Shah Alam, Selangor 3 October 2021: NIRO Ceramic Group plans to list on the local stock exchange by 2023 in a bid to elevate its profile as a prominent ceramic tile player in Asean.
MD Ian Kok told Bernama the group had initially planned to apply for a listing next year but it was postponed due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“The shareholders of the group would like to see the company becoming public, initially our plan was to apply in 2022 but because of the MCO, we are going to postpone this to 2023.
“I would like to achieve this for the company and make Niro Ceramic Group a public company. I would like to see it within our three-year growth plan and for us to achieve a good result by the end of 2024,” he said.
The group rolled out the three-year growth plan early this year, said Kok, who was appointed MD about the same time.
“I pledge to do anything within my power and authority to bring the company and achieve this growth plan,” he said, adding that he has been involved in a wide spectrum of Niro Ceramic Group’s operations for more than 15 years, covering manufacturing, logistics and sales in Malaysia, as well as overseeing operations in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Spain.
The key components addressed in the three-year growth plan are to develop the people in the organisation by providing a platform to enhance knowledge and skills; implementing a new system to increase digitalisation within group operations; to continue to roll out new and interesting products; and looking at the sales channel (Creative Lab) to serve home orders and the retail market.
“If we carry out these main components, there is no doubt in my mind that domestic sales in Vietnam, the Philippines and China can be doubled or tripled based on our current sales projection in the next two to three years,” Kok said.
On the challenges within the tile industry, he opined that the pandemic is not the only attributable factor. According to him, the biggest challenge for the Malaysian tile industry is the reducing demand and also the shift towards lower specification and cheaper tile products.
“These challenges are mainly due to the reimbalance between the supply of new property and build up.
“The demand is much lower than supply, this has been going on for several years, probably from 2017 or 2018, and the predicament has built up that way,” he said, adding that this scenario fuels intense price competition.
To overcome this challenge, Kok said the group has introduced Portino, a basic tile that is designed and produced for cost-conscious customers.
“We came out with this range to adapt to market demand,” he said.
Moving forward, he foresees Malaysia’s tile industry to expect some level of consolidation even as demand gradually returns.
“The market will always be there for good quality tile products and trusted brands.
“There is a new technology currently in the tile industry and this technology basically serves to bring more natural stone designs such as marble which can be produced by tile manufacturers,” he said.
As a technology and demand-conscious company, he said the group has made available large tile sizes, referring to a single tile slab measuring five feet by 10 feet which looks like natural marble.
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