Tile It Like It Is

MANILA, Philippines - How can a brand with such a solid reputation and strong recall in the Philippines stay competitive in today's times? A pioneer in the Philippine ceramic tile industry, Mariwasa was established by the brothers Emerson and Edison Co Seteng 40 years ago, and has since been known for its excellent wall and floor tiles made with excellent Filipino craftsmanship. The company has not only managed to stay relevant, it has maintained its market leadership and continues to help build the country with the business infused with the dynamism and stability of one of the ASEAN region's biggest industry leaders, Thailand's longest established and largest industrial conglomerate, Siam Cement Group (SCG).

SCG, according to the MSCI corporate history, was founded in 1913 following a Royal Decree of His Majesty King Rama VI to produce cement, eliminate reliance on imports of cement, as well as maximize the use of natural resources available in Thailand. Since then, it has continued to conduct its business in accordance with the concept of Corporate Governance. It has in place an effective oversee system to ensure transparency, disclosure and verification for mutual interests of all stakeholders and for sustainable growth.

Filipino Craftsmanship

Through this partnership formed in 1993, Mariwasa, now called Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc. (MSCI), has continued to deliver its mission and maintain its hold in the local market as a highly dependable brand, even as many other imported and local brands have been introduced to compete as the favored choice for tiles.

In spite of this challenge, newly appointed MSCI President Anukul Kongrit, who met with the local media recently, shares, "We still see the opportunity in the Philippine market. We believe that Filipino craftsmanship is world-class."

"We are actively banking on different company policies and initiatives to set us apart from our competitors," he continues. To increase their competitive advantage over other imported tiles, they invest in continuous research and development programs to offer world-class ceramic tiles with uncompromising quality, "built to last and [can] stand the test of time. We value our customers and we want to offer them products that will give more value to their money."

Innovative Solutions

At the foundation of their edge is the winning combination of SCG's advanced technology transfer and Mariwasa's local market knowledge. Asked to further detail their plans to stay on top, Kongrit shares, "Instead of increasing the prices of products, we will focus on developing product innovations, thereby giving more benefits to consumers. We will offer these innovations without any additional cost."

Presented under the Innovative Solutions theme, Kongrit helped demonstrate the merits of 39 new designs, all techno-enhanced and eco-driven designs, boasting of safety (anti-slip and easy to clean) and scratch-free features. The group's product and marketing officers also introduced Cotto, a leading ceramic tile and sanitary ware brand in Thailand, which they now carry.

Builders, designers, homeowners and developers can also look forward to more pioneering tile innovations MSCI will be introducing in the coming months, which will cater more to the market's discriminating tastes in aesthetics, like high definition tiles, which have sharper and more vivid designs, and water- and stain-resistant, and therefore, more hygienic celadon tiles, and finally (at least for this year), new sizes for tiles, including the 20x40 wall tile and the much thinner and lighter slim 5.5mm slim tiles, which are ideal for renovations and which will reduce work time and increase cost savings.

Environmental Integrity

With these innovations and leadership developments, the company, given the Philippine Quality Award in Malacanang in 2011, and IMS Certifications by Certification International (ISO-9001 for Product Excellence and Quality, ISO-14001:2004 for Environment Management System, OHSAS 18001: 2007 for Occupational Health and Safety Management System), aims to continue increasing their strength in the Philippine market and hopefully, within the whole of Asia by 2015.

What is probably most admirable is that beyond working on improving their products, MSCI takes the extra step of ensuring they safeguard the integrity of the environment they operate in by integrating sustainable development in all aspects of their operations, looking after the health and safety of the people in the workplace. The company advocates green initiatives and environmental sustainability and also leads in the sustainable development practice. Their CSR projects include tree planting and nurturing programs, Gawad Kalinga volunteer programs, scholarships, and continued support of local community programs. In 2009, they were awarded the Hall of Fame Award from the Department of Energy's Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Award and the Blue Sky Award for renewable energy utilization in the use of rice husks to create sustainable energy and raw materials. Mariwasa is also the first ceramic tile company to be granted the license to use the environmental seal of Green Choice Philippines, the national eco-labeling program.

"Mariwasa has been in the business for over 40 years. With our new product innovations, we want to live true to our name as the pioneer in the ceramic tile manufacturing industry in the Philippines. We will not be complacent. We will strive harder to reach our goals, for the key to success in business is to challenge and overcome oneself," Kongrit assures.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 15 wounded in 2 explosions in restive southern Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — At least 15 people have been wounded in two separate blasts that hit a police camp in a restive southern Philippine province where Muslim militants operate, police said Saturday. …

  • 15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp
    15 wounded in mosque attack at Philippine police camp

    Fifteen people including 10 police officers were wounded in an attack on a mosque at police camp on a remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, officials said on Saturday. Successive blasts targeted the mosque inside Camp Kasim on the island of Jolo early evening Friday -- an initial grenade attack followed by a bomb explosion less than 10 minutes later that was intended to target police who rushed to the scene, local authorities said. "It seems the (first) explosion was set …

  • US missile cruiser docks at Subic
    US missile cruiser docks at Subic

    A US Navy missile cruiser has dropped anchor in Subic Bay as part of “routine port call,” amid rising tension in the West Philippine Sea stirred by China’s island building activities and other threatening moves by its forces. The arrival of the Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67) at the Subic Bay Freeport in Olongapo City yesterday was “just a routine port visit for ship replenishment and routine maintenance of shipboard system,” said Philippine Navy Public Affairs Office …

  • Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño
    Agri, power sectors should brace for El Niño

    The agriculture and power sectors, as well as the general public should brace for a prolonged El Niño phenomenon that could further reduce water supply for electricity and irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) warned yesterday. Flaviana Hilario, acting deputy administrator for research and development of PAGASA, said the El Niño condition is expected to intensify from weak to moderate by August this year. Anthony Lucero, …

  • China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row
    China to US: Help cool down Phl on sea row

    The US should help “cool down” the Philippines and realize that its meddling in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute would only stir tensions, a Chinese newspaper reported. “Washington should know its meddling in the South China Sea has been destabilizing the region. The US has vowed not to take sides in the territorial dispute, which involves China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. …

  • No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests
    No stopping K to 12 despite SC case, protests

    K to 12 is the fruit of years of comprehensive consultations involving different sectors in education,” Aquino said during the launching of the program at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. Organized by the Department of Education (DepEd), the launch was attended by teachers, students and representatives from different stakeholders supportive of the K to 12 program. It was held two years after the signing of Republic Act 10533, or the Enhanced Basic Education …

  • MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t
    MNLF pushes review of peace pact with gov’t

    The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) maintained its bid for completion of the tripartite review of the implementation of the peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996. The MNLF’s desire to put consensual closure to the tripartite effort was relayed by its leaders to Sayed El-Masry, the special envoy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), during the annual foreign ministers conference in Kuwait last Thursday. The MNLF peace agreement with the government in Sept. 2, …

  • Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe
    Noy to raise sea dispute issue with Abe

    President Aquino is expected to raise the West Philippine Sea dispute during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan next week. However, there is no word yet if the Philippines will specifically ask Tokyo to join calls for China to stop its massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. Aquino will leave for Tokyo on June 2 for a state visit until June 5. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options