Full-body porcelain tile segment in India has picked-up : Vikas Kesarkar, Classic Marble

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By Deepshikha Singh

Vikas Kesarkar is the strategic head for pan India marketing and sales at Classic Marble Company (CMC). Responsible for formulating and implementing sales & marketing plans, he also handles the company’s distribution network, depots and regional & branch offices. He serves as the link between operations and management and is responsible for conceptualization, implementation and execution of CMC’s corporate objectives and goals.

Under his marketing leadership, the company made successful inroads into even the remotest regions of India, implemented innovative marketing drives and over time, became the makers of India’s highest selling engineered stones.

In his tenure at CMC, spanning a period of over eight years, he has been responsible for the overall development of CMC’s business and revenue growth besides developing and upgrading existing marketing strategies to open up new avenues for the company’s products.

He has experience of heading product divisions at national levels independently and has spent more than 15 years in the tile industry where he launched many new offerings whilst exploring and learning the nuances and processes of the industry.

In a recent interview with The Global Realty, Kesarkar elaborates about CMC. Excerpts:

The Global Realty: The large size tile segment is developing in India. Who are the buyer /clientele?

Vikas Kesarkar: Yes, the demand for large size or full-body porcelain tile segment in India has picked-up momentum in the last few years. The ceramic tiles segment by itself is a huge market and with the introduction of this edition of tiles, the market bandwidth has further increased. This segment of tiles is economical and offers versatility in applications in both indoor and outdoor areas.

The premium quality tiles are mostly installed in large apartments, bungalows, villas, corporate offices, hotels and malls, among others.

Classic Marble Company (CMC) offers two varieties of large size porcelain slabs under its KalingaSlimtech brand – Grande Porcellana 3mm Ceramic Slabs and Grande Porcellana 6mm Ceramic Slabs. The 3mm Grande Porcellana Ceramic slabs are available in the standard size of 3000mm x 1000mm in 40 stunning shades and designs. The latter, 6mm thick porcelain tiles are high-tech, polished slabs with 3000mm x 1500mm size. The products are not only low on porosity, and have anti-graffiti properties but also are durable, hygienic and offer flexibility in installation making it an ideal choice for indoor and outdoor applications.

The Global Realty: Has it been chosen for its aesthetics or functionality?

Vikas Kesarkar: The large sized tiles offered by CMC factor in both aesthetics and functionality. The wide range of designs and colours in KalingaSlimtech make the tiles apt for conventional as well as contemporary applications in any section while efficiently serving the practical purpose. Its technical characteristics of being strong, and heat and chemical resistant keep the installed area spotless and beautiful retaining its aesthetic value for extended lifespan.

The Global Realty: What are the application areas interior or exterior? Are these types of tiles suitable for both commercial and residential areas?

Vikas Kesarkar: These tiles are versatile in application choices and can be utilized for both indoor and outdoor purposes. Also the tiles are available in dynamic colours and finishes which make them compatible for both residential as well as in commercial spaces. In interiors, the tiles can be installed as flooring, walls clads, kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms and even as laminates for shelves and cabinets, among others. For exteriors, these tiles are suitable for flooring, deck areas, facades, as pavers on lawns, among other applications.

The Global Realty: What are the recent trends in large size tiles?

Vikas Kesarkar: Marmi collection of Grande Porcellana 6mm Ceramic Slabs which has veined patterns has become very popular and is trending in large sized tiles. It has a very opulent appeal and being available in large sizes, the patterns form symmetries seamlessly. These are preferred as applications in living areas for both wall cladding and even for flooring.

Grande Porcellana 3mm Ceramic Slabs that are available in rustic shades and matt finishes are in demand too. These are mainly preferred in cladding applications or as overlaid flooring.

The Global Realty: How are these tiles distinct from the widely available square format tiles i.e. 2*2 or 4*4?

Vikas Kesarkar: The biggest advantage with the large sized tiles is that they offer seamless layouts. The tile visually changes the perception of size of the applied area and makes it look bigger besides giving it a seamless look. Especially in spaces that are spread over large areas, these tiles are a better choice as compared to the smaller sized variants. It makes the installation process easier and quicker, and the tiles provide convenience in maintenance.

The Global Realty: Which new products has the company unveiled recently (in the last six months)? What are its features?

Vikas Kesarkar: CMC has recently launched a marble–inspired large sized porcelain tile called the Marmi Extra Whites. Launched under the company’s slim technology brand KalingaSlimtech, the new introduction belongs to the Grande Porcellana 6mm Ceramic Slabs range. Marmi Extra Whites is a perfect representation of Italian marble with signature style veins on polished, glossy full-body slab. The large size porcelain tile lends a classy and elegant look to the applied area. This makes it a good choice for all interior and exterior facade and flooring applications. The 6mm thin modern porcelain tiles resist wear and tear and are equally apt as laminates for wardrobes, cabinet, consoles, and shelves too, among other applications.

The Global Realty: What are the installation methods?

Vikas Kesarkar: The installation method remains manual like for other tiles. There are suitable adhesives available in the market which are reliable, stronger and create seamless joints wherever applicable. The method is quick in installation and considerably reduces the chances of de-bonding; making the process easy and hassle free. Besides this, the traditional method of cement application also exists and is widely used in flooring installation processes. However, some care needs to be taken during installation including ensuring a flat surface. Using the right kind of adhesive is extremely important too. Being large in size, the tiles are heavier than the regular sized tiles and could slip and break if not installed using the recommended techniques.