LIXIL Corporation of Japan, engaged in water and housing products with brands such as INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and TOSTEM, witnessing a strong uptick in business in Q4 2020 and expects this momentum to continue in 2021.
For the Japanese corporation, India has emerged as a strategic market with two manufacturing bases and a strong retail presence. It is now looking at penetrating Tier-II and-III cities with its range of products.
As a global corporation with operations across over 150 countries, LIXIL has initiated a corporate culture transformation and announced simplified job titles. This transformation is aimed to simplify the organisation and shift to a more agile culture. The titles of managers and above working in global roles at corporate functions have been standardised as “Leader” with an area of responsibility.
Interacting with BusinessLine, Bijoy Mohan, Leader at LIXIL International, from Singapore and Bobby Joseph, Leader, LWT India & Subcontinent, outlined how the company accelerated its business transformation plan during the pandemic making it a much nimbler and a faster response unit. It has done away with various titles for its management teams and all of them are called leaders.
Mohan said, “The April-June quarter was totally shut down and gradually business began to come back, last three months have been particularly strong across markets, including India. This is because people, who have spent a lot of time at home, have begun to invest in new products, including the touchless range.”
“The company has witnessed record sales in the US and Europe but the Japanese market will take some more time to gather momentum. However, we again stare at the prospect of lockdown in some markets for a couple of weeks,” he added.
“The company had invested ₹400 crore in the manufacturing base in Andhra Pradesh. About 80 per cent of the produce is sold in the domestic market. The company has a presence in over 250 stores and is looking at expanding into Tier-II and-III cities,” Joseph said.
“There is a demand for a touchless range of products due to Covid. We are planning to strengthen this segment further with IoT-based solutions, wherein we may consider an acquisition,” Mohan said. Through a series of transformational exercises, LIXIL is embedding a more agile, empowering, and open culture that enables employees to succeed to their full potential. With the simplification of titles, this year LIXIL has also redefined the role of corporate officers.
On the LIXIL transformation, Mohan said, “This is a milestone step to become a simpler, more open and non-hierarchical culture. What’s important is the actual work individuals are responsible for, not the title or rank they carry. We are focussed on strengthening agile, team-based work. Deference to hierarchy, fear of consequences, and lack of transparency can be barriers to effective teamwork. We want the best ideas to win, rather than a person’s rank.”