Jaquar has almost 60 years of heritage in its native India but it’s still relatively unknown here in the UK. Country head Martin Voisey (pictured left), introduces the bathroom brand and explains why partnering with Jaquar is a no-brainer for independents
A: The brand will be known to some, if not all, of your [kbbreview] readers already because our brassware used to be distributed in the UK through Middlesex-based business Just Taps Plus. That was until 2016 when we decided to trade directly through a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Established in Manesar, India in 1960, we manufacture bathroom products under the premium Jaquar and luxury Artize brands. As a company, we work to two solid principles – making exceptionally good-quality products and supporting them with exceptional service. That’s simply how we’ve become the biggest brand in India with a 65% market share. We generate more than $480 million [£363m] worldwide and have a net worth of $3 billion.
The brand is still in its infancy in Europe – we also have subsidiaries in Poland and Italy – but we’re a global export business operating in almost 50 countries, and are particularly strong in the Middle East and Africa.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve with Jaquar in the UK?
A: Our focus here is to build a brand by working with the right independent partners and helping them develop their businesses in the long term.
We’re looking to build partnerships with dealers and are prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that. If the dealer backs us, they’ll get all the support in the world from us. We have 80 Jaquar dealers in the UK so far and, as part of our commitment to support them, we are only planning to grow that number to a maximum of 120. We won’t place the brand on every street corner.
We introduced Artize, our luxury brand, to the UK in January this year. Because of its extremely high-end portfolio, we have a slightly different strategy in the UK. We’re looking for between 10 and 20 dealers at most, across the whole of the UK, to retain that level of exclusivity.
The retailers that understand what we’re trying to do here have jumped on board wholeheartedly, very quickly and very enthusiastically.
Q: How does Jaquar going down the subsidiary route benefit independent retailers?
From a retailer’s perspective, there are a number of benefits. Firstly, because we manufacture everything ourselves, we can bring the product into the UK at the best possible price and ensure that retailers make good money. Plus, we’re helping them maintain their margins, as there are fewer mouths to feed in the supply chain.
Secondly, our significant stockholding in the UK means that, in theory, we could deliver a complete bathroom to any of our retail partners tomorrow.
Thirdly, we’re protecting the brand. We want to work with independents, so we’re not targeting the nationals. We’re here [in the UK] to brand-build and that’s exactly what we’re doing by limiting the businesses we partner with.
Q: Why should retailers choose to partner with Jaquar over established brands? What’s in it for them?
A: The easy answer is that we can give dealers a margin return on their sales and protect it, too. But, apart from the obvious margin opportunities, the fact is that we’re not just another tap brand – we manufacture complete bathroom solutions, so we’re coming from a different angle and with a different proposition. There are plenty of tap suppliers in the UK, but we feel the market will benefit from a company that can supply coordinated bathroom products.
As a former retailer myself, I can definitely see the benefits; fewer suppliers means fewer deliveries, fewer invoices to check and fewer brochures to trawl through. Plus, we won’t dictate which products, or how many, you display in your showroom. Partnering with Jaquar is a no-brainer really.
Q: As a relatively unknown brand to the UK are there any other challenges that you come up against when trying to secure retail partners?
A: The words ‘Made in India’ are by far the biggest challenge we face and I’m not afraid to admit that. There’s a perception of quality associated with them, but we’re not trying to hide the fact our products are made in India. We’re proud of it. A lot of brands have product that is made in India it’s just not spoken about – so it’s just a bit of an unknown really.
It’s up to us, as a brand, to educate retailers, and their staff, on the benefits of Jaquar products so that they can convince consumers why they should buy it.
The fact is that you get good and bad quality manufacturing everywhere but, if you know that the products have been made to a high standard, why hide it? We don’t shy away from our manufacturing roots, we shout about it.
Q: What’s your plan to change that perception?
A: If a dealer is willing to invest their time and money in our brands, we’ll give them all the tools and support they need. We also have the resources to take any interested retailers out to India to see what the brands are about and the strength of the company behind them.
Our success in India over the past 58 years shows that we’ve had consistent quality, consistent service, consistent product development and growth. If we hadn’t, we would have lost our 65% market share in India to the European brands that operate there. We’re made in India, we’re proud of it and we’re happy to show you why.
- For more information on Jaquar and its products visit www.jaquar.org.uk
- This content is part of a commercial partnership between kbbreview and Jaquar