Held at the vast expanses of MMRDA Exhibition Centre, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai, the 9th edition of the annual event emerged as a microcosm of the Glass Industry and left many in amazement and excitement. The four-day event, December 8-11, 2011, witnessed the participation of more than 130 national and international exhibitors showcasing their expertise in Glass Production Technology, Glass Processing and Finishing, Façade Elements, Glass Products and Applications, Auxiliary Products, fittings and tools segment.
Well, glass and glazing kept aside, it was again the silicone sealant and adhesive category that was a prime highlight of the exhibition. Renowned players like 3M, Dow Corning, Wacker, McCoy Soudal, Sika, not only displayed their wares in this segment but also focused on creating awareness of the visitors about the technicalities, innovation and application nuances. Alstone, a recent entrant in this category, exhibited sealants with various colour combinations. Since these brands fall in the 'premium' bracket, they are understandably intent on tapping the discerning buyers.
Meanwhile, the bottom of the silicone sealant pyramid was dominated by hordes of Chinese manufacturers, who, unlike reputed brands, provide the much sought after product at highly competitive prices. And in between this wide chasm there were some Indian companies such as Adarsha which offers qualitative sealants at reasonable prices. Notably, it's the 'green' nature of silicone sealants that has made these products highly integral in modern day architecture.
Moving on, the other noticeable feature of the show was the convergence of glass machinery manufacturers and marketers. The European brands such as Glaston, Lisec, Bottero and Hegla are eying India as a potentially lucrative market and complementing this perspective with concerted efforts to promote their machineries here. But in this category too, the Chinese were quite impressive. Their machineries are purportedly equipped with the latest technologies and are available at competitive prices.
Crucially, India has been bitten by the 'green' bug and this, according to machinery makers, is the major driving force behind their presence here. As Mr. Lyjulal P.M., General Manager of Glasstech Industries India, observed, "If the indigenous Glass Industry is to keep up pace at the global front, then there has to be a strong emphasis on energy efficient glass. And this is only possible with the easy availability of world-class machinery."
ZAK Glass Technology 2011 was supported by AIGGA, AIGPA, CCPS and FOSG, which are the country's most significant associations in this industry. The show attracted a multitude of visitors that included architects, interior designers, builders, developers, dealers, distributors, contractors, fabricators and consultants to name a few.
Running simultaneously with the glass exhibition, there were two other major events; ZAK Doors & Windows Expo 2011 (8th edition of the annual event) and ZAK Aluminium Extrusions Expo 2011 (3rd edition of the annual event). Talking of Doors & Windows, uPVC frames and profiles and the manufacturing machinery for the same turned out to be major crowd pullers. Visitors got a touch and feel experience of products in a gamut of categories which included Doors, Auxiliary Products, accessories and hardware, Raw Materials, Windows, and Machinery. Mr. Asim Chugh, Director of LGF Sysmac, expressed, "people are embracing uPVC and it has become a lifestyle product. This augurs well for the industry."
On the other hand, the ubiquitous sentiment at ZAK Aluminium Extrusions Expo 2011 was to vouch for aluminium as the ideal substitute to conventional construction materials. Companies from India and abroad appeared quite optimistic about the growing demand for the 'green' metal in the country. And since the event drew a large number of people from the construction industry, exhibitors can expect rich dividends in the coming months. For instance, companies like KMC Aluminium and Sapa found many architects and consultants sharing their views about aluminium's longevity and eco-friendliness. The major categories in this expo were Extrusion, Services & Technology, Primary Aluminium, and Rolling.
Equally enriching were the international seminars where experts spoke extensively about the technological advancements in the industry and their relevance in India. Well, the next edition of the show, in December 2012, is already making people sit up and take notice!
3M Unfazed by Recession
3M India Limited, a name synonymous with industrial adhesives and tapes, is undeterred by the ongoing slowdown in the Indian Construction Sector. In fact, the company has embarked on a drive wherein it's trying to give more impetus to the brand by broadening its bouquet of offerings. During the recently concluded exhibition ZAK Glass Technology 2011, 3M showcased a vast range of its products that included VHB Tapes for Structural Glazing and Extreme Sealing Tapes.
And it seems that the company's new strategy is already bearing fruit. "The response has been good and we have recently completed various notable projects." He described ZAK Glass Technology 2011 as an ample reflection of the current status of the Indian Glass Industry. "Over the years, this show has grown incessantly and it's no different this time. It has always been a successful exhibition relevant to our business."
Glaston Tapping Indian Potential
"Our main preference," he continued, "is glass processing machineries. One of our main pillars is GLASTON BAVELLONI, one of the oldest brands in glass machinery business. Second business is GLASTON TAMGLASS, which is a leading name in glass processing machines. And the third is ALBAT & WIRSAM, a German company which provides software and optimisation for glass processing."
