Design Talks – C.Bhogilal Westend, A Century-Old Family Run Business

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Design Talks include interviews with leading architects, interior designers, and showrooms to discover and discuss what’s trending and the whole creative process of any project! These interviews are done by Home’Society in collaboration with us at BRABBU, and our sister brands Maison Valentina and Rug’Society.

See Also: C.BHOGILAL WESTEND: Bathroom Design Legacy at its Best

Design Talks: Our first Interview

Design Talks - C.Bhogilal Westend, A Century-Old Family Run Business design talks Design Talks – C.Bhogilal Westend, A Century-Old Family Run Business Design Talks C

Our first interview was with C.Bhogilal Westend: an organisation that works in retail, with a 5000 sqft area showroom in Vile Parle (West), Mumbai. The company has specialised in ceramic tiles, sanitary, fitting & faucets among other bathroom items. The company is a family-run business, and each project has a specialised team that will attend small and large projects, taking into account all of the project’s particularities. If there is one thing to be sure of, is that this company will always know what kind of product perfectly fits your bathroom!

Design Talks – C.Bhogilal Westend

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C.Bhigilal Westend‘s showroom is the pioneer in the supply of high-end bathroom products in India and has worked with a large number of renowned brands like Hansgrohe, Kohler, Duravit, villeroy&boch, Dornbracht, among others. The success of this company is truly impressive, and their mastery has allowed them to focus “on client relationships and working with at least 60% of the top clients of our country”, which is incredibly impressive!

Design Talks – C.Bhogilal Westend – The Interview with Mr Kekin Shah

Maison Valentina, through Design Talks, had the pleasure to interview Mr Kekin Shah, the responsible person for C.Bohilal Westend, one of the greatest collaborators of our sister brand! The company has been a pioneer in all things bathroom products, and its 108-year-old history is only complemented by the family that has been continuously catering to the company’s needs. 

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As Mr Kekin Shah explains “We started a small showroom on the south side of Mumbai, trading mostly tiles and bathroom accessories from England and Italy and slowly we started bringing some artefacts from Italy and selling them to the maharajas and royal families of India.” And with the advancement of the years and the flow of the decades, they were able to become more than a sanitary brand or faucet company, they started to also become a tile company, delivering only goods of the highest quality!

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In 1998 imports were allowed in India in a big way, and the company started importing tiles and sanitary from Italy, England, and Germany and we tried to work in conjunction with other companies. “We did a good job but in 2010 I realized the world was getting smaller with the internet and you can get any product in the world. I looked at the bathroom industry and the interior industry and I said “My company is more than 80 years old, we will get lost”. So we get up the value chain and started doing niche luxury bathroom faucets and small finishes.” The company then started to direct its work into specific niches and was able to greatly expand and grow.

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Being this a family business, it was important to focus on what the company’s offer was, they decided not to invest in kitchens and decided to turn themselves into country market leaders in the bathroom business. As Mr Kakin so politely points out: “We kept our focus on the bathroom businesses, instead of focusing on another thing and losing our focus.

Being focused on the bathroom business, it was only natural that C. Bhogilal WestEnd would eventually come across Maison Valentina, forming a partnership that started in 2015 and will, hopefully, be lifelong. Regarding the specific choice of Maison ValentinaMr Kekin Shah said that “looking at the companies in the ’90s and 2000, we saw that one of the most luxury bathroom boutique companies was Maison Valentina. They have great production, great quality, great finishes, and fantastic communication with the team. That’s why we decided to work with this company, and we love the design, its aesthetics. We have been working with each other for 5 years and we are very happy.

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Being focused on the bathroom business, it was only natural that C. Bhogilal WestEnd would eventually come across Maison Valentina, forming a partnership that started in 2015 and will, hopefully, be lifelong. Regarding the specific choice of Maison ValentinaMr Kekin Shah said that “looking at the companies in the ’90s and 2000, we saw that one of the most luxury bathroom boutique companies was Maison Valentina. They have great production, great quality, great finishes, and fantastic communication with the team. That’s why we decided to work with this company, and we love the design, its aesthetics. We have been working with each other for 5 years and we are very happy.

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Mr Kekin was asked about how he felt about Maison Valentina’s products, mentioning the KOI Collection as the stand-out of all design companies! And the truth is, our sister brand could not be prouder of this dazzling collection! The company has had some fantastic highlights over the years, being an old company that is very focused on client relationships “and working with at least 60% of the top clients of our country, there is not a single client I would specify, but I remember two years back a top Bollywood actor’s house. We decored his four bathrooms, all the consoles, all the showers, and all the basins. It was a great project, I really enjoyed working there.” Truly an amazing highlight that positions this company firmly in the high-end luxurious business.

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At the moment, however, Mr Kekin mentions that the company will open a new showroom in Delhi in June 2021! “I think we should order Maison Valentina’s products in the next couple of months” he kindly adds! The great thing about New Delhi is, as he mentions, that the market is larger, with many more cities and markets covered by Delhi, and bigger with more money and influence involved, and that means greater opportunities!

The company’s borders also expanded to the world, not only India, and given the number of Indian immigrants staying in countries like Dubai come to bargain for products in their home country, the company can firmly say they are represented in both the African continent and the European one.

The KOI Collection – Bathtub

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When asked about favourite trends, Mr Kakin mentions that he thinks that “some little classic is coming back. After years of some contemporary and minimalistic interiors, I think classic is coming back. People want to see more rich luxury, colours like gold and silver. Because with the PVD technology in the faucets, you have 10 to 15 years with faucets without being scratched, so people are getting back into coloured faucets and exaggerating and it is exciting. Instead of some dull colours and tones, that’s very exciting for us.

The KOI Collection – Freestanding, Mirror & Towel Ring

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The C.Bhogilal Westend‘s leader also states that regarding the style differences in the design processes between Europe and India “there is a very systematic way of working. Everything is pre-designed, pre-ordered with a  styling, including bathroom cabinets, bathroom showers, bathroom enclosures, everything is pre-designed pieces. We have almost 90% of the products being customised, including the bathtub, the shower enclosures, the floor, everything is customised. India has very skilled and not so expensive labour, so we can do customised products very quickly and it won’t be that expensive. Doing anything customised in Italy or Portugal will cost you five times the price in India. Customisation is the key to doing business here.”

The KOI Collection – Washbasin and Rectangular Vessel Sink

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When questioned about the prestigious India Design 2021, he mentions that he was sceptical about being online but then he saw the reports stating there were at least 50 000 architects and designers logging in, and everything became more exciting and rewarding.

Regarding his work philosophy, Mr Kakin described his motto as “saying I am not in retail or product space. I am in the services space. I tell all my salespeople and my after-sales people that we are in the service space, to give them the best service possible. This is the foundation and what makes us stay ahead of the race.” He ends up adding that the service is what, in the end, will make all the difference in assuring the client’s trust.

The KOI Collection – Single Washbasin

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See Also: Stephanie Goto, Detailed Modern Interior Design Ideas

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