Combining Creative Design and Aggressive Marketing with Recycling and Environmental Concerns

Mohammad Amin kariminia Deputy CEO & Vice President of Sales & Market Developement

Please provide your analysis of the current state of the tile and ceramic industry in Iran and the surrounding region? Additionally, can you share your thoughts on Iran’s potential and opportunities to expand into global markets?

As of 2022, the top five ceramic tile producers are China, India, Brazil, Vietnam, and Spain. Iran is the sixthlargest producer, accounting for 2.9% of the global market.

The country has the capacity to produce around 800 million square meters of ceramic tiles annually, with approximately half already produced, equivalent to 400-450 million square meters. 

Around 50% of the production is exported, which amounts to about 200-250 million square meters. Of these exports, 70% are destined for Iraq. Due to Iran’s abundant supply of raw materials, it is expected that the country’s production will increase by 10-30% in the upcoming years.

projects undertaken between 2003 and 2005. The establishment of Alvand 2 and 3 tile factories has increased the company’s production capacity and completed its product portfolio. Currently, the company produces all three types of tiles: wall tiles, ceramic floor tiles, and porcelain, with an annual capacity of approximately 8 million square meters.

Please share your ceramic tile production process and any special technology or materials used. Additionally, please highlight the strengths of your brand in terms of design and production compared to competitors. While emerging technologies like AI are being utilized in various industries, please clarify if your company uses AI in any aspect of the production process.

Alvand Tile sources most of its raw materials domestically, including soil and glaze. Only some materials, such as zirconium silicate, are imported from abroad. The company is renowned technologies are crucial for expanding capacity, as new equipment from Italy, Spain, and China is imported to increase production. These technologies also contribute to green energy, with new equipment designed to enhance energy efficiency and reduce pollution levels. Green energy initiatives include using hydrogen or other sources instead of gas, as well as installing photovoltaic cells to harness solar energy.

What measures does your company take to recycle, preserve the environment, and control pollutants during production?

At our company, we prioritize recycling semi-finished and recoverable products by reintroducing them to the production process. Our environmental protection department conducts annual tests to measure the level of pollutants emitted by the company’s equipment, and we have successfully acquired certification each year. Additionally, we effectively implement water recycling in our production process.

Which domestic and international ISOs and standards have you already obtained?

The ISO 9000, ISO 14000, ISO 45000, CE, and the National Standard certificate.

6- What are your marketing methods for both domestic and international audiences? Please provide guidance on how foreign and domestic companies and individuals can collaborate with your organization.

Our company utilizes various marketing methods to promote our products. We have a strong presence at Iran’s most important tile-making and construction exhibition, and the largest representative network in Iran with representatives in many provinces. We maintain regular communication with our representatives and update our website, Instagram, and catalogs frequently. Additionally, we have recently designed a new collection that is available to all our representatives. We have established multiple channels for customers to contact our sales team. We are available on various virtual platforms and welcome all those in Iran’s ceramic tile industry to negotiate with us to expand our sales in the domestic market.

In foreign markets, we have a strong presence in over seven or eight countries, and have attracted new representatives from abroad to our company. We promote our website and Instagram online and track the statistics of our international visitors to facilitate prompt communication. We actively participate in international exhibitions related to the construction and tile industry to increase our share of regional export markets. We continuously monitor real-time statistics on tile imports and exports by country and use this information to inform our sales committee meetings.

How many sales agents does Alvand Tile and Ceramic currently have nationwide? Are there any representatives located outside of Iran?

Alvand Tile Company has 63 active representatives throughout the country who directly sell Alvand products. These representatives cover over 80% of the country’s provinces. In addition to local sales, we also export our products to various regions. For example, we cooperate with the Euro Tile Brand to export tiles to Russia, where our products are sold in 42 branches throughout the country, including major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg. We have branches in Erbil and southern Iraq, and we also export to several other countries, including Azerbaijan, Alanya, Turkey, Armenia, the UAE, Tajikistan, Kenya, Pakistan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan.

Are your manufactured products guaranteed?

Our communication with retail buyers is limited to customer complaints, tile installation, and sales-related queries. Our representatives handle most sales-related matters. We strive to ensure that our agents can sell a higher volume. If representatives face any problems in selling our product, we step in and take necessary measures to resolve the issue.

Please describe your current and future export plans.

Our plan is to expand and strengthen our portfolio of manufactured products, such as semi-slab products, to attract more customers. This year, we have produced various products, including 60 x 60 products with a thickness of 14, 30 x 30 pool products, porcelain products of 60 x 1.20 with a thickness of 9.30, and products with special effects and dark colors. Thanks to these efforts, we have successfully sold our products both domestically and internationally.

Our goal is to surpass our competitors and expand our product line to offer customers even more options. Additionally, we plan to establish a strong presence at international exhibitions and closely monitor foreign markets for buying and selling opportunities. Our objective is to plan production at the cost price of goods by reducing thickness and making the formulation more affordable while maintaining high quality. To achieve this, we will analyze our competitors, their objectives, and markets. We will create new designs with better effects and products with added value that exceed our goals. Our aim is to increase the company’s profit margin and enhance customer satisfaction and representation.

10- What challenges do you face in your line of work?

The organization is encountering several challenges, including intensified sanctions, difficulties in importing foreign materials and parts, currency exchange issues with European countries, rising production costs, high interest rates from the country’s banks, exchange rate fluctuations, and stiff competition from other manufacturers of large-sized porcelain products, semislabs, and slabs. Additionally, there is a high risk of losing valuable personnel, the need to recruit efficient workers, the risk of unstable energy supply, and market stagnation.

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