Mr. S.P. Mittal, GILMr. S.P. Mittal, Chairman
What wheat is to flour, limestone to cement, Sail to steel, Greenply Industries Ltd (GIL) is to plywood, HPL and MDF products industry in India. Growing steadily from strength to strength, GIL has emerged as a dominant player in interior infrastructure market with state-of-the-art integrated manufacturing facilities in different parts of the country turning out quality products and developing powerful brands in plywood, laminates, decorative veneers, particle boards/MDF to cater to the diverse and multiple domestic, industrial requirements as their brand choice, etching deep footprints in the domestic as well as overseas markets.

Mr. Shobhan Mittal, GILMr. Shobhan Mittal, Executive Director
With powerful brands and latest continuous pressing technology, installed for the first time in India at its disposal, the Company is well poised to gain increased market share and grow faster than the market, said GIL’s Chairman, Mr. S.P. Mittal and Executive Director, Mr. Shobhan Mittal, in their interaction with S.K.Khanna. Talking about GIL’s ongoing expansion programme, they said the Company is in the midst of investing in two new production facilities for Medium Density Fibre Boards (MDF) and High Pressure Laminates (HPL) in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh respectively to capitalize on the emerging greener opportunities in the production and supply of sophisticated interior infrastructure products, the market of which is set to grow exponentially in the next three-four years. GIL already having a impeccable record of quality products hopes to introduce new generation products in the future to meet these requirements.

What has been the impact of the liquidity crunch on interior infrastructure market/projects in the country? Will the new fiscal package as announced mobilize the construction industry? Has the prevailing situation affected GIL’s near term, shortage terms business plans?
The liquidity crunch has definitely affected various interior infrastructure projects in the country. Many new planned investments in this sector have been put on hold or postponed due to the economic scenario. However, on a more positive note, the new fiscal package announced by the Government will help us to a certain extent by reducing our total project cost by way of reduction in Excise Duty and Countervailing Duty applicable on locally sourced and imported capital goods respectively. The funds for our new projects will be generated by a mix of internal accruals and debts. The debt component of the project value has already been sanctioned by the banks, so we are in a position to continue with our projects without any hindrance.

Tell us something about GIL, its evolution to reach the premier position it enjoys today, its manufacturing facilities and their locations and flagship product range to serve the interior infrastructure market. How the worldwide advances taking place are being inducted into the product range of GIL to stay ahead in the competitive market?
Greenply Industries Ltd. is a leader in its field of products and enjoys a prominent position in the interior infrastructure industry today. One of the prime reasons for this is that Greenply Industries Ltd. has always pushed itself to provide highly competitive and qualitative products manufactured by incorporating the latest manufacturing technologies available in the world today, keeping in mind the cost competitiveness required for the Indian as well as international markets. Our manufacturing facilities are strategically located around India close to important markets and raw material sources, with the plywood manufacturing facilities being located in the states of Nagaland, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Gujarat. We manufacture and sell plywood under the brand names of Greenply and Ecotec. Greenply’s High Pressure Laminates (Greenlam) and Decorative Veneers (Green Decowood) are manufactured in the state of Rajasthan. Greenply is also in the midst of investing in two new production facilities for Medium Density Fiber Board(MDF) and High Pressure Laminates in the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh respectively.

Our company is reputed in the market to be ahead of competition in terms of innovation in our product portfolio and keeping up with international trends in our offerings to our consumers. An indication of this is our ongoing investment in the most versatile and state-of-art manufacturing facility for MDF which incorporates the latest continuous pressing technology which will be installed for the first time in our country.

GIL has pioneered the introduction of MDF, the product of the future, in the country with one of the largest facility in India. What positive policy support, you look forward from the Government to promote MDF not only in India but also in the entire Asia Pacific region, where its demand is picking up?
The Government has realized that India’s prime dependency for furniture panels on plywood will not be economically viable in the long run due to the raw-material shortage and high costs involved in plywood manufacturing. Considering the high levels of imports of modern panels like Particle Boards and MDF into the country, the Government also realizes the importance of India being self-sufficient for its panel requirements and thus is strongly promoting the manufacturing of engineered panels like Particle Board and MDF. Conventionally, there is a lot of red tape involved in the setting up of wood-based Industries in India with clearance required from the Supreme Court of India, the central government, state governments and various environmental and legal agencies. To promote the manufacturing of Particle Boards and MDF, the government has taken a lenient approach and has gone to the extent of letting state governments permit new investments at their own discretion.

I am also of the opinion that the Government needs to take a more positive stand on policies of forestation/plantation to increase the availability of raw material required for manufacturing of engineered panels as well as to ensure their competitiveness against imported products.

In your state-of–the-art facility at Rudrapur to manufacture MDF, the focus is on utilizing waste wood and bio-mass fuels to achieve material and energy conservation and to contain carbon emissions. What are various measures at hand to achieve this national imperative resulting in lower carbon emissions? Are there plans at Company’s end to take advantage on carbon credit facility?
Greenply is helping to develop and is investing in the first of its kind Energy Generation System used in the wood-based industry in India. This energy plant, being installed at our facility in Uttarakhand, is different from conventional boilers used in other wood-based industries as it utilizes up to 95% heat generation from the fuels burned as opposed to the 60–65% utilization in regular boilers. This energy system is a complete integrated system generating heat via 3 mediums-Steam, Thermal oil and Flue Gases. The primary fuel which will be consumed in the system will be agro waste resulting in significantly lower carbon generation compared to conventional fossil fuels like coal and oil. We will be incorporating a highly advanced dust collection system which will eradicate majority of the particulate emissions in the atmosphere.

We are already in the process of applying for the carbon credit certification and should be getting the benefits when the production starts in December 2009.

What is your overview of industry dynamics from Plyboards to sophisticated products like MDF, also GIL present market share and share planned to garner more in the next three-four years, both in the domestic as well overseas markets?
The industry today is moving more towards consuming engineered Panels as plywood becomes more expensive and uncompetitive. There is also a shift in demand from customised carpenter made furniture to ready made furniture produced by various furniture manufacturers and OEM’s. The fact that people demand projects to be completed in much shorter time spans is also a reason for ready-made modular furniture demand to increase. Such pre-fabricated furniture is generally manufactured on machines with engineered panels like Particle Board and MDF. These facts have resulted in an increase in demand for engineered panels resulting in a clear shifting of some market share from plywood to modern panels like MDF and Particle Board. Also the fact that no further enhancements in plywood capacities is permitted by the government, has left the increasing demand of panels to be fulfilled by engineered panels.

In respect to market share, Greenply enjoys a very strong market share in products like plywood and HPL which are currently its prime products. With our ongoing investment in the largest MDF manufacturing facility in India, we will double India’s existing wood-based MDF manufacturing capacity and we hope to gain market share from imported MDF which currently constitutes 60–70% of the current MDF market in the country.

A word about your market network in the present heterogeneous and diversified nation wide market.
As mentioned above Greenply Industries Ltd. enjoys a very strong market presence on a national scale. We currently operate through two verticals of product specific marketing structures having a network of over 40 marketing offices located around India, many maintaining company operated stock warehouses. These offices serve an extensive network of more than 7000 Greenply certified distributors, retailers & sub-retailers which help us to ensure a wide spread availability of our products in every part of India.
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