State of the Economy 2018

Back to the Grind

Industrial units in Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi area continue to grapple with poor connectivity but are getting over GST pangs

Photographs by Vishal Koul

At Roca’s plant in Bhiwadi, workers are busy giving faucets a final silvery finish. Roca Bathroom Products is a sanitary ware major, with global sales of $1.75 billion. Having set up its faucet plant in Bhiwadi back in 2000, the plant employs 324 people currently. ROCA’s India operations contribute about 7-8% to global sales. “2017 was the most challenging year for our industry,” says KE Ranganathan, managing director, Roca Bathroom Products, sounding like a soldier who is thankful that the war is over. The construction sector, which directly determines demand for sanitary ware, took a beating due to the introduction of several structural changes like demonentisation, RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) Act, and GST. “Conventionally, a lot of cash had been floating in this sector, which got hit by demonetisation,” he says.