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.

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options