What makes Morbi in Gujarat the undisputed hub of India’s ceramic production?
Morbi in Gujarat is the ceramic hub of India churning out more than 70% of India’s total ceramic production!!
Morbi is a district in the Saurashtra region of the vibrant state of Gujarat. The place is undeniably the one-stop-destination for all your flooring and bathroom needs. Many builders visit Morbi to purchase premium quality ceramics and pass on the cost-saving benefits to the customers, along with International standards of products with impeccable designs.
Globally ceramics industry has evolved in clusters depending on the availability of raw material, markets, transportation/ports, labor, technological know-how, logistics, etc.
While such ceramic clusters initially developed in countries like Spain and Italy, the model was replicated in Morbi, Gujarat.
The conditions, factors, and reasons in Morbi were compelling and conducive to put it on the World map as a ceramics hub.
Some interesting facts about Morbi
- The place came to be referred as Morbi cluster, and accounts for more than 70% of India’s total production!
- Spread over 10km stretch on Morbi-Dhuva highway, Gujarat, Morbi happens to be the second largest ceramics cluster in the world
- Location of Morbi is ideally suited for the ceramic business to flourish. Few factors that contribute to the growth of Morbi are:
- Airport at Rajkot, barely 67 Km away from Morbi
- Easy reach via railways from Ahmedabad
- Easy approach via Road at a short distance of 184 Kms from Ahmedabad
- Major ports of Kandla and Mundra
- Abundance availability of raw material- local clay that’s extremely suitable for ceramics; quartz, calcite, woolastonite, frits and glazes in Gujarat as well as Rajasthan
- Cheap labour
- Patel community and their entrepreneurial nature has been instrumental in Morbi being crowned as the King of Ceramics hub in India
- Patels own tile manufacturing factories, and are a well-knit social group. They co-own multiple factories. This has resulted in cost-economies due to cross-utilization and sharing of operations and strategic resources
- Morbi rose to being a ceramic cluster over the last four decades. The place was already a vibrant building products manufacturing hub, so the transition was seamless
History behind the rise of Morbi as a Ceramic hub
- While Morbi was famous for roof tiles- ‘Naliya’, in the mid-80s, local entrepreneurs began importing machines discarded by ceramic clusters in Italy and Spain
- While a 55% duty on import of capital goods was prevalent in the 1980’s, Small and Medium Enterprises were exempt up to the limit of Rs 1 crore. This led to the entrepreneurs installing ceramic tile machines
- Now Morbi has switch over to vitrified tiles as well as bathroom accessories and fitting made out of ceramics
- Technical understanding on ceramic manufacturing has been immensely high. Equipment like kiln, polishing machine etc were bought from Italy (Sacmi) and China (Modena)
- To remain abreast of the technological advancements, entrepreneurs began frequently visiting international ceramic fairs and ceramic process equipment suppliers. This kept them informed and on top of their game
- You can see offices and representatives from globally renowned Italian & Spanish tiles machinery manufacturers and design studios who provide technical assistance and training to tiles manufacturing companies
- Morbi today is an important outsourcing hub of tiles. Big brands like like Prism Johnson, Kajaria Ceramics, Somany Ceramics outsource their order-fulfilment to manufacturers at Morbi
- Major brands in ceramics have also invested in the companies at Morbi, where they outsource their requirements as well
- Some companies have even gone for joint ventures. Others are sourcing from them on contract basis
One of the important events that went in favor of Morbi was the Vibrant Ceramic Expo held in 2016 and 2017. More than 5,000 customers and builders across India have been visiting Morbi every month for the premium quality of ceramic products in the offering at a very competitive price.
The lower cost of production because of the easy availability of raw material required for manufacturing ceramic products has been the hallmark of the competitive advantage enjoyed by Morbi. Raw materials account for 50% of the cost of ceramic products, with manufacturing plants closer to the source of raw materials (China clay, that’s bulky), the freight cost is minimized. Subsidies given by Gujarat State Govt., the price of gas and other items are also lower.
These cost-saves further result in manufacturers producing premium quality ceramic products, and the cost-saves are passed on to consumers.
Owing to the high and International quality standards, Morbi manufacturers are able to export ceramics outside of India. With over, 800 manufacturers in the cluster, the number is only expected to further grow in the years ahead!
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