Notably, Glaston has been present in India for more than twenty years through a marketing tie-up with Mumbai-based Glass & Glazing Technologies India.
"Our Indian clientele comprises reputed names in the glass industry and we have been supplying tempering and pre-processing lines. Our products are backed by a strong after-sales support. The potential in India is really high since people here are now keen on high performance glasses. There are numerous projects coming up here and this is very encouraging."
He quipped that Glaston, by virtue of its market leadership and global recognition, is committed to the growth of the industry and awareness generation among customers. "We organise regular seminars, like GPD and also run a website www.glassfiles.com, which is the largest online library for glass processing."
Mr. Nieminen was full of praises for ZAK Glass Technology 2011 and remarked that Glaston has received a good response and interacted with prospective clients during the 4-day event.
Lisec Optimistic About Growth Prospects in India
"We are offering production lines for photo-voltaic panels besides providing glass processing machines. Moreover, we are also making machines for the float glass industry. And all these machines are highly sought after in India nowadays. Lisec has undertaken huge projects here and is expecting more orders in the future." Pertinently, the company has entered into a marketing tie-up with Mumbai-based Glass & Glazing Technologies India.
According to him, Indian architects can play a major role in spreading awareness about efficient glass machinery and the benefits that it brings along. "Educated architects can be a boon and we are ready to disseminate the requisite knowledge about our machines. Exhibitions like ZAK Glass Technology 2011 are a good medium to interact with industry people."
Join Leader Chemtech Aiming High
Well, the signs are quite encouraging for Join Leader as the company has already registered a turnover of Rs.10 crore last year and is aiming to touch Rs.15 crore by the next fiscal. "The scope of our products is enormous in India since the glass industry is expanding rapidly and is moving towards sustainability. We feel that the next 25 years are full of business. During ZAK Glass Technology 2011, we launched some new products such as non bleeding weather proof silicone sealant and have received a good response."
Currently, the company's pan-India trade network comprises more than 80 channel partners. And there are plans to stretch this figure in the coming months. "This exhibition has provided a tremendous platform to scout for clients and channel partners. It is a good medium to promote the brand and get noticed by people."
NSD Leveraging ZAK Glass Technology 2011
According to him, NSD intends to become a project oriented company and is moving in tandem with this mantra. "We have executed some notable projects and are on the lookout for more such opportunities. The idea is to become a complete glass solutions provider. All our machinery and equipment are sourced from abroad, while 80% of the glass is sourced from the local market. In this manner, we are helping the domestic glass industry to grow."
Talking of marketing, he informed that NSD approaches the builders and contractors in order to promote its wares. "We have a six-member marketing team which is constantly involved in interactions with prospective clients. Greenness is our USP and we try to endorse this aspect while scouting for buyers."
McCoy Soudal's Silicone Plant to Go On Stream
"Our Indian presence needs no introduction and we have been catering to various industries over here for a long time. To meet the growing demand, it's more prudent to manufacture locally rather than source from Belgium." Sounds good, but isn't the company bogged down by the current slowdown in the Construction Sector? "Not at all!" exclaimed Mr. Emmanuel. "In-fact, we are ramping up our operations and expanding the dealer base. India is too big and too lucrative a market to be affected by such temporary slowdowns. The rate at which the Construction and Allied Sectors are moving, one can expect only brighter times ahead."
An integral part of McCoy Soudal's modus-operandi is awareness generation, which the company has been actively doing through the McAademy. And this was also the highlight of the company's participation at ZAK Glass Technology 2011 where the company was imparting technical knowledge to applicators in an interactive manner. "What's really important about our products is education and training. Better informed applicators and dealers are long-term assets," he opined.
Ritec Upbeat About Growing Market Receptivity
Well, it's therefore not surprising that the company envisages an expansion of its operations in India. "We are looking for channel partners across the country. And, being an industry leader, we make concerted efforts to impart all sorts of training and product knowledge to the applicators, architects and specifiers."
She was of the view that ZAK Glass Technology 2011 opened up new opportunities for the company which is committed to a long lasting presence in India. "The show is a befitting example of the ever growing glass industry in the country. We expect rich dividends from this show."
WACKER Launches New Range of Silicone Sealants and Adhesives
The WACKER Group, a globally renowned chemical specialist, has launched a new range of hybrid sealants and adhesives; N35, N35C, N45 and N70. Based on the company's patented hybrid technology, these products have a wide range of applications in construction, including invisible glass bonding and mirror mounting applications. They combine outstanding properties such as paintability, strong adhesion, absolute transparency and high versatility. The company has also introduced a new range of silicone sealants called "WACKER® Professional Line". These products stand out in quality, performance and handling and can be used in a wide range of construction applications. For instance, WACKER® 121 is a high performance sealant designed for high mechanical loads. WACKER® 400 is especially suitable for perimeter sealing and window glazing, whereas WACKER® 460 has been developed for natural substrates such as marble and granite. WACKER® 465 is flame retardant and therefore ideal for applications where safety is an issue.
