Villeroy & Boch, the Germany-based ceramics company, has decided to foray into Indian market. It will be selling its products online in India in next 12 to 18 months.
Villeroy & Boch has been operating in India through a joint venture arrangement with Genesis Luxury for the past three years. It was established in 1748 and it known for selling bath and wellness and tableware products.
The company that is run by the seventh generation is analysing the options of selling through their own website or through other online companies or through specialised portals.
Besides India, Villeroy & Boch products are sold online in markets like the US, Europe and China.
Publically-listed Villeroy & Boch posted consolidated revenues of around 803 million euros in financial year 2015, up 4.9 per cent over the previous year. The company’s two divisions, bath and wellness, and tableware, posted revenues of around 500 million euros and 306 million euros, respectively.
The company began in the tiny Lorraine village of Audun le Tiche, where the iron master François Boch set up a pottery company with his three sons in 1748. In 1766, Boch was licensed to build a ceramics kiln works nearby at Septfontaines, Luxembourg, where it operated a porcelain factory. In 1785, Nicholas Villeroy became sole owner of the faience manufactory at Wallerfangen. In 1812, Jean-François Boch began construction of kilns at the nearby town of Mettlach, Saarland. In 1824, Boch commenced transfer printing on porcelain from engraved copper plates. On April 14, 1836, the Jean François Boch company merged with that of the competitor, Nicolas Villeroy, and became Villeroy & Boch, (V&B, also simply ‘VB’). Since 1869, when Villeroy & Boch opened the first manufactory specializing in architectural tiles, the company has operated in three main areas, autonomous until 1982, tablewares, tiles for flooring and revetments, and fine plumbing fixtures.
Among its innovations in Mettlach at the end of the nineteenth century. was Phanolith, a kind of semi-transparent porcelain that combines the characteristics and benefits of jasperware and pate-sur-pate. The creator of the Phanolith was the ceramics artist Jean-Baptiste Stahl, who headed the modelling section of Villeroy & Boch. Phanolith gained first wide public attention at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900).
Villeroy & Boch has continued to base its broadest market in Germany.