the Armani/Roca bathroom concept. The locations for retail showrooms have already been identified and designs approved by Giorgio Armani. ”

The six Roca Design Centres located across the world, analyse the needs, tastes, lifestyle and socio-cultural trends manifested in society to offer impeccable design and fine quality products and services, while the Technology Department evaluates the whole process of developing and manufacturing new products to provide tailored solutions for all requirements.

Innovation

In addition to working with world-class designers, Roca also encourages the dissemination of ideas and the exchange of opinions among professionals, via events like the International Design Contest – Jump the Gap. This contest starts from the assumption that young people create designs for today while keeping tomorrow in focus; a tomorrow when the limitations of today will not apply and when new needs, architecture, technologies and products will emerge which will help us to improve people’s lives through more well-being, hygiene and comfort.

Pre-empting change inspired Roca to create the Innovation Lab in 2007, a facility located in ESADE Creápolis, Barcelona, where passionate minds from across the world come together to explore new possibilities. This is complemented by the Roca Design Centre where a team of experts anticipate future needs by analysing user behaviour and market trends, in order to develop futuristic concepts.

The Roca Innovation Lab envisages “medium and long-term experiences” based on specific themes such as age, health, well-being and intelligent bathrooms. For instance, Khromaclin is a WC with a built-in bidet seat. It has a user-friendly remote control with a touch-screen which not only enables quick access to the main functions of the WC but also allows the user to easily control the toilet, with each user having his own profile. This avant-garde innovation also has ‘Cleanair’ technology to keep the atmosphere fresh via suction at the rim of the WC seat, as well as a deodoriser. Further contributing to the collection’s value are slow closing toilet seats and backrests covered by Roca Soft Texture®, a material that is soft and pleasant to touch.

Mentioning a few other innovative products, Asrani says, “Our In-Tank Meridian, a thorough innovation, is the first wall-hung WC to have the cistern and the operating plate integrated within the closet, thereby removing the need for any behind-the-wall plumbing, installation and servicing. Likewise, CleanRim the Gap, through the introduction of an efficient distributor at the back of the toilet reduces the flush volume and also makes the WC extremely hygienic and easy to clean. Also in the offing is Puzzle, a collection of customized and modern shower spaces, and a stylish range of steel-enamelled bathtubs and shower trays as well. In addition, the entire Alba rangewhich includes a bathtub with water cascading from both the sides culminates in a much intensified massage gives a feeling of being one with nature. All these productsand more comprise the Roca novelties that we planto introduce next year. Furthermore, products that are Indian-centric include cold water taps, wall-hung with cistern, and some bowls and drop-in basins.”

An altogether new concept from Roca is the digital catalogue and iPad application. The company has taken the age-old concept of the product catalogue and transformed it to create an online user experience that’s fast, convenient, user-friendly and dynamic. The digital catalogue showcases a comprehensive database of all Roca products and information about Roca sanitaryware, mixers, baths, showers, furniture and accessories.

The products, solutions and collections – all can be browsed through easily with an ‘Advanced Search’ feature which allows users to find those products that best suit their needs. This multi-layered search feature enables users to conduct a ‘general search’, ‘search by reference’ or ‘search by product category’. In addition, several search options help visitors to find everything reliably – from product specifications to technical drawings. The ‘Novelties 2013’ section helps visitors to stay abreast of the latest innovations in the Roca portfolio. The segment includes detailed descriptions of the latest in Roca solutions and a visually captivating gallery of the products. Another salient feature of the website is the ‘Dibanext’ application, literally meaning the ‘next step’. It is a 3D bathroom planner that allows users to visualize and create bathrooms as per their own requirements.

Roca is a company that believes in maintaining a strong relation with its social environment, and carrying activities to support training and promote knowledge. Roca has several training centres all over the world which function to support the professional activity of budding architects. Carrying forward its global vision to define the ideal bathroom, in India, Roca has also set up a learning center at its Bhiwadi plant – 60km from Delhi to enhance the skill set amongst the plumbers and the trade. The 1200sqm Roca learning center comprises a practical area and a theoretical area. The practical centre is equipped with products, tools and materials for training purposes. And the training program is designed to ensure that the workman and the plumber fraternity have the ability to deliver a complete bathroom installation and maintenance service. Various interactive spaces have been created to allow a hands-on product experience.

