A Dissertation / Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the

requirements for the degree of


CSM Institute of Graduate Studies, USA








Training and Advanced Studies in Management and Communications,

























































Background and aspects of the problem----------------------------- 3




Purpose of the study --------------------------------------------------- 7




Statement of the Hypothesis ------------------------------------------ 9



Rationale ----------------------------------------------------------------10




Definition of Technical terms & Acronyms -------------------------------11




Scope of the study ------------------------------------------------------------12




Outline of remaining chapters -----------------------------------------------13




Background and aspects of the problem


Direction of Indian Exports

(April - November1995)

The survey indicates the entry of two new nations in the Indian top 20 buyers' list, namely Indonesia and Spain. Indonesia closed in as fourteenth as exports surged by 131.8% while Spain was ranked as number eighteenth as Indian exports increased by 57.8%.


Rank Apr-Nov'95


Exports ($million)

% Change























Hong Kong


















































Saudi Arabia















































The researcher has understood from preliminary research that there is a sizeable market for ceramic sanitary ware in the International market. The Indian players are afforded a great deal of assistance in marketing their products abroad. However, the performance of Indian players in the export scenario is unimpressive.


This study sets out to find out what exactly are the reasons for the dismal performance on Indian players in the international market.




































Purpose of the study



The volume of world merchandise exports grew by 9.5 per cent in 1997, the second highest rate in more than two decades with the exception of 1994 when trade expanded by 10 per cent. The U.S., Germany, Japan, France and U.K. are the leading exporters in that order. India only ranks 31st in the world with an export share of less than one percent in world exports.


It is abundantly clear that there is a great export market waiting to be tapped but it goes without saying that the sailing is not easy. The performance of India has been lackluster but is soon picking up. The purpose of the study is to find out the performance of Muthoot APT Ceramics Ltd., an Export Oriented Unit (EOU) situated in Cochin Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), Kakkanad, Cochin, in terms of its exports and their first hand feel of the global market. The Plant exports Ceramic Sanitary wares and allied products and has a tie up with Advanced Product Technology of Britain for technology transfer.

The study focuses at international trade from the viewpoint of Muthoot APT Ceramics Ltd. The activities of the EOU can spread light on the problems faced by the concern or the lack of it, in the global market.


The results of the study can help in better understanding the concept of international trade and in improving the efficacy and circumventing the problems in marketing the products. It goes without saying that some of the problems experienced by export units are common to other industries as well.


There is a serious lack of good information regarding the exports in the sanitary ware industry. Basic information provided in the trade yearbooks of each country lacks consistency in the degree of detail of information provided. Therefore it is difficult to develop a clear picture of world trade in ceramic sanitary ware and all those involved in future market planning would surely benefit from more orderly and timely information. The following points are considered for the study -








The study would also throw light on the market influences viz., socio-economic factors, structure of the sanitary ware market in terms of import and distribution system, packaging, price level, Government regulations and legislation in terms of input quotas, taxation, and safety measures. Furthermore, the study will also focus on the quality requirements of the ceramic sanitary ware industry.













































Statement of the Hypothesis






Once the selection and definition of the problem have been accomplished, the derivation of the hypothesis is the most important step in the research process.




Etymologically hypothesis is made up of two words, "hypo" (less than) and "thesis", which mean less than or less certain than a thesis. It is the presumptive statement of a proposition or a reasonable guess, based upon the available evidence, which the researcher seeks to prove through his study.




The hypothesis is a powerful tool in research process to achieve dependable knowledge. It helps the researcher to relate theory to observation and observation to theory.




The null hypothesis of the present study is:


" The Indian exporters are not able to match foreign technology and quality of ceramic sanitary ware available in the international market".


The existence of a large international market for ceramic sanitary ware has been established. Therefore, the reasons for the lackluster performance of the Indian players need to be looked into.


























The study is based on a ceramic sanitary ware exporter based in Cochin Export Processing Zone, Kakkanad. The researcher feels that the outcome of the study will provide a positive influence on emerging exporters as well as a refreshing study for the old timers.




The study seeks to provide an impartial and unbiased study of the ceramic industry. The study is conducted in a professional manner using scientific tools. As the researcher is an outsider, it is possible that he is able to pin point certain aspects that were overlooked by those in the industry.




It is hoped that the matter researched will be of importance to the Company as well as the industry in the form of a reference tool. The recommendations of the researcher will also give an insight into the untapped markets.

























Definition of Technical terms & Acronyms




Ceramics: Making of pots, tiles, sanitary wares etc., by shaping pieces of clay and baking them until they are hard.



Mold: A hollow container of a particular shape into which some soft substance is poured, so that when the substance becomes cool or hard, it takes this shape.



Sanitary fittings: such as lavatories and bidets




Kiln: box shaped heating apparatus for baking pots or bricks for drying wood.



Ceramics: may be defined as any inorganic, nonmetallic solids processed or used at high temperatures.


















Scope of the study


The use of market research is reasonably widespread. The implications may be listed as follows:



  1. It ascertains the position of a company in the ceramic sanitary ware industry.


  3. It provides a birds eye-view of the ceramic sanitary ware industry as a whole.


  5. The study provides an idea of the growth prospects of the sanitary ware industry, the factors influencing it, and the trends in the industry.


  7. The study mentions the factors favorable to Indian players.


  9. It helps in assessing and enhancing the effectiveness of marketing management.


  11. It can reduce the risk involved in marketing management.


  13. It offers guidance in market penetration and increasing product range.


  15. It pinpoints strengths and weaknesses of the Company and the Indian ceramic sanitary industry.










Outline of remaining chapters




Chapter 2 is titled Review of Related Literature. The chapter deals with the industrial background of the study, and the theoretical aspects of the study. The profile of Muthoot Apt Ceramics is also mentioned.


Chapter 3 is titled Research Design and Methodology. The problem and hypothesis is discussed. There is a detailed description of the research design. The methodological assumptions and limitations are stated. The chapter summary provides a gist of the matter contained in the chapter.


Chapter4 is titled Sources of Data. Primary data, secondary data and the sampling procedure adapted for the study is explained in great detail. The target population, size of sample and the type of sampling technique used is explained along with the constraints and limitations of the sampling procedure.


Chapter 5 is titled Presentation of Tabulated Data. This chapter concerns the process of taking completed questionnaires and preparing them foe analysis. Raw data as they are received from the field in primary data collection are in no condition for interpretation. Tabulated data is one step towards making this data intelligible.


Chapter 6 is titled Analysis of data and interpretation. The tabulated data is analyzed and interpreted in this chapter. The primary data is transformed into meaningful information. The researcher is able to make conclusive findings from the analysis carried out here.


Chapter 7 is titled Results of the Study. The chapter deals with the findings of the study. The problem researched is studied and the outcome of the study is explained in detail. The hypothesis is tested and its acceptance or rejection is mentioned. In case the null hypothesis is rejected, then the alternative hypothesis is accepted.


Chapter 8 is titled Summary. The chapter provides a summary of the tabulation undertaken in chapter 5.


Chapter 9 is titled Conclusion. The chapter explains in detail the conclusions reached after the study. It provides in a nutshell the results of the entire study undertaken.


Chapter 10 is titled Recommendations. Based on the study the researcher offers recommendations to the Company in specific and the industry in general. These recommendations are based on the findings of the study and may help the Company in designing its marketing strategies.


Chapter 11 is titled Appendix. The appendix contains the blank questionnaire as well as other relevant information. It contains additional information.


Chapter 12 is titled Bibliography. The bibliography gives details regarding the materials researched for the study. A list of all written materials used for the study is included here.






















































Industrial Background of the study--------------------------------------II-2




Theoretical Background of the study ------------------------------------II-7




The Company - A Profile -----------------------------------------------II-12




Chapter Summary -------------------------------------------------------II-20































Industrial Background of the study





The ceramic industry has become competitive and players have understood the importance of constant innovation and state of the art technology to stay in the race. Well-proven machinery provided by manufacturers with long experience is preferred. The enormous range of designs and sizes permit utmost freedom of choice for each individual scheme.



Unstable demand at home and contracting markets abroad create strong downward pressure on unit sales prices and profits. The ceramic industry is highly sensitive to signs of political and economic uncertainty.


