Anand Swaminathan Vice President, Sales & Marketing Granicer Ceramica Indiana
The first impression one gets when you meet Swaminathan Anand is that of a friendly, soft-spoken, unassuming gentleman. But behind this image lies a sharp, experienced marketing mind who has created one of the most dynamic, respected and the fastest growing tile brand in India.
‘Swamy’, as he is popularly known among peers, has a career spanning two decades in the tile industry. He has been an active witness to the metamorphosis of the industry from a drab, dull industry producing and selling boring products to a most vibrant and progressive industry, producing a mind-boggling array of products catering to the global marketplace.
“It is truly interesting times for the tile industry. With the sheer number of products, designs, finishes, textures, sizes, thicknesses and hues that are sold today, the people of India are now able to create homes and spaces that spell individuality and personal styles. There are companies like Granicer who have a very strong R&D team, constantly developing newer products. We have raised the bar of quality and also raised the expectations of architects, designers and the end users.”
As someone who has been on the field for over two decades, Swamy has developed a solid network of distributors, dealers, designers, architects, developers and contractors. Constant interactions with them on a regular basis keep him updated about their choices, trends and sensitivities. This valuable information is passed on to the product development team who then translate it into a saleable product.
My job is not just selling. I focus on creating lasting relationships based on quality offerings, both, in terms of products and service.
“After completing my B.Sc., I took up a job in a tile company. I was mentored in sales by my seniors who taught me to penetrate the market, negotiate prices and boost sales and collections. The job was not glamorous and it involved a lot of touring and visiting godowns, sites and dusty places. However, I enjoyed the daily challenges and was willing to learn new lessons to cope with the challenges. I realized that working with people gave me maximum fulfillment and my focus became people. Selling became easier when I began connecting with people. What I was not prepared for, however, was the unorganized, random functioning of the trade and industry, but my people skills helped me to balance it with my professional aspirations and outlook”.
I think I was born for the tile industry. All my waking life is spent talking, touching, selling, listening, dreaming tiles. I cannot imagine myself in any other industry.
“My biggest achievement definitely has been the building of the ‘Granicer’ brand. From an unknown, unrecognized company, our team has managed to elevate the Granicer brand to great heights. It is to the credit of the company directors that they recognized the need to invest in brand-building and create that competitive edge.”
Although modest about it, another of Swamy’s achievements is his ability at team building and keeping them motivated to achieve sales excellence. “I insist on skill upgradation, personality development, character building and consistency. I like motivating people to perform better each day” he says. Swamy regularly organizes sales workshops, training programs and seminars for his team.
His team members and all those who have worked with him previously have a great admiration for Swamy. “The respect is mutual” says Swamy nonchalantly. “My team members are my eyes, ears, hands and feet. They need to be agile, active and healthy and they will vouch that I always stand by them”.
Swamy has also contributed his entire experience and expertise in creating a world-class display lounge to showcase the products of Granicer Ceramica Indiana at a premium location in Andheri, Mumbai. This display studio showcases over 250 designs of Granicer’s most exciting range of tiles. The studio is open Monday to Friday during working hours.
Swamy is the quintessential “Tile Man”. His knowledge, expertise, network, experience, passion and commitment to his job of marketing tiles is immense. Respected and sought after highly in the industry, he has spent over a decade in passionately building the Granicer brand from scratch and remains comitted to take it to greater heights.