Sustainability

The Roca Group has been continuously innovating with products in the bathroom space which not only provide aesthetic choices to customers in wellness & hygiene but are also designed and manufactured with sustainability as a key value. Under the umbrella of ‘Roca Loves the Planet’ campaign, the company carries out three types of sustainability related actions and policies:

• Innovative products on water consumption

• Sustainable manufacturing processes

• Awareness on and projects related to sustainability

Innovative products on water consumption: In the field of product development, Roca has made significant efforts to bring to the market innovative solutions for saving water and energy. Products available include dual-flush WCs, low capacity baths in acrylic and steel, taps with flow restrictors and Eco Disc cartridges. Many of these products are registered with the Water Label, meaning they have been independently verified as being water efficient.

Sustainable manufacturing processes: In addition to the efforts to design sustainable bathroom solutions, the company has taken initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in its factories. The Group’s environmental policy finds concrete form in the Eco-Roca Project, whose main goals are to reduce energy consumption per tonne produced by 25% by 2014. One of the most ambitious of Roca’s commitments is also the programme Zero Waste which aims at 100% reduction of waste in the plants of Roca.

Awareness on sustainability: Since the 1960s, Roca has been implementing a range of initiatives to encourage water saving. With the creation of the We Are Water Foundation in 2010, the company has taken a step further in environmental vocation, reinforcing its commitment to sustainability. The Foundation has two main objectives – to raise awareness among institutions and the general public about the need for a new culture of water. The second objective is related to its involvement in activities to minimize the negative effects of the lack of adequate water resources.

The We Are Water Foundation promotes debate amongst the public and organisations on the need to create a new culture of water. It encourages the fair development and sustainable management of the world’s water resources and supports various cooperation projects in collaboration with NGOs and other bodies.

Leadership

As a frontrunner in the bathroom space, Roca’s brand story has evolved out of the value of leadership. This powerful value spells responsibility, which is at the heart of everything Roca does – from its exceptional designs to its innovative technologies, sustainable initiatives to redefining consumer lifestyles – Roca bears the mantle of leadership with sincerity and integrity. Its pioneering attitude has led the company to champion several breakthrough initiatives in sustainability, innovation, design and wellbeing.

A stellar example of its leading status is reflected in the world-renowned Roca Galleries around the world. Roca has teamed up with world renowned architects like Carlos Ferrater, Zaha Hadid, Estudio Lamela and the design studio of Ferruz Decoradors to create these awe-inspiring, internationally acclaimed structures that have become institutions in themselves. The most famous being the Barcelona Gallery, which is the flagship building responsible for all of Roca’s social, cultural and exhibition activities. The Roca Barcelona Gallery has won international applause by winning many awards for its concept, design and innovation. The breathtaking Roca London Gallery by Ar. Zaha Hadid, was opened to the public recently. Other Roca Galleries are at Madrid, Lisbon, Shanghai and Sao Paulo.

Wellbeing

Roca has contributed in a definitive way to the transformation of the bathroom space from a purely functional place to a place of experience and relaxation. Through the constant development of technology, Roca has been able to adjust the bathroom to ensure that it meets the requirements of stressful modern living. For instance, the Electronic Toilet range comprising Khromaclin and Multiclin is a practical solution for maximum intimate hygiene, combining the toilet and bidet in a single product with countless added functions.

Other wellness bathroom solutions include hydromassage bathtubs and shower columns, spas, bath furniture and accessories. Asrani adds, “Furniture is an important category in the Roca portfolio as it establishes the ‘washpoint’ which will be definitive of the bathroom space in India shortly. ” Multi-purpose shower cubicles, shower trays and bath tubs in acrylic, cast iron, steel and enamel are all designed to relax, stimulate and offer toning effects. The new generation of whirlpool bathtubs, in minimalist and modern shapes have been developed with the idea of ‘simplicity in design and function’ and thus feature a control panel that is extremely intuitive to use.

All in all, engaged in a process of continuous research and development, Roca is deeply committed to the excellence of the design of its products, with the objective of offering its clients spaces in which all five senses encounter unique experiences. Roca’s status as world brand leader is reflected in the creation of highly versatile products which are easily adaptable to the habits of consumers all over the world and which offer tailored solutions to all requirements.