In 1996, most of the Building Materials Division companies saw the dollar value of their unit sales prices decline as a result of increasing competition in their domestic and international markets

An important development has been the establishment of marketing and distribution companies in Germany, the UK and, most recently, the US. By maintaining close contact with consumer groups and key distributors in the main export markets, the companies have ensured that they keep abreast with changing demand trends.

Strengthening the Customer Reach by expanding service coverage to include all of the company's products and create brand synergy, will further strengthen its position in the retail and distribution market.

Sharp rise in revenues is possible from successful export strategy, which seeks to increase the share of processed materials in its

Export mix.


Fully mechanized casting lines, defect-minimizing robots and energy-saving kilns can improve the plant's production flexibility and sharply raise its international competitive edge. Installation of CAD/CAM department, can also improve the productivity, as shown by the Turkish ceramic manufacturers



The Turkish company, EYAP-Artema's investments in 1996 were focused on improving production quality, flexibility and speed as well as on easing bottlenecks. In 1996, the company invested $4.5 million in modernization and expansion of its casting, buffering and polishing processes and installed CAD/CAM, MRPII, and automatic inventory systems. These improvements have made it one of the foremost players in the whole world.






Another development in the industry is the establishment of flexible and modern production lines that facilitate customized orders of premium products.



EYAP-Vitra , a Turkish firm has capacity to manufacture over 2 million big pieces per year, making it one of the single largest ceramic sanitary ware plants worldwide. Continual investments in advanced technology have sought to ensure EYAP-Vitra's international competitive edge through higher productivity, greater flexibility and improved quality. It was the first to adopt electrostatic glazing and to set up a fully automatic fettling and glazing line. With the plant's new fully-mechanized casting lines producing one unit every 20 minutes as compared to the usual 6-8 hours, its average worker productivity is roughly two times the industry average.

In addition to its large and flexible production capacity, one of EYAP-Vitra's key strengths is its high standards of quality. EYAP-Vitra was the first Turkish ceramic sanitary ware producer to be certified to ISO 9001 standards as well as to all the major standards of the European Union and North American markets. In 1996, the company received the prestigious quality certificate of the Ceramic Industry Certification Scheme.















































Some well-known sanitary ware manufacturers and their product range: (International scenario)


Cisal Far East Office

Bathroom accessories


Conic Collection



Connell Bros. Company (Hong Kong) Limited

Full range of sanitary wares


Dachong Ceramic Works Limited

Full range of sanitary wares


Dah Chong Hong Limited

Full range of sanitary wares, faucet, bathroom accessories, sink


Deacon & Company Limited

full range of sanitary wares, synthetic sinks


Dreyer & Company Limited

faucet, stainless steel urinals and sinks


Dynasty Industries (Hong Kong) Limited

full range of sanitary wares, elderly and disable sanitary wares, faucet, shower cubicle,


Euro Building Material Supplies Limited

sanitary wares


FIE Company Limited

bathroom accessories


Fitness Concept Leisure Supplies Limited

full range of sanitary wares


FRP (Hong Kong) Limited

full range of sanitary wares


German Kitchen (China) Limited

full range of sanitary wares, bathroom accessories and sink




Gloss Mind Industries Limited


Grohe Pacific Pte. Limited



Hang Fat Hong

bathroom accessories


Hendler Seaporcel (Hong Kong) Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Hoechst China Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Honest Shower Door Company Limited

Bathroom accessories, shower door and cubicle


Honnin International Limited

bathroom accessories


In Bath Equipment Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Inchcape Building Products

full range of sanitary wares


Interform International Limited

bathroom accessories


Jardine Engineering

full range of sanitary wares, faucet, sensor flushing system


Jets Technics Limited

toilet cubicles


Jibpool Building Materials Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Key Technologies International Limited

washroom accessories




Kung Sheung International Company Limited

full range of sanitary wares, bathroom accessories


Lawdion (Regent Asia) Building Supplies Limited

bathroom accessories, jacuzzi, hotel hair dryer, shower door

Lemon Glass (MWAG) Company Limited

full range of sanitary wares, faucet, bathroom accessories, sink,

shower cubicle

Lock's Industrial (Hong Kong) Company Limited

shower cubicle, stainless steel washroom equipment, auto soap

dispenser and air fresher


Luen Hing Hong Building Materials Limited

full range of sanitary wares, faucet, sink


Main Plan Limited

bathroom accessories


Markway International Limited

full range of sanitary wares, bathroom accessories, hand dryer


Ming Hop Company Limited

hydromassage, shower cubical


Moflex (Hong Kong) Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Naka Corporation Hong Kong Branch

toilet cubicle and partitions, bathroom handrail , toilet handrail for



P & A Engineering Limited



Parks Supplies Company Limited

toilet and shower cubicle


Polytek Building Supplies Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Portfolio Group Limited



Radnor Limited

stainless steel sink, trough and urinal


Regal Sanitaries Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Rontiff Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Sanitus Building Materials Limited

bathroom fittings and accessories, sanitary wares


Sellmax Limited

toilet and shower cubicle


Shougang Concord Construction Materials Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Siu Fung Ceramic Holdings Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Sun Kwong Bath Boutique Limited

full range of sanitary wares, faucet, shower door


Sunwall International Company

full range of sanitary wares


Swire Engineering

full range of sanitary wares, faucet


Titan International Limited

bathroom accessories


USC Asia Limited

full range of sanitary wares


Wideland Limited

faucet, water massage


William Jacks & Company (Hong Kong) Limited

full range of sanitary wares



Few Indian Ceramic Sanitary Ware Manufacturers

(as hosted on the internet)

INDIA (+91)


ADDRESS: 1101, Arunachai Building 19, Barakhamba Road. New Delhi - 110 001,India

TEL: 91-11-3723134 to 38 FAX: 91-11-3721607/3731994

TELEX: 031-61791 BRSK IN

ACTIVITIES/PRODUCTS: Brokers for: Designer Sanitaryware glazed Tiles - Coloured, Printed and Artistic Collection,

Designer Bathroom fittings - Chrome, gold & Silver plated, powder coated in matching colors. Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks, Cement Asbestos Corrugate/ Flat Sheets, GI/SSW/PVC Pipes & fittings, Bath Tubs, Shower Trays, Water Tanks, Plywood, Decorative laminates, MDF & Partition Boards, Flush Doors, Vinyl Flooring, Float & Sheet Glass etc.


INDIA (+91)


ADDRESS: T-29/N-4, Baljeet Nagar, Opp. Janta Park, New Delhi - 110008 INDIA

TEL : (91)-(11)-5728270 (R) 91-11-3267974 (O)

E-MAIL : mpi@del2.vsnl.net.in

ACTIVITIES / PRODUCTS : Exporter & Manufacturers of : Sanitary & Bathroom fittings



INDIA (+91)


ADDRESS: 23,Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Calcutta - 700 013, India

TEL: 267600, 266204, 267519, FAX: 091-33-2259255

E-MAIL: gmbcl@hotmail.com

ACTIVITIES / PRODUCTS: Only sanitaryware unit in Eastern India. Manufacturing the most captivating Sterling range of WCs, Wash Basins and other essential fittings in myriad colours and designs.



INDIA (+91)


ADDRESS : 6 Shiv Krupa Industrial Estate. L B S Marg, Vikroli (West) Bombay- 400 083, India

TEL: 91-22-5780344 / 5756841 FAX: 971-22-3433386

ACTIVITIES/PRODUCTS : Manufacturer of flushing cisterns, toilet seats & mirror frame. Experience of manufacturing 25 years. Products are result of intensive scientific research, well known for quality, durability & functional utility.



INDIA (+91)


ADDRESS : 3683, Chawri Bazar, Delhi-110006. India

Tel: 91-11-3276247 Fax: 91-11-3262887

E-MAIL : adityaindia@hotmail.com

ACRIVITIES / PRODUCTS : We Shyam lal Aggarwal & Sons.

Leading Manufacturers & dealers of exclusive & designer hardware and sanitaryware. We offer wide selection of ethnic Indian traditional hardware items. and also deal in elegant decorative items. Our 20 years of experience has produced altogether different world of excellent Bathrooms, Doors and Window fittings. Our customers are all over India and our export items are famous in India & as well as all over the world. Our showroom is located in the Asia's largest wholesale market in Delhi.











Theoretical Background of the study




Sanitary wares are made of ceramic materials like China clay, Ball clay, Feldspar, Quartz etc. After casting they are coated with glazing material to give a glaze finish to the finished products.


