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 Designer industrial products from Europe

European industrial products which are designed with a touch of art are now being marketed in India. In the last two years, indigenous manufacturers of ceramic wares, stainless steel kitchen sinks, laminate flooring, hardwood floor mouldings and vitrified tiles are either manufacturing similar products in collaboration with a foreign company which has patented the technology or directly importing the finished product.

Ketan Shah,
proprietor of C Bhogilal of West-End, maintains that arts and crafts merged industrial products imported from Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy, France and even the USA are creating a niche in the Mumbai market. "In recent years, some indigenous product manufacturers are entering into technology collaboration with European manufacturers of ceramic products, vitrified tiles, shower panels and shower cubicles, exquisite laminates for flooring and furniture and sanitary ware. Others have been directly importing the finished good. Even though the cost of these imported products is nearly thrice the rate of indigenous manufactured products, there is a substantial demand for these products in the local market,'' claims Shah.

Dinesh Kiran Agarwal of Diamond Blanco Germany, a subsidiary of Pheonix Appliances Private Limited, which is in a technical tie-up with Oberderdingen (Germany)-based, Blanco GMBH+ Co. K.G., claims that its stainless steel sinks meet the functional demands of today's kitchen and the quality has been exceptionally high. ``The technical tie-up between Diamond Blanco Germany of Pheonix Appliances Private Limited and Blanco GMBH+Co.K.G., in 1999, has borne fruits. The response for this German made product is fairly good and is expected to proportionally increase with the economic recession in India receding.''

While European Union companies excel in ceramic, laminate and vinyl goods, North American firms market hardwood floor mouldings and sanitaryware products, to India. In fact a special exhibition portraying exquisite German glassware, metalware, ceramics, jewellery and textiles which was in vogue around 1970, was held on November 28 and 29, 2000, at the National Gallery of Modern Art. Around 80 selected exquisite articles showcasing the works of some of the leading pioneers in the contemporary art world and their individual styles and forms would be put up for viewing at the exhibition. The aim of the exhibition is to focus on the aspect of the movement experienced in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century, when there was a demand for amalgamating crafts and arts with industrial products.

By: Mani D'Mello




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