From self-suffiecient toilets where human waste gets processed and transforms into useful resources to interactive mirrors where you get to read the daily news while you brush to mood showers where you relax on a recliner while bathing, the future of bathrooms is likely to become a lot more interactive and luxurious than it ever was in the next few years. With the thought process of the customers getting more evolved due to increased international exposure and the understanding that even bathrooms need to be aesthetically appealing, new innovations and technological advancements seem to be the order of the day and the trend has slowly but steadily made inroads in the Indian bathroom market too. As a result, a number of international companies have set foot on Indian soil with their latest offerings with Indian companies keeping them on the edge with stiff competition. From being a predominantly unorganised market a decade ago to being one of Asia’s largest bathroom hubs, the size of the organised sanitaryware and fittings market in India is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore which is likely to grow at a pace of 7-8 per cent over the next few years.
Bathrooms today go hand-in-hand with a real lifestyle factor that guarantees a higher quality of life, greater comfort and a greater sense of well-being. They are no more a functional space but a personal one where an individual unwinds from their long harsh day, relax and reenergise.
Though the pandemic has slowed down the pace of business for the major players, especially when it comes to the hospitality sector, which happens to be one of the biggest, they are confident of an early revival. However, latest innovations have forayed in the Indian markets.
“At LIXIL, we believe in evolving with the times and proactively adapting to market requirements. Our flagship brand, GROHE, has introduced several industry firsts, including the revolutionary SmartControl thermostat system with push button and turn technology. With SmartControl, within a few years, we have captured the largest share of the premium thermostat market in India. We also launched SmartActive shower systems and hydrophilic, anti-microbial glazing technologies in ceramics along with introducing products like shower toilets and spalet that redefine consumer experiences,” says Bobby Joseph, Leader - LIXIL Water Technology, India & Subcontinent.
The company has also introduced Acacia SupaSleek Square, a wall-hung toilet which with its rectangular, skirted design stands out in any bathroom décor and is packed with ground-breaking flushing and anti-microbial technologies like Double Vortex and Aqua Ceramic. “Our Signature collection toilets are equipped with SiphonMax flushing system with PowerRim to remove both heavy and light waste with minimum effort. We will continue to strive for excellence and bring innovative solutions to the Indian market in the future as well,” he adds.
Duravit has been constantly ushering in innovation and new technologies to improve user’s bathroom experience. “Duravit and Philippe Starck’s SensoWash® Starck F is a new shower-toilet generation can be operate via a remote control and configurable via an app. It has features like motion sensor for automatic cover opening through the user ID in the seat up to a wide range of setting options for seat heating, shower flow, and controllable hot air dryer. Then is Duravit’s HygieneFlush system which has a powerful volume of the flush which flows from two separate openings. This new technology, developed by Duravit, ingeniously combines the idea of a rotational flush with the open Duravit Rimless flushing rim technology and deploys two parallel flushing actions,” informs Asutosh Shah, Managing Director, Duravit India Pvt Ltd.
Likewise Hansgrohe too has been imbibing latest innovative technologies that enable users to enjoy water responsibly with ergonomic comfort and aesthetic indulgence. “AirPower users get more enjoyment out of water while reducing consumption. The technology essentially enriches the shower water with air, making the droplets lighter and soft. This technology can be fitted into faucets, hand showers and overhead showers. Similarly QuickClean users enjoy easy maintenance and cleaning of their showers and taps, without the need for any chemical-laden cleaning products. Available in faucets and showerheads, the technology comprises flexible silicone nozzles located on the aerator of the taps and the jets of the showers. The high-quality, tear-resistant silicone is easy to rub using just the fingers. Limescale and dirt disappear as if by magic, and users benefit from a lavish spray jet experience every time,” shares Gaurav Malhotra, Managing Director India and Regional Key Accounts Asia, Hansgrohe.
Sustainability is gaining importance and relevance, not just among builders, architects and designers, but among end consumers. Knowledge and awareness has improved various sustainable features of bathroom products from lower water consumption to lower heat (energy) utilisation, use of recyclable materials, reducing plastics and ‘Green’ manufacturing. Therefore, sustainability has been one of the major prime areas of focus for all the companies.
“Hansgrohe’s EcoSmart technology reduces daily water consumption at the sink by up to 60 per cent. At Hansgrohe, we ensure reduced energy consumption and costs with CoolStart technology where hot water flows when you need it. The energy required is only accessed when you actively move the tap lever to the left. You decide how high the temperature needs to be. It is not possible to move the lever to the right. This means that the energy-intensive preparation of hot water is limited to situations where it is truly needed. For briefly washing your hands, hot water is not usually required,” explains Malhotra.
Similarly, LIXIL is committed to improving the quality of people’s lives by delivering safe, convenient and sustainable products and solutions. “At LIXIL, we have always advocated and campaigned for water sustainability through our product portfolio, whether it’s the GROHE EcoJoy and SmartActive water-saving faucets and showers, or the American Standard water-saving toilets. We also take great pride in our net-zero carbon emissions manufacturing with CO2-neutral production. We have found that these sustainable features resonate strongly with Indian purchasers, be it, B2C or B2B, and we will continue to invest heavily in increasing the sustainability aspect of our brand and product portfolio,” shares Joseph.
Even at Duravit, the need for sustainable concepts has been given topmost priority. “The Earth’s natural resources are not available in unlimited quantities. As the global population continues to rise, the need for sustainable concepts to conserve our ecosystem also increases. Duravit was and is aware of this responsibility. Duravit is always known for sustainable products, and we give great importance to the environment. The word ‘durability’ is part of our company name – Duravit. This is why, for decades, Duravit has been investing a considerable amount of time, money and energy in research and development – an investment that pays off later for the company, users and the environment,” puts in Shah.