Sanitary wares include items such as wash basins, kitchen sinks, urinals, water closets, bath tubs, cisterns, bidets etc. According to the applications they are made in different sizes and styles. They are also given pleasing colors to match the surrounding where they are fitted.


Sanitary wares of exclusive designs, which incorporate water saving systems, are the modern trend. These items find their applications in bathroom and kitchens of houses, hotels, hospitals and public places.



At present India's share in international export market is very less, although the products have export potential. In view of the developments taking place in the industry, the market for sanitary ware is likely to undergo a radical change in coming years. Some of the units are going for technology upgradation and introduction of new product range. Furthermore, India also has price advantage. The Indian FOB price of sanitary wares is much less compared to price charged by other exporting countries.

Hence it won't be difficult for India to compete with other countries and gain 10% of the total international export market. India is exporting 15% of its production every year.



Feldspar and quartz after calcination are first ground to 20-30 mesh followed by wet grinding to the requisite particle size in a ball mill. Wet slurry is then transferred to speed plungers where well ground China clay, ball clay and talc in requisite proportions are added and well dispersed. This mixture is called slip.


This slip is then put into moulds made of plaster of Paris and a thick wall like cast in the shape of the article desired is formed inside the mould. As the absorption goes on, the thickness of cast is increased. When the required thickness is obtained the remaining slip from the mould is taken out into the slip container and the article cast and left in the mould for about 10-12 hours, which becomes sufficiently stiff. After the cast wares are removed from the moulds and allowed to dry in shades. When the cast get dried, they are bisque fried. The ceramic glazing composition well mixed with required colors is sprayed on the biscuited sanitary wares, which are then fed into the tunnel kiln for gloss firing. The finished goods are then inspected, sorted and finally packed for sale.






Plant and machinery:

Tunnel kiln for first firing of sanitary wares

Shuttle kiln for refiring of sanitary wares

Control and testing equipment


Ball mill



Jigger and Jolley

Magnetic filter

Jaw crusher

Chamber dryer

Glazing line

Grinding machine

De-dusting system

Feed Hopper


LPG storage tanks

Kiln cars

Front end loader


Raw materials:

China clay



Ball clay

Zirconium opacifier

Ceramic colors and stains


Utilities and infra-structure





Diesel oil


















Research takes the advantage of the knowledge that has accumulated in the past as a result of constant human endeavor. It can never be undertaken in isolation of the work that has already been done on the problems which are directly or indirectly related to a study proposed by a researcher. A careful review of the research journals, books, dissertations, theses and other sources of information on the problem to be investigated is one of the important steps in the planning of any research study.




Trade between nations has been growing rapidly. Economists have propounded some important theories to explain the factors prompting or necessitating trade between countries. International trade may take place due to the differences in comparative costs of production between countries, as demonstrated by the famous classical economist, David Ricardo.




Haberler has attempted to provide a more convincing explanation in terms of the differences in the opportunity cost of production between countries and international trade arises from the fact that factor endowments vary between countries and international trade arise form the fact that factor endowments vary between countries and that factor intensities differ between commodities.




Regions and nations specialize and trade with each other for the same reasons that individuals specialize and trade. International trade is merely a special case of inter-local or inter-regional trade. According to Alfred Marshall, "the causes which determine the economic progress of nations belong to the study of international trade."




Haberler points out: "International division of labor and international trade, which enable every country to specialize and to export those things that it can produce cheaper in exchange for others that can provide at a lower cost, have been and still are one of the basic factors promoting economic well-being and increasing the national income of every participating country".




The global scenario that is emerging out of several recent and emerging developments is one that will foster international business. Although some developments hamper international business, the forces, which foster far outweigh them.







Irving Kravis has pointed out that international trade arises as a result of the availability and non-availability factors - a nation would tend to import those commodities which are not readily available domestically and export those whose domestic supply can be easily expanded beyond the quantity required to satisfy the domestic demand.




Export is the lifeline of a country. India has now understood that for existence and to continue its economic growth, it has to export in a large way. The commerce ministry as such has identified 34 thrust areas in which India has potentiality to become a competitive exporter. Export thrust in these areas is expected to bring the expected growth rate in $ terms to the targeted 25% per annum.




The export thrust items identified under extreme focus areas include agriculture, agro-chemicals, auto components, bicycles and parts, cement, drugs and pharmaceuticals, dyes and intermediates, floriculture, footwear, fresh fruits, gold jewelry, granites, hand tools, industrial castings and forging, tomato paste products, topical fruit juices, pulp and concentrates, preserved mushrooms, readymade garments, rice, software packages, systems software, Computer Aided Design/ Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD/CAM), spices, synthetic and man made textiles and tires.




Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are industrial estates that form enclaves from the national customs territory of a country and are usually situated near seaports or airports. The entire production of such a zone is normally intended for exports. The Kandla Free Trade Zone (KAFTZ), set up in 1965 is India's first free trade zone. Cochin Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) commenced exports during the Seven Plan (1985-86).




Benefits for EPZ/EOU Units


Concessional Rent: The units set up in the EPZs will be eligible for concessional rent for lease of industrial plots and standard design factory (SDF) buildings.




Clubbing of NFE: Net Foreign Exchange (NFE) earned by an EOU/EPZ unit can be clubbed with the NFE of its parent/associate company in the domestic tariff area (DTA) for the purpose of according Export House, Trading House or Star Trading House status for the latter.




Supplies from DTA: Supplies from DTA to EOU/EPZ units will be regarded as "Deemed Exports" and will be eligible for extra benefits.




Sub-contracting: The EOU/EPZ units may be permitted to sub-contract part of their production for job work to units in the DTA on a case to case basis.






Private Bonded Warehouses: Private bonded ware houses may be permitted to be setup in EPZs for stock and sale of duty free raw-materials, components etc. to EOUs and EPZs units subject to certain conditions.





An Evaluation of EPZ/EOUs:

A number of developing countries have pinned great hopes in EPZs or EOUs as a means to increase exports, achieve transfer of technology, inter industry linkages, employment generation and economic development.




The achievement of the objectives has been limited in most of the countries. The MNCs have not been enthusiastic to transfer technology. It is mostly the assembly stage of production that has been relocated to the EPZs. Further, there has not been scope for forward linkages as the entire output is meant for exports. The scope for backward linkages is limited because of the heavy reliance on imports for the inputs.



Strategic Marketing:

The heart of modern strategic marketing can be described as STP marketing - segmenting, targeting and positioning. Companies are increasingly embracing target marketing. Target marketing help sellers to identify marketing opportunities better. The sellers can develop the right offer for each market. Target marketing is one in which the seller distinguishes the major market segments, targets one or more of these segments and develops products and marketing programs tailored to each selected segments.









Profile of the organization




" Molded for supremacy in world markets, fired by international standards of excellence"


Muthoot APT Ceramics Ltd. (MACL) is a 100% Export Oriented Unit manufacturing designer Vitreous China Sanitaryware. MACL is promoted by the Muthoot Group in technical and financial collaboration with Advanced Project Technology of U.K.


The Registered Office is situated at Muthoot Towers, M.G.Road - 682 035, Kochi, Kerala and the factory admeasuring 11429 square meters is located at the Cochin Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), Kakkanad - 682 030, Kochi, Kerala.






APT limited, the technical as well as financial collaborators of MACL is essentially a ceramic consulting engineering company belonging to the Newton Hall group. APT has the rich experience drawn from Newton Hall group's pool of executives who have been involved in the design, construction and running of numerous ceramic factories throughout the world.




MACL manufactures middle to top of the range designer sanitary ware conforming to European and American standards. MACL has the most modern equipment from U.K and Italy


The initial product range shall comprise of three bathroom suites consisting of seven pieces each as detailed here under.


MACL has a highly skilled expatriate management team to support the company's objective to produce Vitreous China Sanitaryware of the highest quality at the lowest cost. Process Quality International is guiding it through the ISO certification. Certification will be carried out by C.I.C.S a renowned certification body within the European Ceramic Industry. Our commitment to Quality and Customer Care is our driving force.


MACL manufactures middle to top of the range designer sanitary ware conforming to European and American standards. MACL has the most modern equipment from U.K and Italy.


The plant can supply the base range of colors and any specific color either decorated or on decorated in small numbers.



MACL's commitment to quality and customer care:


Fully equipped laboratory for Quality Control, Research and Development


The Ceramic Technology Department vets all suppliers and only those who qualify become approved suppliers. Raw materials are stringently checked using the latest technology in the Ceramic industry.


