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It was in 2003 when Kanth shower valves were first introduced to the bathroom market, with just five independent plumbers within central London specially selected to sell them for market research purposes. The products, as expected, proved extremely popular, with word of mouth seeing over 200 units sold within a very short period. During our years of testing the market, the response we received was phenomenal, with the product greatly exceeding expectations, and a decision to formally launch was agreed.
“...we’ve been on a journey of discovery and exploration to get where we are today”
The obvious route to market at the time was to partner with a distributor and exclusivity was given to a company reported to know the premium retail market well. The relationship started out positively, but soon became problematic.
Shortly after the forming of the partnership, the distributor acquired the manufacturing rights to another brand, one they had already been distributing for a long time. Their newly appointed Head of Manufacturing gave no consideration or thought to Kanth’s vision and principles, he simply wanted Kanth to fit into its existing business model. This company sourced majority of its components from the Far East and this would have been their preferred route for the Kanth products. They were essentially looking to increase their own profit margins, whilst at the same time attempting to reduce Kanth’s. Something that was completely contrary to what had been agreed at the outset. All things which make for a great for a profit-centred model, but not for a principle-centred one.
Having a clear vision has proven notoriously difficult throughout the ages as not all share – or even care – what you value. This is certainly true when it comes to Kanth, as those we believed shared it fell short – ultimately compromising our principles. A shared vision is always that – shared. When you care about something so passionately it’s difficult partnering with those who don’t. On face value, Kanth and its original partner were in harmony but behind the scenes the reality was very different.
“Three businesses, one way – together we are simply Kanth.”
After the dissolution, Kanth had multiple offers, but it was the long-term supplier relationship with, and mutual respect for, Smiths Metal Centres that strongly influenced our decision to partner with them. Smiths saw the same potential in Kanth that we did, and invested in the creation of a new manufacturing division dedicated to the Kanth Way. In 2018, Kanth Manufacturing was born – a start-up business with exceptional pedigree. In Kanth Manufacturing, we have a business that’s run as it should be. Principle led, with in-house manufacturing delivered through CNC precision machining, a skilled assembly, and a dedicated sales team all located within one single operations hub.
Kanth now proudly brings together the resources, skills and financial weight of three dedicated and accomplished partners.
Kanth London – Our Founder, Karl Kanth, is the true innovator behind the business – responsible for developing new ideas, designing and engineering, manufacturing systems, creating and improving and overseeing our wider market strategy.
Smiths Metal Centres – Provides the highest quality raw materials, delivers unparalleled expertise in metallurgy and offers solid financial investment allowing a continual focus on growth and development with the latest in advanced technology and systems.
Kanth Manufacturing – Provides our central hub, housing all of our operations for manufacturing, assembly, testing, sales and distribution.
Each business works independently but in complete harmony – following the Kanth Way for supplying world class sustainable and innovative products.