A glass act

Kolkata-based La Opala is well-placed to capitalise on the rising consumer preference for premium crockery

In the dark days of pre-liberalised India, the style index of a middle class home in India was decided by, among several other things, its dinnerware. Stainless steel disqualified you before starting, almost everybody had bone china sets, but gleaming, nearly-unbreakable white glass plates and bowls got you bonus points — it meant you had access to ‘imported’ stuff (relatives coming from the Gulf or the US would invariably bring back cardboard boxes of Corelle dinner sets). Then, in 1987, India got its own brand of milky white glass dinnerware, which, nearly a quarter century later, is still the market leader in the domestic opalware market. And despite the presence here of some of the world’s best-known brands in the business, including Corelle, La Opala shows no signs of letting up.