Color control is verified by sophisticated instrumentation to ensure that the customer does not suffer mismatches


The fired product is subjected to stringent testing to maintain the highest standards of serviceability.


Every piece of vitreous china sanitary ware is hand inspected and only then released for retail.







Packing Details


Individual pieces are packed in 7 ply corrugated cardboard boxes whose outer dimensions are as follows (Nominal measurements in 'mm'.)

Sl.No. Description Length Width Height

1 Closet 700 400 490

2 Cistern (Traditional) 420 245 375 3 Cistern (Shell/Contemporary) 465 240 360

4 Bidet 610 410 430

5 Wash Basin (Traditional) 625 505 300

6 Wash Basin (Contemporary) 600 495 245

7 Pedestal 230 195 715

8 Vanity Wash Basin 555 510 245

9 Cloakroom Wash Basin 535 405 250

10 Cloakroom Wash Basin (S/C) 530 395 230








"Maintaining international banking standards through customer oriented services"





Muthoot Bankers are very active and trusted in private banking circles throughout Kerala. The reputation of the Muthoot Group, carefully built and nurtured from its inception, has helped Muthoot Bankers to mobilize large amounts of deposits from the public over the last five decades. Muthoot Bankers has over 100 branches all over Kerala and Tamil Nadu with more than 300,000 account holders.


Total fund based operations of Muthoot Bankers exceeds Rs. 2,500 million.


The fixed deposits collected have been intelligently deployed into productive areas.


Testimony to the Bankers' ability to efficiently deploy funds is backed by their existence since 1939 and is to be viewed in the light of the fact that many a finance company and private banker in the state of Kerala had to close down due to mismanagement of funds and lack of investor confidence. The more than five decades of experience in private banking has given the Group the necessary strength and expertise to diversify into value based corporate financial services and capital market operations.







Maintaining international banking standards:


Courteous service and personalized attention has made every customer a lifelong friend.


Customer oriented services


Gold loans facility available at all branches


1.Loans upto Rs. 2700* per sovereign (* subject to fluctuations in the market value)

2.Total automation for hi-speed disbursement.

3.Simple formalities.

4.Relaxed terms for shorter periods.

5.Ideal for business people.

6.Customer friendly timings - disbursement upto 5 p.m.


Safe Deposit Lockers facility available at the following branches


Kozhikode, Chennai, Coimbatore,Ernakulam ,Kottayam Palakkad , Peroorkada (Thiruvananthapuram) Sasthamangalam (Thiruvananthapuram) M.C.Road (Thiruvalla)











Prime assets:


Muthoot Towers, Muthoot Centre, Muthoot Shopping Centre, Muthoot Shopping Arcade.


Successful development of commercial properties has been the forte of this division of the Group. Muthoot Estate Investments has todate developed 1,14,000 square feet of commercial shopping space strategically located in the nerve centers of business in leading cities of Kerala.






Muthoot Towers


Six Storied Building


The Regional Office of the Muthoot Group of



Ground floor is used as commercial space


Upper floors are Office spaces


Building has two elevators


Each floor is self-contained and is provided with

amenities for the staff


Basement floor has parking space for 20 cars


The total plinth area is 4200 cubic meter



Muthoot Centre

Muthoot Centre at Punnen Road, Thiruvananthapuram is an ultra modern multi-storied building which will be the Regional office of the Muthoot Group of Companies.


7 storied building with all round glass curtain wall


Lower 4 floors are for commercial space (total plinth area - 5013 square meters)


Upper floors are planned as office spaces for lease (total plinth area - 567 square meters)


Building has 2 gearless elevators and a service lift Centrally air-conditioned


Each floor is self contained


Basement floor has parking space for 30 cars


Handing over date - March 1998







Muthoot Shopping Centre, Kayamkulam



Two storied building

The Kayamkulam branch of Muthoot Bankers is housed in the upper floor


Each floor is self-contained and is provided with amenities for staff


The basement floor has parking space for 15 cars


The total plinth area is 3800 cubic meter




Muthoot Shopping Centre Arcade, Ulloor, Thiruvananthapuram




Two storied building


Ground floor is to be used as commercial space and is for outright sale


The Ulloor branch of Muthoot Bankers and the office of the Group Company M/s. Muthoot Motors (Pvt.) Ltd. are housed in the upper floor


Each floor is self-contained and is provided with amenities for staff


The basement floor has parking space for 10 cars










Muthoot Cine Enterprises brings alive the magic of cinema through the marvel of DTS technology


The fact that almost all major international feature films came with a digitally recorded sound track, was successfully used by DTS: Digital Theatre Systems, US, to create its own niche in this segment. This gives the option of taking the digital sound track completely off the film and providing it on a separate CD-ROM.


In the DTS Surround Sound System that has been installed during 1996, in leading Cinema Halls in the Indian Metros, the 6 tracks of Digital Audio, stored on the CD-ROM, are read by a special playback unit which synchronises the sound with a special timecode track recorded on the film.


Repeated good collections for movies screened at Kripa, Muthoot Cine Enterprises' movie house in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala stand testimony to the positive and overwhelming response by movie buffs to the marvel of DTS (Digital Theatre Systems) technology.
















Muthoot Capital Services Ltd., (MCSL) is a public limited Non Banking Financial Company registered with the Reserve Bank of India and listed in the Cochin, Coimbatore and Bombay Stock Exchanges.





The promoter of MCSL is the Muthoot Pappachan Group who have been in the banking business since 1939. Muthoot Bankers, the flagship organization of the Group has been able to mobilize large amounts of deposits from the public over the last five decades based on the trust invested by the public in the Group.



The Board of Directors of MCSL comprises of:

Muthoot Mathew M Thomas (Pappachan) - Chairman


Thomas Kuruvilla - Managing Director


Thomas George Muthoot - Joint Managing Director


A.P. Kurien


Philip Thomas


Thomas John Muthoot


Thomas Muthoot




Date of incorporation

February, 1994


Kerala, India


Providing value based financial services to the corporate sector of Kerala and engaging in capital market operations.


Customer confidence indication

To augment its fund base, MCSL came out with a public issue in February, 1995. The issue was oversubscribed by 8.5 times - at a time when the Indian Capital Market was sluggish. Almost the entire subscription was received from the state of Kerala, which was a record of sorts as traditionally, Kerala is not known to be primary market friendly. MCSL has also diversified into fund and non-fund based activities laying equal emphasis on the corporate and non-corporate sectors of Kerala






MCSL is a Category I Merchant Banker registered with SEBI.


Lease and Hire Purchase Finance


MCSL has actively entered into the areas of Lease and Hire Purchase Finance. MCSL, focusing mainly on the potential corporate clients based in Kerala, has deployed a substantial amount under its Lease and Hire Purchase Schemes.

Items under the schemes include


Windmill Electric Generators


Plant and Machinery


Diesel Generating Sets


Commercial Vehicles






Consumer Items


Certification from the Reserve Bank of India


MCSL has recently been accorded a certificate from the Reserve Bank of India for having complied with the requirements regarding credit rating and prudential norms. This certificate paves the way for the company to raise and deploy much larger amounts of funds and also permits it to pay the appropriate rate of interest on the deposits collected.


Extensive network of offices


MCSL, through its own Branches and the Branch network of Muthoot Bankers is in a unique position to provide its financial services and products throughout the length and breadth of Kerala.


MCSL has its registered office in "MUTHOOT TOWERS", M.G. Road, a landmark in Cochin. MCSL has 12 branches in Kerala.


Also, all Kerala branches of Muthoot Bankers are authorized to act as collection centers for MCSL. The shares of the company are listed on the stock exchanges of Cochin, Coimbatore and Bombay.

















































The chapter starts with a detailed look into the industrial background of the study.




The theoretical background of the study serves to shed light on the nature of the study. Theoretical aspects are discussed in great detail.




The profile of the organization gives an in depth view of the Muthoot Group of companies in general and Muthoot APT Ceramics in particular. The origin of the organization, its growth and development, present status and future outlook are mentioned.


















































Chapter Overview -----------------------------------------------------III-2




Restatement of the Problem and Hypothesis ----------------------III-3




Description of Research Design -------------------------------------III-4




Methodological Assumptions and Limitations --------------------III-21




Chapter Summary -----------------------------------------------------III-22













This chapter will start with the restatement of the problems and hypothesis. The problems will


be spelled out and the need for this kind of study will be discussed. The research design will include


planning of a market research project, the resources required, methods used for field work program,


questionnaire design and type of questionnaire used.




