Brand Recognition of Building Products

V. Sriraman

This article provides a glimpse of emergence of brands in Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles (MCR).

Development Alternatives group, with its commercial promoter TARA has been widely promoting sustainable building technologies and solutions in India. MCR technology has been the flagship technology of TARA. More than 400 production units have been set up by private entrepreneurs, NGOs, institutions etc. These have installed over ten million roofing tiles across the Indian sub-continent.

MCR tile is a cost-effective and eco-friendly roofing alternative that has found proven applications in dhabas, residential buildings, bungalows, industrial sheds, parking bays, farm houses and garages. A small workspace of 40 square meters is adequate for setting up a production unit. Several entrepreneurs have set up their units in their backyard.

Success of TARAcrete in Bundelkhand

TARAcrete brand was created with a view to promote TARA’s cement concrete based products such as tiles, blocks etc., The entry was made with MCR tiles through a pilot market development activity focused in Bundelkhand region; especially in Jhansi town and other nearby areas. TARA Nirman Kendra (TNK), a building centre promoting TARA building technologies, initiated the TARAcrete operation from Bijoli in Jhansi in the year 1995. Tiles were produced and installed on steel structures that were custom- designed. The "end product" for the customers has always been the "Complete MCR roof". TNK, has been providing the complete roofing solution by undertaking production and supply of tiles, transportation, steel structure fabrication and tile installation. MCR tile business under TARAcrete brand started growing from 35,000 tiles in the first year to 60,000 in subsequent years and now it has touched 120,000 per year. Interestingly, this figure in no way reflects the total MCR market that is being serviced in Bundelkhand. From the time TARAcrete tile business was launched by TNK, half a dozen entrepreneurs have also emerged in the market who are selling roofing tiles. The "TARAcrete" brand name, has swept the premium market in Jhansi and TARAgram. The Brand image for "High Quality tiles and engineered roofing service" has been so well established in the market that customers are willing to pay premium rates for MCR roofs.

Some of the premier clients are:

l Institute of Technology and Management, Gwalior
l Special Area Development Authority (SADA), Orchha
l Bundelkhand University, Jhansi
l Home owners constituting the up-market segment

The evolution of brand in MCR tile business started with TARAcrete. The success of ‘TARAcrete’ in MCR tile business has served as a demonstration piece for MCR entrepreneurs and promoters in other regions of the country to bring in new brand names.

Emergence of brands in other regions

SWISScrete Tiles in Pune and Goa region:

"Pune and Goa" has also been a high potential region for MCR. With its partner, Maharashtra Industrial Technology Consultancy organization (MITCON), TARA has been successful in tapping the potential of MCR market in the region. Fifteen entrepreneurs have set up MCR enterprises so far. The brand name for MCR tile in this region is SWISScrete. A total of one million SWISScrete tiles have been installed on roof in the past four years, mostly used as waterproofing solutions for RCC sloping roof.

Mysore Cement Roofing Tiles

Southern Karnataka has been one of the focus regions for MCR promotion, simply because the market potential for MCR was high as per a market study conducted by Holtec consulting Private Ltd., with the major competitor being the Mangalore Pattern clay tiles. Entrepreneurs started setting up their units with TARA MCR technology and the business started growing when an association of MCR tile manufacturers under the name of MYCON-or Mysore Concrete tile producers- was formed. This association branded all the tiles manufactured by their members as MYCON tiles. CART, Centre for Appropriate Rural Technologies, a centre of National Institute of Engineering, Mysore has been providing technical reference centre services on behalf of TARA.

Successful Brands in Bihar and Jharkhand

Bihar and Jharkhand market caters to primarily rural segments with MCR tiles on bamboo or wooden structures. Though people in Bihar know MCR tiles as cement ka Khaprial or taali, 15 brands have emerged in the region. MCR roofs are installed by a total of over 50 private entrepreneurs with tough competition among them.

DURAcrete in Chandigarh

DURAcrete is the leading brand in Chandigarh. Vishwakarma industries had set up an MCR unit six years back installing MCR tiles on a variety of roofs for bungalows, car parking, sheds, educational buildings such as schools etc. Most users in Chandigarh buy MCR tiles for cladding purposes. The clients form the upper end of the market who look for beauty and uniqueness in the product.

The above brands that have emerged in MCR vouch for the success of TARA MCR technology. q

TARAcrete tiles installed at Orchha   Bungalow in Goa installed with SWISScrete tiles   Mysore Cement Roofing tiles

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