Clay Craft is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company and one of Asia’s leading producers of ceramic tableware. The company has state-of-the-art manufacturing unit – located in Jaipur – with an annual production capacity of 80 million pieces. During its 25-year journey, Clay Craft has been awarded several national and international accolades. Its products – dinnerware, tea sets, mugs, tabletop accessories, platters etc., have found their way into addresses of great prestige: the president’s estate, the prime minister’s residence, houses of various governors, canteens of the parliament and legislative assemblies, and, of course, in some of the biggest companies in India. The brand caters to bulk, customised requirements of several hotels – ITC, Taj, Hyatt amongst others – and to companies such as Hindustan Unilever, Britannia, Nestle, Airtel, Pepsi, Wipro, the Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes (HoReCa) segment and defence canteens. Clay Craft is the first company in the industry to have backward integration for all its operations, including packaging, decal printing, surface designing and it even produces and supplies the machinery solutions required for production of ceramic tableware.
Clay Craft’s genesis can be traced back to 1993 when the current Managing Director, Rajesh Agarwal purchased a 600 square metre plot in Jaipur to set up a factory to manufacture clay products as gift items. It was a learning curve for Rajesh Agarwal who faced several setbacks in honing the factory’s manufacturing skills. But he persisted on improving the quality of his products and the hard work paid off. The 34-employee company posted a turnover of around H35 lakh in its first year of operations. In 1994-95, the company was manufacturing only clay mugs, but from the second year onwards, Clay Craft started making other gift sugar pots, cups & saucers, mugs and a fine range of accessories such as bowls, handis, platters, pie dishes, pickle jars, cruet sets, cake stands, salt & pepper shakers, napkin holders etc.
The brand has a separate specialty product line for hotels, restaurants and the catering segment with dinnerware and serveware is made specially keeping in mind the requirements of the hospitality industry. Keen attention is given to ergonomics, stack-ability, industrial dishwasher compatibility and other varied requirements of the HoReCa industry.
Clay Craft is also the only brand in the industry to take up licensing partnerships with various brands and introduce a niche range in each of its respective product ranges. Some of the licenses include: celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor, India Circus (a Godrej venture), Swarovski and Happiness, a designer brand from the US.
Moreover, the company is also known to invite world-renowned designers to create bespoke ceramicware for the brand. A few years ago, two award winning South African authors and artists, Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazor, known for their The Happiness Concept were invited by Clay Craft to launch The Happiness Movement in India with quirky little ‘Happy’ Mugs’. Closer home, renowned designer Krsnaa Mehta also launched designer lifestyle collection, India Circus for Clay Craft.
items like tea sets. Eventually, the company expanded to include several other products, such as dinner sets, microwave sets, bowls, platters, and even crystal items. Innovation has always been the key focus at Clay Craft, then and now.
In 1999, the company decided to explore the ancillary businesses associated with the gifting industry. An investment of H50 lakh resulted in a unit dedicated to in-house design printing. The following year a mould-making unit at a cost of H25 lakh was set up. In 2002, the company invested nearly H1.8 crore to start making thermocol boxes to gift-pack the products. Over the next seven years, four more ancillary units were set up to handle aspects like machine manufacturing and steel thermoware.
Soon Clay Craft was expanding its footprint far beyond Rajasthan. In 2014, Clay Craft India acquired the brand JCPL, becoming India’s leading manufacturer and retailer of fine bone china and ceramic tableware
Today, the company has a strong online presence, with its net sales growing at 50% YoY. With almost 1,000 employees, the company sells products at 10,000 retail counters across the country. It has also tied up with 150 partners, including Big Bazaar, Lifestyle, Spencer and HomeShop 18.
Every year, company-wide dealer meets are organised, chaired by the managing director and business heads. Customers are encouraged to talk freely and share their views and problems about products and services offered by the company. The information generated then creates a data-based platform for corrective action. The divisional heads also maintain personal contact with key customers through visits and meetings.
Clay Craft promotes its products through various media vehicles such as outdoor, press and TV. While hoardings reinforce the brand promise, press and magazine campaigns in women’s magazines keep the brand in touch with decision makers. To build on this momentum, the brand advertises extensively on TV using mostly regional language channels.
In 2019, Clay Craft launched its brand new national TV campaign – Kuch Nayi Kahaniyo Ke Liye, which captures the brand’s involvement in its consumer’s big, small and nostalgic moments. The campaign is efficiently supported by print, OOH and digital media, maximising the brand’s reach to the consumer target group.