Finally we will discuss the assumptions that are made along with reasons for making them.


Moreover, we will ponder over the limitations that go along with the study.
































The size of the global market for ceramic sanitary wares is indeed large. The global market for ceramic sanitary wares is large, however Indian presence is limited. There is scope for increasing Indian presence and the reasons for the dismal performance will be looked into.



Once the selection and definition of the problem have been accomplished, the derivation of the hypothesis is the most important step in the research process. The hypothesis is a powerful tool in research process to achieve dependable knowledge. It helps the researcher to relate theory to observation and observation to theory.



The null hypothesis of the present study is," The Indian exporters are not able to match foreign technology and quality of ceramic sanitary wares available in the international market ".






























In the present context the planning of a market research project by considering the need for market research for business decision making will be discussed.




Market research is the process of collection, analysis and interpretation of marketing information. Decision-making is an important aspect of business management. While some of the decisions have short-term consequences, others affect the long-term prospects of the business. Whatever the nature of decisions taken, a common thread is the need for information. In carrying out marketing analysis, planning, implementation, and control, marketing managers need information at almost every turn. They need information about customers, competitors, dealers and other forces in the market place. This is where market research has a great role to play.


Marketing research specifies the information needed to address marketing issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data-collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.


Some common decision areas where market research can help are as follows:




What product should we offer?


How should we formulate the product?


How much should we charge?


Which group of consumers are we going to supply?


How will we get the product to our customers?


How will we persuade the consumers to buy our products rather than our competitors'?






Can we increase sales of our product?


Can we charge more for our product?


Can we supply to a different group of consumers?


Should we change the way we get the product to customers?


Should we change the way the product is offered?



Problem Solving:



How can we increase the profit made from a product?


How can we reverse a trend of falling sales?


How can we increase our customers' satisfaction with our products and service?


Each decision area involves making choices between alternatives. The chances of making the best choice are increased by having reliable information at hand.





Types of information commonly provided through market research:



The Market:


The total market size


Who the customers are? [their profile]


Customer needs and requirements.


Market segmentation by area, customer grouping, needs or requirements.


Trends - whether it is a growing or declining market?












The Market's Structure:




The major players - domestic manufacturers, importers.




Distribution networks in the market


Market share of major players/brands


Major distributors and retailers


Trends - who is growing, declining and why?




The suppliers & Brands:



How the suppliers operate in the market?


Why they are successful [or not]


Customers attitudes to (image of) suppliers and brands




The Product:



Types of products within the market


How the products are differentiated


Relationship of products to market segmentation


Level of product innovation


Product Life Cycle - how long they last?


How the product meets customers' needs?


Customer's satisfaction with products


The need to develop/change the product










Current pricing structures


Past trends


Customers' price expectations for a product


Anticipated changes in purchasing following price changes




Sales Method:



Customers' attitude to the methods used


Evaluation of different methods


Relating market potential to sales organization


Sales organization and market structure








Evaluation of advertising campaigns


Audiences reached by advertising media


Testing new advertising before / after use.


Relationship between advertising and product / brand perceptions


This section shows a wide range of information required to address a problem. However the process of obtaining information is to help you to arrive at a decision and not to serve as an alternative to decision making.








Description of Research Design: Fundamental to the success of any formal marketing research project is sound research design. A good research design has the following characteristic viz., problem definition, specific methods of data collection and analysis of , time required for research project and the estimate of expenses to be incurred. A research design is purely and simply the frame work or plan for a study that guides the collection and analysis of data. It is a blue print that is followed in completing a study.




Three important points about research design are:


The design of investigation should stem from the problem.


Whether the designs are productive in a given problem setting depends on how imaginatively they are applied. An understanding of the basic design is needed so that they can be modified to suit specific purpose.


The three basic types of research design viz.,


  1. exploratory
  2. descriptive and
  3. casual or experimental


can be looked at as stages in a continuous process. The following figure shows their inter relationships. Explorative or formulative studies are often seen as the initial step in the continuous research process. It is shown here that these three designs are not mutually exclusive and a combination of all the three used in the successful completion of a marketing research project. We start with the exploratory and go to casual through the descriptive research. Alternatively we can select any of these research designs and take the help of the other two designs if the situation or problem requires.








All marketing research projects must start with exploratory research. This is a preliminary phase and is absolutely essential in order to obtain a proper definition of problem at hand. The major emphasis is on the discovery of ideas and insights. The exploratory research is particularly helpful in breaking broad and vague problem into smaller, more precise sub problem statements, hopefully in the form of specific hypothesis.









An exploratory study is used for the following purposes:


  1. Formulating a problem for more precise investigation or for developing hypothesis.

  3. Establishing priorities for further research

  5. Gathering information about the practical problem for carrying out research on particular conjectural statements.



Flexibility and informality characterize exploratory research. Explanatory studies rarely use

detailed questionnaires. Ingenuity, judgement and good luck play a part in such studies. Not withstanding the flexibility the research experience has demonstrated that


I literature surveys


II experience surveys


III analysis of selected cases


are particularly productive in exploratory research.





We should also recognize the existence of many studies whose results are descriptive, not conclusive. Most governmental and academic marketing studies probably fall within this category. For, example a professor or doctoral student makes a study of "Food Brokers: Their nature and functions", which is a research but descriptive in nature.


Descriptive studies investigate phenomena in their natural setting. Their purpose is both immediate and long range. They constitute a primitive type of research and do not aspire to develop an organized body of scientific laws. Descriptive research differs from other research in purpose and scope.









The process of descriptive studies is not different from other forms of research. Since such studies, describe and interpret what conditions or relationships exist at present, the researcher may adopt the following steps:




Selection of the Problem

A researcher may be concerned with conditions or relationships that exist, points of view or attitudes that are held, effects that are being felt or trends that are developing, and may select the problem accordingly from the area or field in which he is interested.



Statement and Definition of the Problem

The researcher must state the problem. The statement must identify the variables involved in the study. It should specify clearly whether the study is merely seeking to determine the present status of these variables or whether it will also explore relationships between the variables.



Identification of Data

After stating and defining the problem, the next step for the researcher is to list the data to be collected for the study. He has to specify whether the data are of qualitative or quantitative nature and whether the data will be collected in the form of counts, test scores, responses to questionnaires, interviews and so on.



Selection or Development of Tools

The nature of the data to be collected helps the researcher to select the appropriate tools for the study. Questionnaires, interviews, psychological tests, rating scales, schedules and attitude scales are the most frequently used tools for descriptive research. If the researcher uses ready-made tools, he should satisfy himself about their reliability, validity and suitability for sample chosen for the study.






Selection of the sample

The researcher must select the sample about which he wishes to seek information using appropriate sampling techniques. The sample selected should adequately represent the population.






Collection of Data

The researcher should specify the practical schedule for gathering the data from the sample selected for the study with the help of appropriate tools.



Analysis and interpretation of Data

The data collected is quantified in the form of counts, test scores, responses to questionnaires, etc. These are analyzed and interpreted with the help of appropriate parametric or non-parametric statistical tests.



Writing of the Research Report

It is the last stage in the descriptive research as in any other form of research. The researcher should exercise extreme caution in generalizing conclusions and reporting them with all the limitations of the study.




































The second step of the marketing research process calls for determining the information needed, and developing a plan for gathering it efficiently. The elements of a research plan are as follows:


  1. Analysis of the requirement for research:







The purpose of this research is to delve deep into the problems in the International marketing of ceramic sanitary wares manufactured by MACL.


  1. Stating the research objective

    A statement of research objective should describe what would be achieved by carrying out the research. These objectives should meet the business requirements covered in the analysis stage.


    Our research objective is to study the problems in the international marketing of ceramic sanitary wares manufactured by Muthoot APT Ceramics Ltd., Cochin.


  3. Information needed to meet the objective


It is important to distinguish between the information needed to meet the objective and the objective itself. The objective is a statement of an intention to provide data relevant to a marketing problem, but in itself it does not indicate what the research must find out. The research project is constrained by both time and costs, and it is but natural that some compromises will have to be made in the depth and breadth of the information we propose to cover.






