RAK Ceramics, a founding member of the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), has redoubled its efforts to support green building initiatives, which has resulted in the development and introduction of a wide array of innovative and environment-friendly products.
These include RAK Slim, a revolutionary 4.5-mm-thick eco-friendly tile with energy-saving features; RAK Antimicrobial tile, which reduces microbial contamination; RAK Luminous tile, which glows in the dark and saves energy; RAK bathware with a 33 per cent water-saving feature; and the Kludi RAK eco-friendly range of luxury faucets that reduce water consumption by 60 per cent.
“We have introduced various tile series in a natural finish which act as suitable alternatives for natural resources like wood, stone and marble, and conserve the environment,” says Abdulla Mahmood, general manager – marketing and corporate communications.
“RAK Ceramics educates and encourages its customers to opt for eco-friendly products over other products during the trade exhibitions and sponsorship events it participates in as well as through direct emails, advertising, and marketing promotions at its showrooms by highlighting the products’ eco-friendly features and how the purchase of such products can help save environment. Further, RAK Ceramics has product-specific videos, especially designed for eco-friendly products that inspire customers to play a role in conservation of natural resources,” he adds.
“We are looking at launching a further new range of designer Wood Art tiles, which will allow us to tap new market segments in different geographic regions,” says Mahmood.
He continues: “The Wood Art tiles in comparison to natural wood offers more benefits such as low maintenance, resistance to frost, termite and fire and are cost effective over a long period of time.”
The newly launched tiles include the Wood Art, Stone Art, Orion and Wall Tile collections, which are eco-friendly alternatives to natural wood, marble and stone and help conserve natural resources. Additionally, the company has launched two new tile collections – the Concrete Collection, inspired from the raw hues of cement and the Sheen Collection, a unique collection that possesses subtle shades of gold to give a shimmer to interiors.
Moreover, there has been a growing trend to mix and match colours, designs and various natural finishes such as cement with a wood or stone finish to give a unique look to interiors. “These products are customised with different shades, look aesthetically fabulous, are easy to install and low on maintenance,” Mahmood adds.
In 2013, RAK Ceramics produced its first GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)-based sustainability report, becoming the first ceramics manufacturer in the region to produce such a report. The report describes RAK Ceramics’ performance in managing operations and corporate social responsibility issues in a sustainable manner. RAK Ceramics ensures that 98 per cent of its production waste is recycled during the manufacture of tiles while 100 per cent is recycled during the production of bathware. Further, there is a saving of 60 per cent of waste water through a waste water treatment plant installed at the factories while 80 per cent of renewable energy is used through a heat recovery system and a further saving of 80 per cent in energy consumption is achieved by utilising LED lighting instead of regular halogen lamps in the factories.
Over the past year, RAK Ceramics has seen its production capacity sustained at 117 million sq m of ceramics tiles, while that for bathware and tableware increased to 4.6 million pieces and 24 million pieces of tableware respectively. The company witnessed an 11 per cent increase in revenue for the year ending 2013, up by Dh347 million ($94.46 million) to Dh3.51 billion ($956 million). RAK Ceramics achieved a 22 per cent increase in net profit for 2013.
“Further, RAK Ceramics has achieved a milestone of having sold 50 million pieces of bathware worldwide since its inception, following its staggering achievement of having sold one billion sq m of tiles worldwide. We will continue with our aggressive yet sustainable approach of expanding our business in different market segments,” says Mahmood. “We are expanding our sanitary ware production in India and Bangladesh in 2014 by doubling our capacity in these countries. This year is looking positive and with Dubai’s recent successful bid for Expo 2020, it augurs well for the future of the construction and real estate industry in the region.”
In terms of retail expansion in the UAE, RAK Ceramics has opened new showrooms in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, boosting the total number of showrooms across the emirates to 10.
Currently, RAK Ceramics caters to about 160 countries around the globe and is looking at tapping unconventional market segments in order to increase its market base.
On the company’s marketing strategy, Mahmood says: “We are looking to consolidate our position, while sustaining the existing exposure RAK Ceramics has in other regions. We are continuously investing in research and development to produce pioneering products that will help boost our market share and overall revenue. RAK Ceramics is looking at enhancing its brand image by offering superior products and services that further enhance the customer experience. We will also continue to invest in new technology and upgrade machineries to produce innovative and exquisitely designed products.
“RAK Ceramics has long been praised for its ability to offer products that serve the needs of the market. Much of our collection is engineered in collaboration with European designers to cater to international tastes and please both traditional and modern preferences.
“Every new concept stems from a partnership between the company’s in-house design team based in Ras Al Khaimah and some of the top style houses from around the world. Working together, we are able to introduce lines that cater for each market’s tastes. As a consulting partner, RAK Ceramics is able to keep an eye on emerging trends to maintain and enhance the company’s position as a global trendsetter. Its designs reflect what each market wants; and it fills market gaps by responding to specific needs or by introducing innovative product concepts.”