"Construction Chemicals market will grow at a good pace in coming years. With manufacturing spread in all the 4 regions of the country and excellent R&D infrastructure, Chembond's construction chemicals are used by the civil and infrastructure fraternity across India. The company has built a modern production facility in Vadodara. We are continuously looking at opportunities to extend our products range, to achieve our objective of becoming a "One Stop Construction Chemicals Solution Provider," says Mr. Nirmal Shah
, Joint Managing Director, Chembond Chemicals Ltd. From the company's inception till date, how has your journey been in the construction chemicals sector?
Chembond Chemicals was established in 1975, long before the company diversified in to construction chemicals in 1992. We have had a fair share of excitement and challenges in the period from the start of the division till now. This journey began with a vision to offer solutions to problems faced by the Indian construction industry and reach a premium position in the market. We were focussed on developing and supplying state of the art solutions, to the industry. The industry which was new to construction chemicals in 1992 is maturing fast and has been accepting new products and technologies with ease now. Today with manufacturing spread in all the 4 regions of the country and excellent R&D infrastructure, Chembond's construction chemicals are used by the civil and infrastructure fraternity all across India. Today, construction chemicals have become essential for most of the construction projects, irrespective of the kind of infrastructure being established or whether the project pertains to a new or repair job. Your comments.
Yes, Indeed. Cement is the most consumed material after food, water and clothing. For a rapidly growing developing nation like India, the demand of construction chemicals is increasing year on year. As the awareness develops, structures become complicated and sustainability takes priority, we expect this trend will have an exponential growth pattern. Even when the growth becomes stable, the aging structures would require repair and retrofitting to lengthen their life span, which means the construction chemicals industry will always remain viable. Kindly throw some light on your products and how have they added as a USP to modern structures in the present day? Elaborate with examples.
Chembond's Construction Chemicals division manufactures an array of products covering the whole gamut of civil engineering requirements. This includes concrete admixtures, grouts and anchors, repair products, waterproofing compounds, joint sealants, flooring, surface treatments and tiling adhesives. Chembond has established itself as a quality brand in the Indian Market. The classic examples of out value addition to various projects all across country starts with Mumbai Pune Expressway to Delhi Metro and IGI Airport Car Parking, where our products have been successfully applied. Any new products in the pipeline?
We have an array of new products scheduled for launch in the next 3-6 months. These include Epoxy and PU based crack injection compounds, PU sealants and Liquid applied waterproofing membranes, amongst others. We are continuously working on developing new solutions and techniques to keep our competitive edge and for meeting the customer requirements. Waterproofing in India has always been a challenge. Opportunities will always exist for refining application techniques and developing new and innovative product lines. Kindly elaborate on the key role played by construction chemicals in different kinds of projects?
This is very broad question. Todays concrete will never be placed without a concrete admixture. Let it be curing, releasing forms, sealing, repairing, preservation or protection, construction chemicals are always a necessity. Some examples include grouts and anchors in various infrastructure projects such as power generation, airports, roads, bridges, dams and ports. Waterproofing, sealing and joining in underground works for metros, underpasses, tunnels. Various products such as shotcrete accelerators, Hydrophilic water stops, epoxy bonding and joining agents, PU and epoxy Injection Resins and foams, Polysulfide and PolyUrethane joint sealants are employed. Airport Runways require Jet fuel resistant joint sealants, fast patching compounds to repair damages and ensure early restoration of traffic. Highrise buildings would require good systems such as EIFS for energy conservation and climate control. Pervious concrete could revolutionise the rain water harvesting and flood management during over pouring. How does technology play a role in the application of these chemicals?
There is an ever increasing focus on sustainability, concerns on environment and availability of key raw materials. There have been advances to meet these challenging situations. Apart from this and time constraints, highrise structures and mitigation of risks from seismic activities such as earthquakes are also playing an important role in redefining performance require- ments. With fast paced growth and aspirations, there is a need to further train the already competitive human resources to cope up with new demands of productivity and quality by adapting to newer construction techniques and technologies. Building insulation systems, Light weight roofing screeds, roof gardens, laser screeding, sprayed plasters, Polyurea and Polyaspartic coating systems, Polyurethane based car parking systems are products that have performance and cost advantages over conventional systems. These are bound to catch wind in India very soon. All this means new application techniques, new products and new approaches and the industry and specifiers will need to keep pace with these developments. With the demand for construction chemicals in modern structures increasing in India, how affordable are these in terms of availability and pricing?
The prices of construction chemicals are driven by prices of crude, cement and sand in particular. With the introduction of industrial by-products and a lot of optimization in the usage, the overall costs have not risen, as far as the prices of these key indicators are concerned. Another reason is the market competition, which means that the margins have shrunk over the past 2-3 years. There are of course some nagging availability issues. Recently, materials such as some polymers, isophorone based products and MDI have been in short supply with prices skyrocketing. How much do these contribute to the total cost of a project?
Typically 1-2% of the project cost. If some systems such as EIFS, PU insulation foam are used, it might increase by a percent or so. What is most important is that this 1-2% value products, actually decide the quality and life span of the whole structure. If clients, contractors and specifiers recognize this aspect, most of the problems occurring due to use of substandard quality products can be averted. Moreover, these products must be applied by trained applicators and as per the manufacturer's instructions. Cutting down on surface preparation, mixing methods, primers and curing, could result in major failures. What is your outlook on the demand for construction chemicals over the years in India? How do you view the future of this sector?
Construction Chemicals market will grow at a good pace in coming years, due to numerous infrastructure projects coming up all across the country. This includes power projects, transport networks, dams, irrigation projects, air ports and sea harbours etc. Alongside there are a lot of commercial and residential developments. New developments and rehabilitation and repair of the aging structures, will continue to support the growth of the construction chemicals industry for a long time in future. How do you see the company growing in the near future?
Chembond Chemicals has built a modern production facility at Vadodara. We are also continuously looking at opportunities to extend our products range to achieve our objective of becoming a "One Stop Construction Chemicals Solution Provider." Our R&D infrastructure is being enhanced to keep with the addition of new products and new demands of testing arising thereof. This will bolster our ability to undertake basic research as well as faster commercialization of all running projects. Moreover, it will boost the confidence of our customers in our products and services. On the basis of a solid foundation, we are poised for a strong growth in coming years.