The company, which showcased a vast range of its products at the recently concluded ZAK Glass Technology 2011, is leaving no stone unturned in imparting relevant knowledge about its products to the industry. "Being an industry leader, we innovate and come up with new products continuously. We also encourage and boost knowledge dissemination, for instance by conducting seminars through our WACKER Academy training facilities, one of which is located at our office in Mumbai."
"ZAK Glass Technology 2011," he averred, "has been a catalyst for manufacturers who are willing to showcase their expertise and rope in more clients."
"Indian Silicone Sealant Market Needs a Face-off" - Sika
Notably, Sika India is one of the most trusted names in the construction chemical industry. It is also highly respected by the entire fraternity of construction and manufacturing industry professionals. Its solutions ensure high quality and durability of complex infrastructure projects as well as all types of constructions. Sika solutions cater to a wide gamut of industries such as automotives, transportation (surface and marine), construction, wind energy amongst others.
Highlighting the fact that Sika operates at the top of the pyramid, Mr. Shete asserted that this implies an adherence to a structured ethos. "We want to first understand the customers' requirements and suggest the right solutions. Also, we are in the process of launching a web-based interface where the customer can avail basic services that will help in product selection and the related application guidelines regarding usage. We then take it forward to analyse requirements for specific applications by analysing the pros and cons and suggest products accordingly."
Well, Sika is soon going to launch the Sikasil IG-25 HM Plus and Sikasil SG550 silicone sealants in India that will aid the industry shift to better and lean designs which will in turn save costs to the customer and also help promote a green environment in terms of LEED certification, and felt that ZAK Glass Technology 2011 was an ideal platform to promote the same.
Adarsha Launches First Indian Silicone Sealant Plant
According to Mr. Omkarmurthy, Adarsha's USP lies in its ability to provide high quality sealants at competitive prices backed by a strong after-sales support. "Our prices are lower than the branded sealants but we are better than the inferior substitutes available in the market. Moreover, the shelf life of our products is longer as compared to others."
The company's distributor network stands at 100 across the country. "However, there are plans to appoint more channel partners in the coming months. Our products have been very well-received in the market and this necessitates an increased trade network." He opined that ZAK Glass Technology 2011 played an instrumental role for Adarsha to promote the brand and scout for prospective clients.
"As economies around the globe develop, the demand for our products continues to grow. We help in enhancing the quality of life for people around the world by developing and manufacturing the products that make countless goods safer, stronger, more affordable and more reliable," he concluded.
LGF Sysmac Introduces uPVC Paint
However, the response from the market has been very encouraging so far. "The paint was launched last September and has found considerable takers. Since this is a new product, we feel that before formulating the marketing modalities it's essential that we educate the masses. In line with this philosophy, we are training applicators in collaboration with Zobel. Events like ZAK Door & Windows are a good medium of knowledge dissemination," he asserted.
Glasstech Adhering to Sustainability
The company, which began its operations in 1996, is the Indian representative of Dubai-based Gutal Trading, a consortium of various European glass machinery manufacturers. "We are proud to be associated with Gutal since the consortium comprises renowned names like Bottero, AGC Flat Glass, MAB, SAVIO and Joseph Bohle Stifung. In this manner, we are able to enrich the indigenous glass industry with latest machinery."
Besdies this, Glasstech also supplies processed glass to leading glass companies in India. "In 2005, we started a 22,000 sqm factory at Taloja, Navi Mumbai and are in the process of expanding this unit by 10,000 sqm. Moreover, we are in the process of our new factory in 16 acre plot at Coimbatore where theprocessed glass and aluminium products are being manufactured."
He opined that the market is currently witnessing a slowdown but the scenario will change in the near future. "Events like ZAK Glass Technology are giving a real boost to the industry."
Srivasavi Enterprises on a Channel Partner Hunt
The company markets its sealants and adhesives under the Dollar brand and is of the view that by getting associated with it, dealers and distributors can look beyond just the monetary benefits. "With our simple yet integrated marketing strategy, we ensure to offer products of international quality at competitive prices. Needless to say that prospective channel partners will enjoy market goodwill."
Commenting on the current status of the Indian sealant market, he quipped that the availability of low quality substitutes is taking a toll on qualitative considerations of consumers. "Nevertheless, the wiser lot is still inclined towards quality which is a good sign for us."