"When we started, there were only 4 people in the organization and today this number has leapfrogged to 500. Most of the people who were with us right at the inception are still there and it’s all due to the culture and environment we provide. Today Ozone has emerged as a brand synonymous with Architectural Hardware. The journey has been fruitful and there’s more to follow for many years to come,” asserts Mr. Amit Sehgal, Director-Operations, Ozone Overseas, in an interview with MGS Architecture.
Please shed some light on the evolution of Ozone Overseas and the inspiration behind it.
It’s been a very fruitful journey. Mr. Alok Aggarwal, our Managing Director, had a vision to excel and it has reflected in the manner in which Ozone has taken quantum leaps with every passing day. It was his vision and his enthusiasm that has placed Ozone on the global platform as a leading name in Architectural Hardware Solutions.
In India, the last few years have seen glass become the hottest fashion statement and a large number of buildings are clad in glimmering glass; please elaborate how mature is the glass market in terms of understanding the products and their proper usage keeping the climatic condition of the country in view?
Well, it’s a reality that glass has become one of the hottest fashion statements and this is visible in the availability of top quality glass products in the country. Architectural use of Glass has been possible in the way we see its use today due to availability of modern day glass hardware. Today we can create frameless glass facades which have structural ability to take on the seismic, weather and wind loads to make a building safe and secure. However, there’s a lack of formal education and training. In-fact, most of the installations rely more on their cultivated skill rather than pre-determined guidelines. Nevertheless, times are changing and proper knowledge dissemination is now very much in vogue.
What role is your organization playing in imparting proper education/knowledge to the architects/planners for the right usage/application of the glass?
Since we are a leading name in Architectural Hardware, a substantial chunk of which goes in tandem with glass, we have taken the onus of training and education on ourselves. We invite students, architects, designers, and even installers to our Ozone Hub where our products range is displayed. Apart from visual appeal, each product carries a detailed technical description. Installers are taught the right methods and skills to deal with a product. This training centre is a major shot in the arm for us.
How many verticals fall under Ozone’s ambit? What are its complete products rangs?
There are more than 3,000 products under Ozone’s ambit divided into 7 product categories which are Glassage, Door Control, Ozo-Motion, Balustrades, Ergozone, Safes and Bathrooms. Each of these ranges have array of products to suit various applications for doors, showers, glass facades, canopies, railings, in room safes, etc.
Our Architectural Stainless Steel Division provides Customized Stainless Steel Urban Street Furniture like Bus Shelters, Benches, Dustbins etc., Signage solutions and Railing solutions. Our team of Architects, Product designers and engineers also provide OEM and ODM products.
Please tell us something about your manufacturing facilities, its locations and capacities.
We have a state of art manufacturing facility in Kalaam, Himachal Pradesh. The facility is equipped with latest CNC Bending, Shearing and Cutting Machines. It has a large number of CNC turning and machining centers and automated polishing facility to meet the customized requirements of clients. There are three operational phases focusing on stainless steel architectural products and railings.
What sales-services are you providing?
From our experience for architectural hardware what is more important is pre-sales support. We provide knowledge and expertise related to use of appropriate fittings. We also train people for using best practices. Needless to say, Ozone has large network of dealers, distributors and offices through which we are able to provide replacement guarantee on all our products. We have a dedicated Customer Care Division that addresses all the needs of the clients. The Customer care and Logistic Network is backed by a strong IT backbone.
Today, how necessary is it for organisations to introduce new range of products to keep up pace with the changing trends? Are you planning to introduce any new products?
Given the rate at which the Building Products Market is growing in India, it is imperative that an organization constantly dishes out new ranges. It’s a good sign not only for the industry but also for the country as a whole. Today, we see a lot of multinationals coming here and the market will move in an upward trajectory. This has had a major bearing on the customers’ mindset as people now realise the value-for-money a branded product provides compared to a non-branded one. Innovation and advancement is a way of life at Ozone and we are ever expanding our products range.
One of the biggest examples is O-Railing, which is a series of high quality engineered railing systems. The offerings in this segment comprise standard railing designs, structural staircases and customized railing solutions with materials such as glass, wood and leather being the highlights. We are in the process of making O-Railing a separate entity.
There’s a lot of hue and cry about recession in the Construction Sector; what’s your take on this?
There’s no recession in India and even if there is, companies should accept it as a challenge to give more push to their products and brand. That’s how we see it and instead of being bogged down by the slowdown, Ozone is constantly on the move.
What are your future plans in terms of market expansion?
The company has tie ups, strategic tie ups with various product manufacturers across the World. We are also negotiating possible manufacturing and marketing Joint Ventures with the leading companies in different product verticals. The company is looking at exponential growth in the coming years, especially based on the structuring of product verticals into separate profit and even business entities.