4. Research methods



This element of the plan describes how the work will be carried out. The sources of research information are conveniently classified as either primary or secondary. An understanding of what can be obtained through desk research, how to plan fieldwork, the role of questionnaires and how to use them in interviewing is all needed in before research methods of a plan can be written.


Secondary information is the one that has already been collected usually for some purpose quite unconnected with our requirement. Primary research on the other hand is needed to collect factual information to refine the data that is uncertain or too broad. Quantitative data is concerned with understanding the subjects of the research from within; it is very much concerned with attitudes and motivations.





Resources required


Market research in most respects is labor intensive and outside data analysis (especially processing of questionnaires, which is beyond the impact of information technology. Time factor is the most important element for any market research project.



  1. Desk Research


Generally two man-days spent in a library supplemented by telephone 'overview' interviews would produce the data.



2. Telephone interviews


The number of telephone interviews that can be carried out in a day is often more dependent on the time needed to locate appropriate respondents than on the length of the interview itself. Lengthy questionnaires are costly to be administered on telephone.



3. Face-to-face interviews


Considerable time is spent on travelling. If the respondents are scattered it may prove too costly. If the respondents are geographically concentrated and easily accessible, then this type of interviewing is beneficial.



4. Postal surveys


They can be employed when the responses are not subject to time constraints. Since time is a key factor in market research projects, the same may not prove beneficial here.



Non-interviewing methods:





Face to face interviewing involves a meeting between the person collecting the data and the person giving it for consumer research. Our area of interest in face to face interviews is business to business research, which are mostly carried out in the respondent's work place. For quality information, in-depth information is needed. In business to business research the respondent's view reflects the view of the organization.



Telephone interviews can be carried out in both consumer and business to business research; either as a stand-alone method or in conjunction with visits or a postal survey. Combining a postal survey with telephone interviews can overcome some limitations of each individual method. Observation is another non-interviewing fieldwork method.


In this study the interviewing was face to face at the respondent's work place.



Selection of Appropriate Fieldwork Method:


We now consider when and why to use one fieldwork method rather than another.

A number of factors are relevant and in a study it may be necessary to make a compromise to resolve conflicting requirements.


  1. Information:

    Nature of information to be sought is the most important factor to be considered. Quantitative data usually requires the collection of standardized data from a reliable and representative sample. Either face to face or telephonic interviews can be considered. Attitude measurement using scales is a type of quantitative data, often based on a large number of interviews.


    For collecting qualitative data, in-depth interviews or group discussions are advisable. However it is worth considering other methods of data collection, especially when both qualitative and quantitative data are to be collected from the same respondent. For qualitative data, open-ended questions are a comfortable alternative.


  3. Respondents:

    The nature and location of respondents may affect selection of the fieldwork method. For respondent group with low level of literacy, postal surveys cannot be used. Street interviewing is not

    advisable for elderly or working class people.


  5. Interviewing Requirements:

    Special requirements may favor or rule out a particular field work approach. Telephonic interview is not feasible when something has to be shown to the respondents. Likewise when a product has to be shown or tested, then a hall is required unless a home placement is more appropriate. In our study, the Managing Director of MACL was interviewed face to face at his office.


  7. Resources:


This is concerned with practical constraints and they may result in compromises on either method or fieldwork used or on sampling procedure. The ideal research method may not be feasible owing to the affordability criterion.



Strengths and Weaknesses of

the three contact methods




1. Flexibility Excellent Poor Good

2. Quantity of data

that can be collected Good Fair Excellent

3. Control of interviewer Excellent Fair Poor

4. Control of sample Fair Excellent Fair

5. Speed of data

collection Poor Excellent Good

6. Response rate Poor Good Good

7. Cost Good Fair Poor







In case of business research, who should be interviewed has to be given much thought. The respondents must be in a position to give factual data to arrive at the prevailing international market situations. The respondents must have first hand knowledge of the ceramic sanitary ware markets and the global scenario.







Preparing questionnaires or observational forms is one significant step in research that may be done properly by watching for the many pitfalls and following an orderly procedure. The neophyte in this work should be warned, though, that no questionnaire has been perfect and that an adequate one requires painstaking effort.






Type of Questionnaire

















Areas of use of Questionnaire



Used in large interview programs

(over 50 interviews) where it is possible to anticipate closely the responses.





Used where there is need to accommodate widely different responses and where the responses cannot be anticipated.



Used for in-depth interviewing of consumers both one to one and groups. Allows probing and searching where a skilled researcher is not fully sure of the responses before the interviews.


Administration of the Questionnaire



Street interviews,

Home interviews,



Face to face




Face to face,






Home interviews,

Group discussions,

Industrial visit


Telephonic interviews




Types of Questions


        Name Description

        Dichotomous A question offering two answer choices


        Multiple choice A question offering three or more answer choices


        Lickert Scale A statement with which the respondent shows the

        amount of agreement/disagreement


        Semantic A scale is inscibed between two bipolar words,

        Differential and the respondent selects the point that

        represents the direction and intensity of his or

        her feelings.









Name Description

Completely Unstructured A question that a respondent can answer in an

almost unlimited number of ways.


Sentence completion Incomplete sentences are presented and the

Respondents are asked to complete it.


Story completion Incomplete story is presented and the

Respondent has to complete it.


Thematic Apperception A picture is presented and respondents are asked

Test (TAT) to make up a story on what they think is

happening or may happen.




  1. Keeping the objectives in mind

    Every survey has a purpose, which is defined on paper, and the objectives spelt out. The first step in questionnaire design is, therefore, to write down the objectives of the survey and then list the key subject areas where information is required. Then assign an order of priority to each subject.


  3. Drafting the Questions
  4. Ask the following questions

    Will the question be understood in the way that I intended?


    How many different ways could this question be interpreted?

    Is this question likely to annoy or offend?


    Is there a better way of asking the questions?


  5. Pitfalls to avoid in the designing of Questionnaire

    Avoid lengthy questionnaires. Make it short and sweet. Nobody likes a time consuming endeavor and the responses may suffer.


    Avoid long or complicated questions. Make the language simple and easy to understand. Incorporate only one idea or instruction per questionnaire.


    Avoid unreasonable questions. The respondent should not be forced into guesswork.


    Avoid 'loaded' questions. Loaded questions are biased and may elicit inaccurate responses.



  7. Fine tuning the questionnaire


Once the draft copy is prepared, revise it for corrections keeping in mind the features of a good questionnaire and by steering clear of the pitfalls in questionnaire design. The order of questions is adjusted to enhance the flow and ambiguous questions are removed. A test or dummy run of the questionnaire is advisable and it can be timed to arrive at the average time required to finish the questionnaire.

Fine-tuning of the questionnaire will flush out the weaknesses in the questionnaire in terms of the meaning of questions or length of questionnaire or its flow.























































The research design is the major blue print according to which the result is to be conducted. The research design specifies the methods of data collection and data analysis.




In the preliminary phase exploratory research was conducted to obtain a proper definition of the problem at hand. It helped in formulating the hypothesis for further research. The study also makes use of descriptive research in order to analyze the problem and come up with solutions.




Sources of data included both internal as well as external. Primary data was collected using questionnaires and by fixing interview schedules at the respondent's work place. Secondary data was collected from magazines, journals, textbooks, newspapers, Internet web sites etc.



Non probability sampling was used. The researcher has used judgment sampling to choose the elements of the sample. The sample size is 25% of the population.































Data was collected from the customers by using both the questionnaire method and the observation method




It is hoped that the sample size portrays the true picture.




The questionnaire and interview methods were employed to gather data.











Due to time and money constraints the sample size is limited and probably not enough.




Due to the large International market and dispersed market players, the attention devoted to each player may not be sufficient.




The data gathered may be biased in favor of the respondents.















This chapter starts with the chapter overview wherein a briefing of the entire chapter is made.




The problems and hypothesis is restated. The problems are spelt out and the need for the study is discussed.




The research design is thoroughly explained. It includes a plan of a market research project, the resources required, methods used for fieldwork program, questionnaire design and type of questionnaire used.




Finally the assumptions that are made along with reasons for making them are mentioned.

The limitations that go along with the study are listed.






































Primary Data ------------------------------------------------------------IV-2




Secondary Data ---------------------------------------------------------IV-4




Sampling Procedure ----------------------------------------------------IV-8


























Primary data can be expressed in simple terms as information collected for the specific purpose at hand. Good decisions require good data. Just as researchers must carefully evaluate the quality of secondary information they obtain, they must also take great care in collecting primary data in order to gather relevant, accurate, current, and unbiased information.




