Diana Farah Dubai
Japanese manufacturer LIXIL International is a maker of pioneering water and housing products that solve everyday, real-life challenges, “making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere.”
The corporation, which has operations in over 150 countries, has been rapidly expanding its business in the MENA region with Saudi Arabia as a fast-growing vital market for LIXIL.
Speaking exclusively to Arab News Japan, Leader, LIXIL International Bijoy Mohan said the company is unique in that it has “global power brands with strong market positions across all major geographies- including in Saudi Arabia and GCC.”
Some brands that fall under the Japanese company include American Standard, GROHE, Interio and Asahi Tostem.
Mohan said with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire world is focusing on hygiene. “That’s what we already do better than most. We have responded to this major macro trend of health and wellbeing accelerated by focusing on retail and accelerating development for touchless faucets & flushing, anti- bacterial finishes, water filtration, bidets and shower toilets.”
LIXIL also focuses hugely on technology, with its leader explaining that it has led the company to invest in intuitive Internet of Things (IoT) backed products, “which provide an immersive experience to the users.”
“We also constantly disrupt ourselves and learn faster to be able to respond to this dynamic world like responding to an increased renovation demand and the end user journey moving increasingly online,” Mohan added.
Speaking about how they choose the brands to work with, Mohan said that they must possess brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability.
“For example in Saudi Arabia, we have seen a strong development of sustainable projects in the building industry. Sustainable wastewater, recycling systems and water-saving product solutions have become key to a future ready industry,” he said.
Sustainability and corporate responsibility are indeed an important factor for LIXIL as their goal is to improve sanitation and hygiene for 100 hundred million people by 2025. “We have enabled access to 21 million people in over 38 countries as of September 2020, and plan to achieve ‘Zero Carbon and Circular Living’ by 2050. The goal is to be a leader in the field of preserving water and limited resources for future generations,” Mohan told Arab News Japan.
An example of how the company plans to reach their 2050 goal, Mohan said one of its power brands GROHE has achieved carbon-neutral production. The initiative ties in with the numerous measures in GROHE plants that promote the reduction of the carbon footprint and conserve resources.
“In the Middle East, we launched the ‘Green Mosque’ initiative in 2009 as part of GROHE’s global Water Care campaign to raise awareness for water scarcity and water resource conservation,” Mohan explained. “We replaced the existing faucets of mosques in the region with GROHE faucets equipped with EcoJoy technology, thereby reducing their water consumption by 30% – saving precious resources every day.”
In 2015, the ‘Turn Water into Food’ (TWIF) program was launched as part of Phase Two of the Green Mosque initiative, encouraging the responsible use of water through donation of food packs with water saved, resulting in the conservation of thousands of liters.
“GROHE officially partnered with the Food Bank across the region starting with KSA and Jordan by end 2017. The award-winning campaign was successfully launched in Saudi Arabia in 2015, Egypt in 2016, Turkey in 2017, Jordan in 2018 and back to Saudi Arabia,” Mohan said.
Mohan added that at LIXIL, his team set an ambitious goal for themselves after the challenges of 2020 hit – that of ‘Leading the way out of the crisis brought on by COVID-19.’
“The April-June quarter was totally shut down and gradually business began to come back. The last three months have been particularly strong across markets, we witnessed record sales in the US and MENA. This requires resilience, agility, dynamism and steadfast focus of our people,” he said.
Mohan explained that LIXIL is on a journey of transformation to a more agile and empowering work culture, ensuring transformation as the industry leaders.