Vridhachalam is the nerve center of the ceramics and refractory industry in South India, just as what Tirupur is for the textiles and readymade garments. This small town, south of the city of Chennai, holds the majority of the 400 odd units spread over Tamil Nadu. The industry is involved mainly in the manufacturing of various types of ceramics and refractories catering to the needs of industries like iron and steel, nonferrous metals, glass, cement, chemicals, petro chemicals, fertilizer, power generation and many others.
The Tamil Nadu Ceramics and Refractory Manufacturer’s Association (TANCERMA), the primary industry association of the sector, has been the voice of these players in this business even since its inception in 1997. The association has over 200 members currently, whose major market is the Southern region including Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The main products from these units include fire bricks, bed materials, refractory bricks, BP sets etc.
Ceramics and refractories put together, the Tamil Nadu industry supplies over Rs.100 crores worth products annually, of which nearly Rs.80 crores comes from Vridhachalam alone. Ceramics and refractory units are also present in other locations like Trichi, Salem, Tirukoilur, Panruti and Madurai in Tamil Nadu. Overall, the industry employs more than 4000 people across the state.
Although the industry has been in a down swing for the last two years, it’s bound to bounce back in a couple of months. “The industry will be back to its growth track in the next few months as the power issues are resolved now. As the power crisis resolves, we are sure the demand for the bed materials will go up. In addition, we also hope that the current economic slowdown affecting industries will slowly improve in the coming months,” V.Somasundaram, President, TANCERMA said.
Tamilnadu Ceramics & Refractory Manufacture's Association
Clayman Refractories, 184, Aladi Road
Cuddalore Dt., Tamilnadu