At Roca, a future is constructed where design and innovation work together for the wellbeing of everybody. All this has contributed towards making the Roca brand the ultimate worldwide benchmark reference for the creation of bathroom spaces.

Open faucet

True example of research, the collection with its raining waterfall effect ensures maximum comfort and minimum consumption.

 

L20 faucet

The series minimises water and energy consumption with its cutting-edge new technology that allows the Cold Start frontal opening for cold water preventing the boiler from turning on when not needed.

 

 

Puzzle collection

The personalised and modern shower spaces will feature various shower heads, jets and shower mixers (with 3, 4 and 5 outlets and 8 combinable elements) that adapts to your needs and provides you with all the benefits of hydromassage.

 

Lun Plus bathtub

The new steel enamelled bathtub combines comfort, durability and continuous hydromassage solutions, thanks to In-flow.

 

 

The Luna & Debba furniture

Maximum storage space while combining the latest trends in design with space optimisation is what this collection is about.

In-Tank Meridian

The first toilet in the world integrating the tank inside the bowl using an adjustable flushing mechanism intended to save water.

 

 

“The Indian market is complex and our effort is to reach the correct target audience and deliver the right brand promise. ”Pau Abelló

Speaking to Buildotech, Pau Abelló, Managing Director, Roca Bathroom Products Private Limited, briefs on the general scenario of the Indian Sanitaryware market, the Company’s marketing plans for India and its sustainability initiatives.

What are your views on the Indian bath products’ market?

Firstly, as opposed to general opinion, I believe the Indian market is healthy and growing. Despite recent problems like the weak rupee and loan procuring challenges as well as election atmosphere, the construction market is stable. Secondly, in terms of our company growth, we have been moving cautiously while undertaking of expansion plans, creating new facilities and ramping up of production lines. Though these took time, we are now achieving the delivery dates promised to the clients.

How difficult it has been to maintain the leadership position in this sector in India?

India is not a country but a continent and presents a huge market. In addition, the Indian market is very complicated, dynamic and ever-changing in terms of consumer preferences. The Indian consumer today is much more conscious of the bathroom space and much more informed with the entry of a lot of multinational companies. Therefore, it is a challenge to be at the top of the business segment. We have been steadily scaling up our production capacity to meet the demand and are increasing the market share to keep the number one position in the Indian bath & sanitaryware market.

What is Roca marketing strategy in India?

The approach will focus on two areas. One focuses on our holistic brand architecture in India — the completely imported brands of Armani/Roca & Laufen, Roca, and Parryware, a brand entirely developed in India. We plan to increase our presence in social media and various other public communication channels like print, mobiles and television etc. to inform the consumers of the new developments and reach a wider audience.

The other focus area is identifying the current market trends in India and being in sync with the same. It is a challenge to do so as the Indian market is very vibrant and keeps changing in tune with customer preferences. As a step in this direction, we have updated and contemporarized Parryware & Roca product catalogues and are poised to keep up with market trends in various categories of bath products. We have launched more than 100 new products in the last year and will continue to take advantage of the various platforms within the Roca Group.

Roca Group global presence advantages for Roca India.

The Roca headquarters and Innovation Lab are in Spain. The Group has design centers at five different locations across the world and this facilitates best design concepts easily delivered to India. The company approach will include investing in the production of sustainable and fashionable bath products specifically for India and also transferring products developed elsewhere to the Indian market in short delivery time. For example, we were able to fulfill an order for 100 pieces of a bathtub range by getting the supply within two weeks.

Roca sustainability initiatives in India.

At Roca, sustainability is a key value and is implemented across its products, production processes and actions. The slogan ‘Roca loves the planet’ accompanies its entire sustainability communication and is an expression of Roca’s absolute commitment to preserving the environment.

In India, our factory at Bhiwadi is zero-waste and has an integrated water treatment plant for water efficiency. In Anantapur, a semi-desert zone of Andhra Pradesh, Roca is working with Vicente Ferrer Foundation to build dams and to provide drip irrigation facilities. The Roca Group is involved in various other projects around the world in collaboration with organizations like the United Nations, UNICEF, OXFAM and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote sustainable practices and water conservation. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation conducted the first edition of ‘Reinvent the Toilet’ challenge in 2011 in Seattle, USA and the second edition is scheduled to be held in March 2014 in New Delhi, India.

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