Observation Mail Sampling unit Questionnaire

Survey Telephone Sample size Mechanical instruments

Experiment Personal Sampling procedure




Interview Planning:

Having decided on the size of sample required and the method of data collection to be used, the interview schedule can be ascertained. The quality of market research greatly depends on the questions asked and the responses elicited. The following points may be noted:













The questionnaire designed for collection of primary data elicits responses on the following:







































Secondary data consist of information that already exists somewhere, having been collected for another purpose. Secondary data may be described as those data that have been compiled by some agency other than the user. When the needed data are available from secondary sources, either within or outside the organization, that can be a fine economy. Sources of existing data should be practically exhausted before seeking original data.




Uses of Secondary Data


    1. A prerequisite to the conduct of marketing research is an adequate understanding of the problem situation. This understanding typically is based to a large extent on secondary data.
    2. Further use of secondary data often is in exploratory search for hypothetical solutions to the problem, suggested or inspired by others' publications and data.
    3. In carrying out conclusive research to verify the expected effect of hypotheses under consideration, several uses may be made of secondary data. One is examining the methods employed in studies of similar nature for guidance in a project design to gather primary data.
    4. Secondary data are essential in planning the sample from which primary information is to be obtained. They may be used to describe the target population that is to be sampled, as parameters and guides in the actual sample selection process, and as bases for validating the obtained sample.




Sources of Secondary Data


Internal sources include company profit and loss statements, balance sheets, sales figures, sales call reports, invoices, inventory records, and prior research reports.


Various press releases and Government Gazettes provide information of secondary nature.





Various export magazines, business publications like Business week e.t.c, are a store house of information.


There are numerous commercial houses selling data to subscribers.


The secondary data for this study was obtained from Business magazines, Export journals and other sanitary wear literature.

The sales performance of a company is partly due to its marketing efforts in a competitive environment and partly due to the result of trends within the market. Plotting a Company's sales over time may give an idea of the shape and movement of the market. Every company should make an effort to track its performance against the size of the market and in doing so plot its market share. Changes in the market shares are signal for action. An increase in market share may mean that a promotional campaign is working, the competitor is on a decline or product is priced too low. A decline in market share may mean that a product has been usurped by the competition, that competitors are more aggressive in their marketing, distribution channel is too poor or prizes are too high. In any case, plotting the Company's sales against the market should raise questions and it may prompt an investigation. Thus your own Company as a source of information is very important.































In a broader sense we can say that two types of data are available to a researcher. These are

    1. Primary data

    3. Secondary data



1. Primary data: Primary data is obtained when a particular problem at hand is investigated by the researcher employing mail, questionnaire, telephone surveys, personal interviews, observations and experiments.



Merits of using primary data:


  1. The amount of information procured on each aspect is larger.

  3. As there is personal interaction between interviewer and respondent, the data obtained are more reliable.

  5. The result can be projected to the relevant universe with a greater degree of accuracy



Limitations of using primary data:


  1. The cost involved is relatively higher.

  3. The respondents may refuse to co-operate with the investigator

  5. Bias may occur when the sample chosen to be surveyed is not really representative of the population.



    1. Secondary data: Secondary data on the other hand include those data which are collected for some earlier research work and are applicable or usable in the study the researcher has presently undertaken.





Merits of secondary data


  1. Secondary data is unbiased. It is in no way affected by the objectivity of the researcher.

  3. The secondary data obtained for research purposes are more economical than primary data.


Limitations of secondary data


  1. Finding data to suit the specific project is cumbersome.

  3. It is tiresome to find data of known accuracy










Selecting a survey technique






















It would be impracticable, if not impossible, to test, to interview or observe each unit of the population under controlled conditions in order to arrive at principles having universal validity. Some populations are so large that their study would be expensive in terms of time, money, effort, and manpower. Sampling is the process by which a relatively small number of individuals or measures of individuals, objects, or events is selected and analyzed in order to find out something about the entire population from which it was selected.


The representative proportion of the population is called a sample. To obtain a representative sample, the researcher selects each unit in a specified way under controlled conditions. Usually four steps are involved in the process:


    1. Defining the population

    3. Listing the population

    5. Selecting a representative sample

    7. Obtaining an adequate sample


Generally larger the sample, the greater the accuracy, provided it is selected in an appropriate way. Diminishing returns apply, however, and the increased accuracy from additional interviewing may be very small and not worth paying for.


The ideal sample is generally drawn randomly. In fact, pure random sampling is very rarely used. This applies to this study also, because cooperation from the respondent's part is essential.


The target population or universe in this study is made up of all the ceramic sanitary ware manufacturers who engage in exports. The entire population consists of about 20 known ceramic sanitary ware exporters. The number of respondents included in this study is 5, which amounts to 25% of the population.


The researcher has used Non-probability method of sampling. Judgment sampling is used to purposefully select the specific members of the sample in a random method. The researcher according to his judgment has chosen the members of the sample that would constitute a proper cross section representing the parameters of pertinence to the research.


A listing of every element in the population or universe would constitute a perfect sampling frame. In reality, though, most sampling frames are found to be far from perfect, owing to omissions, incomplete data, and outdated information. The sampling techniques used in this study may also suffer from any of the above mentioned defects. Since, it is practically impossible for a smaller segment of a population to be exactly representative of the population, some degree of sampling error will be present whenever we select a sample. This error is the result of chance. Non-sampling error is everything else besides sampling error that may inject inaccuracies and bias into the results of a study. It goes without saying that the study may have non-sampling errors but every step has been taken to minimize non-sampling errors.






































Classification of Data




Classification is arranging the data according to points of similarities and dissimilarities. The common types of classification are quantitative, geographical and chronological. The objectives are:



  1. To prepare data in to homogeneous groups.


  3. To prepare data to be presented in tabular form


  5. To condense the mass of data in such a way that its salient features are highlighted.


  7. To facilitate comparisons between variables





Data are classified into primary and secondary. Primary data is collected for meeting the specific objectives of research study. Primary data is collected for meeting the specific objectives of research study. The primary data is mainly collected by using questionnaires.




Secondly data is defined as data collected earlier for a purpose other than one currently being pursued. Data which is available prior to the commencement of a research study is secondary data. The data classified here is primary data collected from sources.


















Factors influencing buying decision:







No. of respondents












Price 40%, shape 40%, and other factors 20%




Table 5A

































Countries to which exports have failed:







Serial No.

Name of the country



South Africa












Table 5B






























Reasons for failure of exports to these countries:









No of respondents



Low prices



Low demand for quality products













Table 5A1


























Promotional Inputs:








Promotional Inputs



Product brochures



Product leaflets



Floppy disks



Internet Web sites and home pages



































Price mechanism adopted for the international market:








Price mechanism

No. of respondents


Uniform prices pegged to the U.S.$



Different prices for different markets








Table 5C





























Whether marketing research is conducted on an ongoing basis?







Query result

No of respondents

Yes, marketing research is conducted on an ongoing basis to identify changing customer preference




No, marketing research is not conducted

on an ongoing basis to identify changing customer preference










Table 5D






























Common problems faced by sanitary ware manufacturers








Common Problems




Resistance to Indian products




Freight charges




Breakage in transit




Rapid changes in design and




High Research and development costs







Table 5C1






























Analysis and interpretation of data:








Table 5A Factors influencing buying decision










Out of the 5 respondents, 2 have agreed on the price of the products and 2 on the shape of the products and 1 has mentioned other factors. From the responses collected it is evident that price and shape of the sanitary fittings are the most important factors influencing buying decisions.




























Table 5B Countries to which exports have failed










From the responses received the three countries to where exports have failed are South Africa, China and Namibia. The reasons given for this are that the demand for luxury items is low and the price of the sanitary wares in the domestic markets are too low and Indian manufacturers do not find it feasible to export quality products at that price.























Table 5C Price mechanism adopted by Indian manufacturers for the Export market









All 5 respondents price their products depending on the markets. None of them have pegged their pricing mechanism on the dollar. The importance of flexible pricing is evident from this. Differentiated pricing policies for different markets is surely better than pegging prices to the dollar as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.






















Table 5D Whether the respondents carry out Marketing Research at regular intervals?











All the 5 respondents have agreed that they carry out marketing research at regular intervals to identify changing customer perception. Constant change in strategies according to the inputs received from the market research enables to fight the competition better.















