Berger Paints in Construction Chemicals Business

Abhijit Roy
"It was prudent for the company to enter into construction chemicals business to take care of customers need and leverage its existing strength," says Mr. Abhijit Roy, Director and Chief Operating Officer, Berger Paints, in an interview with S.K.Khanna.

It is indeed heartening to learn that Berger Paints has added a new business area with the launch of construction chemicals. What is the rationale behind it? Will it be a completely new entity under the company to complement paint business as part of its diversification programme?
During customer interactions, we found that many of them lay blame of improper surfaces including damp surfaces on paints. Moreover, the nature of the product and its distribution channel is very similar to that of paint. We therefore thought it prudent to introduce construction chemical products to take care of the above mentioned problems of customers and to leverage our existing strength.

Please share the details of new manufacturing facilities, locations, their capacities and investment made in the new business area and products range with our readers.
Berger Paints
Currently, the products are being made at our Rishra unit in West Bengal. It will soon be made at our plant in Vallavbh Vidyanagar in Gujarat. The products that we have already introduced are: Cement Mix Plus which is to be mixed with cement before application, Latex and Super Latex which are to be applied in affected damp areas for better waterproofing, Crack Fillers for filling up of hair-line cracks, Tile Adhesive for sticking tiles on horizontal and vertical surfaces, Weathercoat Kool and Seal for sealing cracks on roofs and keeping the house cool thus saving energy. The product on the anvil is 2 Pack Exterior compatible water- proofing compound.

With ongoing focus on green buildings and green products; how will the new product range be compatible with national impera- tives on energy conservation and eco-friendliness?
All the products are eco-friendly. Weathercoat Kool & Seal, specifically is a product which definitely helps in saving energy as well.

What is your overview ofmarket size of construction chemicals in the country and your projections to garner market share in the next two-three years?
The total market size is about Rs. 2000 crores with about Rs. 1000 crores is the organized sector while the balance is unorganized sector. Our target is to achieve Rs. 100 crores in the next two to three years.

A word about market distribution channel and network to promote construction chemical business in the country. Would you be rely on paintsbusinessmarket network or there would be a distinct marketing network model?

Berger Paints construction Chemicals Business

Existing paint network along with other distribution channels like tile stores for tile adhesive and cement stores for cement mix will be used.

Do you think that there are too many players in construction chemicals in the market, largely served by smalland tiny units and there is need for consolidation for the healthy growth of construction chemical sector in the country or market forces would eventually take care of mushroom growth of small and tiny units operating in the market?
Yes, there are too many players in construction chemical in the market today. Some amount of consolidation is likely to happen driven by market forces.

Would you please unearth your programme to have trained applicators as a part of aftermarket services to the users?
Having trained applicators is imperative. We have a team which is responsible for training applica- tors for construction chemical. Work has already started on this front.
NBMCW April 2012
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