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Interaction | January 2014

Our target for the next year is 10,000 units

The market for washroom cubicles is growing rapidly, and we are planning to be a leader in this growth informs Lalit Gandhi, Founder, Inner Space  

Which are the segments you cater to residential, commercial or infrastructure? Which segments you feel have edge over others?
 We cater to most segments other than residential spaces which include education, retail, healthcare, industrial, corporate, infrastructure and public transportation areas. While our products contribute to aesthetics and space utility in all areas, our T-line toilet partition systems are most suitable for public areas where functionality, ease in maintenance of hygiene, and durability are of prime importance.


Let us know about the recent trend in terms of use of material in construction? How do you witness the acceptance of green material for construction purposes?
 Conventional toilet construction uses materials such as brickwork and plaster finished with tiles or natural stone. These materials have multiple joints and do not meet the standards of hygiene. Also, the extensive amount of work carried out on-site generates a large amount of waste material and debris. These conventional finishes require very meticulous maintenance and are not reusable. Our product, which consists of a compact board, is factory finished and requires minimal work on-site. The board itself is manufactured using recycled paper and all the hardware and accessories are designed to be easily reusable.


What is your market share? How about your views on competitiveness in the market? What are the challenges faced by the industry?
 The market for washroom cubicles is growing rapidly, and we are planning to be a leader in this growth. Currently, we estimate our market share to be in the range of 20 per cent. By widening the service options and expanding our geographical presence, we expect to increase our market share significantly. We believe in providing quality service and have a track record of maintaining delivery schedules with very competitive pricing.


Has increase in raw material prices impacted the company?
 The price of paper and resins has impacted the cost of the compact board. Exchange rate fluctuations also cause price increases.


Which are the projects where your material has been used? What projects are you currently working on?
 We tailor to the needs of a wide range of projects. We have worked on large projects such as Godrej IT Park, Phoenix Mall, Viviyana Mall, Oberoi International School, American school, Cinepolis India multiplex, Bombay exhibition centre, etc. Also, we are currently working on projects with Godrej IT Park, Phoenix Mall, Viviyana Mall, Oberoi International School, American school, Cinepolis India multiplex, Bombay exhibition centre, and Bharat Diamond Bourse to name a few.


Brief us about your current product offerings. Do you have any plans to introduce more products in recent?
 For the T-line Toilet Cubicle systems, we are bringing in additional features and configurations with a wider choice of finishes and hardware. We have also introduced accessories for accessible toilets. Other developments are the glass cubicle system and HDP locker systems for change rooms and cloakrooms.


What is the quality of your products in terms of maintenance cost and life cycle? What are the steps taken by the company to enhance durability of the product and reduce its maintenance cost?
 The system is designed for minimum maintenance with few movable components, door returns using gravity hinges, and low maintenance locking systems. We presently guarantee the product for five years while the product life itself is more than 20 years.


What was the total unit's growth of the company in the last fiscal? What is your projection for the current financial year?
 Inner Space installs about 500 units per month, with an annual turnover of about 6,000 units. Our target for the next year is 10,000 units.


Kindly take us through the area of specialisation that the company is involved in? Do you provide construction technology solution to all segments ranging from houses, commercial complexes, hospitals, schools, etc?
 Our aim is to be the best solution for modular toilets including accessible toilets at par with international standards. Toilet block construction is a major challenge in commercial buildings. Our design team is working on the concept of factory finished (pre-fabricated) toilet units, which will be ready for installation on site with minimum site work. These designs will specifically address segments like education, retail, and public spaces.


Are your technologies on par with traditional construction technologies in terms of cost? What are the measures you take to woo customers on the price front?
 Traditional methods of constructing toilets are time-consuming, multidisciplinary, and sources of waste. Our products are attractive to wider user segments because they involve waterless construction, save space, and are low-cost.


Do you offer construction technology solution to all geographies from hilly regions to deserts in India?
 Our product has been tested for suitability in any environment, from cold to hot and dry to humid. We are capable of offering our solutions to all parts of India and abroad.


What are your capacity and future addition plans?
 With our current two units for manufacturing hardware, one unit for section plating, and a full-fledged workshop facility for cutting and finishing the boards, our current capacity is 10,000 cubicles per year. With the introduction of automation in some of the products, our capacity will increase to at least 20,000 units in the next financial year.


Out of the total revenue earned by the company, what is your expenditure on R&D activities? We are investing 8 per cent of our NP for R&D activities and certification.


What is your vision?
 We started just a few decades ago as a small contracting company installing system false ceilings. Today, we have established ourselves as one of the key suppliers of false flooring systems of the brand name KEBAO. In 2007, we launched the T-Line toilet cubicle. Although initially both of these products were 100 per cent imported, with time, we developed technology to progressively manufacture this product in India. Currently, about 70 per cent of the product is produced in India and we soon hope to be able to offer 100 per cent Indian-made product without any compromise to quality.


What is your vision for the international market?
 Currently we have a significant market in the UAE, where the quality and cost is well accepted. By automating production and manufacturing more of our products in India, we will increase our capacity for production and faster deliveries. This will help us capture a larger share of the international market.


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