Table 5A1 Reasons for failure of exports.to South Africa, China and Namibia.
















The reasons for failure in exports to South Africa, China and Namibia can be attributed mainly to the following:
























Table 5B1 Various promotional inputs used by the exporting companies












According to the responses received the promotional inputs of the various ceramic sanitary ware-exporting firms include the following:















Table 5C1 Problems faced by the ceramic sanitary ware manufacturing companies who export












There are a few common problems faced by the companies engaged in the manufacture and export of Indian ceramic sanitary wares. Some of the prominent ones include the following:














































The Indian ceramic sanitary ware industry has a number of players who export their merchandise to the global market place. It is true that the Indian share of the global market is limited and the market share negligible. However, the ceramic sanitary ware produced in India, especially the merchandise for exports are of good quality and conform to the BIS standards and other International standards.




The hypothesis," The Indian exporters are not able to match foreign technology and quality of ceramic sanitary ware available in the international market", is the null hypothesis of the present study. The study has revealed that the alternate hypothesis is true. Therefore, the null hypothesis has been rejected.








































Table 5A Factors influencing buying decision


Out of the 5 respondents, 2 have agreed on the price of the products and 2 on the shape of the products and 1 has mentioned other factors. From the responses collected it is evident that price and shape of the sanitary fittings are the most important factors influencing buying decisions.


Table 5B Countries to which exports have failed


From the responses received the three countries to where exports have failed are South Africa, China and Namibia. The reasons given for this are that the demand for luxury items is low and the price of the sanitary wares in the domestic markets are too low and Indian manufacturers do not find it feasible to export quality products at that price.



Table 5C Price mechanism adopted by Indian manufacturers for the Export market


All 5 respondents price their products depending on the markets. None of them have pegged their pricing mechanism on the dollar. The importance of flexible pricing is evident from this. Differentiated pricing policies for different markets is surely better than pegging prices to the dollar as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.


Table 5D Whether the respondents carry out Marketing Research at regular intervals?


All the 5 respondents have agreed that they carry out marketing research at regular intervals to identify changing customer perception. Constant change in strategies according to the inputs received from the market research enables to fight the competition better.



Table 5A1 Reasons for failure of exports.to South Africa, China and Namibia.


The reasons for failure in exports to South Africa, China and Namibia can be attributed mainly to the following:









Table 5B1 Various promotional inputs used by the exporting companies



According to the responses received the promotional inputs of the various ceramic sanitary ware-exporting firms include the following:


Table 5C1 Problems faced by the ceramic sanitary ware manufacturing companies who export


There are a few common problems faced by the companies engaged in the manufacture and export of Indian ceramic sanitary wares. Some of the prominent ones include the following:


















































The study has revealed that:











































With the proper understanding of goals, policies and actions of countries globally, the exporters have to develop a culture of devising their own specific goals, strategies and policies. India, as a country, may have to meet the cost of getting into global strategic alliances and market chains, achieving the necessary market share, for which companies must grow. Thereby, the government can better equip the exporters to deal with the international competition.



Marketing Strategies:



Packaging plays a great role in product safety but above all, good packaging creates instant consumer recognition of the company or brand. Packaging also gives the first impression of the product to the customer. A well-packaged item is always associated with a good manufacturer. After selecting and introducing a package design, the company should check the packaging concept in the face of advances in technology and change in consumer preferences.

Overseas Market Surveys:

The tastes and preferences of the consumers are bound to changes. In keeping with this notion, MACL should not produce standardised products but indulge in innovative products.

To ascertain the needs of the customers, overseas market surveys are to be conducted at regular intervals through efficient agencies.


Tailor made products:

The need for tailor made products is assuming significance in the present world market scenario. MACL should be in a position to tap this market by offering products tailor made to the needs of the customer, thereby enhancing the prestige of the company and tapping a fast growing market.


Strategic alliances:

Better market access is possible by establishing strategic alliances. The strength of distribution is crucial in deepening and widening market penetration. Therefore instead of building a distribution channel and logistics, using up a developed one through alliance will be more appropriate.



Image Building:

The image building exercise is to be viewed as a process. The international market does not have a favorable impression of most Indian goods. An image building exercise will go a great way in promoting the standards and quality of Indian products in international market. The next step would be to tackle the problem of "facelessness" of Indian products. Finally, the Indian manufacturers will be in a position to place the "made in India" stamp with pride instead of having a faceless presence in the world market.



Effective print advertisements can be used in trade journals, magazines e.t.c., to instill the presence of Indian brand sanitary ware in the market. The quality of products and their research and development can be highlighted to evoke positive influences on the buyers.


Niche marketing:

A carefully formulated strategy of niche marketing would give a tremendous boost to the marketing of Indian products and Indian Brand names. Potential markets ignored can be chosen for gaining entry and building a market share.

Agreements and contracts:

The Company can also enter into long term agreements and contracts for marketing its products.


Trade shows:

The Company can participate in foreign trade shows. These trade shows draw a large number of buyers who view new products in a few concentrated days. The manufacturer sees how buyers react to various product features and terms and can assess buyer interest and purchase intentions.


Export marketing channels:

Knowledge about the whole set of inter-related marketing agencies which are involved in making the goods available from the producer to customers is important to the trader to enable him to tailor his marketing scheme appropriately. Therefore, he should know the available marketing channels. He should also know the most appropriate channel to link the domestic operations to the overseas channel.












How an Export Management Company can assist you?


An Export Management Company (EMC) represents a manufacturer as their Export Sales Department to develop international sales on their behalf.


An EMC offers a firm immediate expertise in international sales and marketing.


An EMC represents manufacturers of complementary, related products, but not competitive.


An EMC is paid a commission on sales made for the manufacturer, but only after the products have been shipped, and the manufacturer has been paid.


An EMC absorbs all selling costs, meaning NO FINANCIAL RISK, NO STAFF COMMITTMENTS, and NO ADDITIONAL EXPENSES borne by the manufacturer.


An EMC will find, screen, select and appoint commissioned representatives and distributors for your products, and will manage them for you.





































1. Name the countries that buy from you in the International market. Also please specify the quantum of purchase (U.S. $ value or Indian Re. value on an average since inception)

S. No


Quantum of purchase

Market share in %










































Checklist your product range:


a. Bathroom Accessories

b. Closet with cistern


c. Washbasin with pedestal

d. Shower enclosure & cubicle

e. Vanity Basin

f. Cloak room basin

g. Bidet

h. Towel holder

. Other (please specify)_______________


Explain the Brand name strategy adopted by MACL.




2 a) What factors motivate these countries to buy from you?



b) Could you name any country or countries where you have tried to export but failed?





c) What factors went against you?




3. How do you source your buyers? (Indicate 4 or 5 critical mechanisms for sourcing)




4. Name some critical promotional input through which you create demand for your products in International market.




5. What price mechanism do you adopt for your products in the international market?

    1. Uniform prices pegged to the U.S.$

    3. Different prices for different markets


6. Do you have any preset standards for pricing or do you go for negotiable pricing. Please explain.



7. How do you make your products available to your customers in the International market?

1) Direct


11) Through channels


If 11) please explain the channel procedure.



8 a) Do you conduct marketing research as an ongoing process to identify changing customer perception?

Yes No


b) If so, what sort of basic research do you conduct?



9. How do you keep yourself up in terms of technological advances, changing customer tastes and preferences etc.?











10. How do you meet competition at the International level?




11 a) What are the major problems you face in your line of business? Please explain in detail.







b) How friendly or unfriendly are the Government policies in boosting sanitary wares? Please support your answer with figures.




12. What changes do you foresee in the ceramics sanitary wares market in the light of globalisation with reference to India?



13a) Please name your competitors in India who export ceramic sanitary wares.



b) What is your share in the total export market?

c) What are the common problems ceramic sanitary manufacturers face in the export front?




14. What are the problems that you face while clearing your goods from India to the importing country? Please give detailed explanation.





















































1. Marketing Research

Principles, Applications and cases by Dr. D.D. Sharma


  1. Principles of Marketing by Philip Kotler & Gary Armstrong, 5th ed., 1994

  3. Marketing Research by Luck, Wales, Taylor, and Rubin, 5th ed.,



  1. Methodology of Educational Research by Lokesh Koul, Reprint,



5. Marketing Research by Donald S. Tull and Del I. Hawkins 4th ed.,



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