Spring of Hope – Supreme Industries

Spring of Hope – Supreme Industries
Whenever there is an adversity, there is also an opportunity. With the "Winter of Despair" there is "Spring of Hope". We believe, Supreme Industries is in a stronger position than many of our competitors. This very difficult environment will also present unique opportunities to us. Supreme Industries pioneered many path breaking products in the country and became trend setters in plastics piping products by introducing many advanced plastics piping system which has improved the quality of projects and replaced many conventional piping products. The focus is increasingly on developing superior, specialized application-specific variant in each product category-to give better value to the customer. Presently, Supreme Petrochem products are being exported to 96 countries and plastic piping products are exported to more than 35 counties. We would like to multiply our present export market in coming years, says Mr. J.M. Totlaji, Senior Vice President, in his Interview with S.K.Khanna.

How has the present recessionary phase affected the plastic industry’s business plans in general and Supreme Industries business plans in particular? How has the company been able to negate its negative impact on its business?
Each one of us is awakened due to recent Global happenings. It has its impact on every sector so is on the plastic industry business and Supreme Industries business as well. But the impact on Supreme Industries business is not worst and can be termed as “under control”. It would be unwise to take it lightly and act like it beinga small blip and will pass soon. It would also be unwise to fold our hands and sit and pray for Government to do something or equally do nothing.

Whenever there is an adversity, there is also an opportunity. With the “Winter of Despair” there is “Spring of Hope.” We believe, Supreme is in a stronger position than many of our competitors.

Spring of Hope – Supreme Industries

This very difficult environment will also present unique opportunities to us, if we keep our eyes and ears open and act. Following factors are in favor of the Supremes Industries:
  • As customers become more selective in choosing the products and suppliers Quality and Service would be prime in their mind along with good brand image of the product.
  • Number of cash rich companies would be shrinking
  • Less lucrative opportunities to companies avoiding taxes and making material only from substandard raw material.
  • Companies with low costs would sail through faster and sure shot companies will not have any less productive asset.
  • Supreme is absolutely customer centric company and we have an unparallel solution to help our customers' business in these troubled times.
Our plan to negate such situation is:
  • We will walk extra mile to give not only delightful service but amazing service to our customers.
  • Let us stretch to the hilt. We will squeeze out every ounce of productivity we can from every kind of asset.
  • In every area of our role, we will be extra productive and will spend thriftily on capital expenditure. Make assets go as far as they can, by increasing their use.
  • Avoiding what is avoidable to keep the cost minimum. Every rupee saved is rupee earned.
  • Tight control on purchases and credit as a company which has strong cash position only will be winner in this tough time.
  • With such a low cost raw material scenario, which may last for some time years or more newer and bigger opportunities will emerge in all the segments of our business, we will en-cash them.
  • Every single Supremite will work extrahard and extra smart in each aspect of their jobs and will use all our energy and resourcefulness to tide over this adversity.
Supreme Industries growth over the period has been very impressive through its business strategies. Which are the major milestones of the Company’s journey thus so far from a single product company to a company with largest plastic portfolio today? What do you attribute the success of the company to, and where do you see the company in the coming 4-5 years from now, its projected domestic as well as export market share and resultant total sales turnover?
The Supreme Industries Ltd. was founded in 1942. Presently, it may be one of the oldest surviving and progressing public limited companies in plastics. Initially, the company had many other activities other than plastics like rubber plantations, rubber moulding, tricycle parts manufacturing and assembly, electroplating, etc. The management changed hands in the year 1966, and the present management took control of the company.

The present management, after a lot of careful study and deliberation, decided to focus on plastics, and got rid of all other businesses. From 1968 onwards, the company’s focus has been plastics.

Spring of Hope – Supreme Industries
In its journey of 40 years, the turnover of the group increased from a meager Rs.20 lacs p.a. to over Rs. 3000 cr. p.a. The company’s stocks are actively traded on Bombay Stock Exchange.

The management believed that they should stay only in those businesses where there can be growth potential and they can remain in the first 3 slots of ranking in the country. As time passed, the company strategically decided to exit from some of the businesses and strengthened their focus on the businesses which are more growth- oriented and with long-term prospects.

Major Milestones
Supreme pioneered many path breaking products in the country and became trendsetters in plastic piping products by introducing many advanced plastic piping system which has improved the quality of projects and replaced many conventional piping products like SWR drainage system, Aqua-gold, Indo-green PP-R and Lifeline CPVC plumbing systems. High technology innovative structured wall Eco-drain pipes and Nu-drain Underground drainage system with ultra readymade inspection chambers. Products other than plastics piping pioneered by Supreme are cross laminated, Multilayer and HMHD films, PP-mats, lacquer finish upholstered furniture, and polyethylene and cross linked PE foams.

The success of the company is attributed to its strong vision, committed work force, advanced technology, continuous innovation and quality upgradation programmes.

In the plastic piping business, our desire is to:
  1. be a trendsetter in plastic piping business
  2. be a system solution provider
  3. be a "One-stop shop" for all the piping product needs in the country.
The focus is increasingly on developing superior, specialized application-specific variant in each product category-to give better value to the customer.

Presently, Supreme Petrochem products are being exported to 96 countries and plastic piping products are exported to more than 35 counties. We would like to multiply our present export market in coming years.

The company has forged strategic technological alliances with world leaders in manufacturing state-of-the-art plastic piping systems, bottle crate moulds and cross-laminated films facilities to deliver its best to the market. How these global developments in the products and services have been absorbed and assimilated? What is the level of indigenizationand technological self –sufficiency level obtaining in the company as a result of these alliances?

The first technological alliance of Supreme was with Sekisui Plastic Co. of Japan for the development of non-cross linked polyethylene foam.

We had a technological alliance with Shoer International of Denmark for Multilayer packaging films.

We have an ongoing technological alliance with Ole Bendt Rasmussen Co. of Switzerland for the development of cross laminate films.

We also have a technology alliance with Scheoller International of Germany for the development of bottle crates.

We have an ongoing technology licensing arrangement with Wavin Overseas B V, Netherlands, for various plastic piping products.

Tell us something about your manufacturing facilities, their locations and product range offering efficient alternatives to piping and fitting solutions and their different applications. What is your USP in the wake of a plethora of similar products in the market place?
Supreme is India’s largest plastics processing company, handling around 1,70,000 metric tones of polymers each year. Supreme presents the most wide comprehensive and cost–effective range of plastic products through 18 state-of-the-art manufacturing plants strategically located across the country.

Supreme’s wide range of piping products meet the various requirements of Irrigation, Bore wells, Potable water supply, Plumbing, Drainage, Sewerage, Rainwater Harvesting and water management. Each system has been custom designed to match the specific needs of a specific application, which makes it practically sound. Supreme is the one-stop-shop for everything in plastic piping products.

Our pipes and fittings are manufactured on state-of-the-art machines from good quality virgin raw material as per the relevant standards. We do not compromise on quality as at Supreme we consider quality is the religion. Each product is vigorously tested in the laboratory equipped with advanced testing equipment. As a result Supreme piping systems are safe, long lasting, reliable, and economical and zero maintenance cost and hence one can have trouble free performance year after year. Thus end–user gets value for his money.
  • The current product portfolio of Supreme consist more than 5,000 different types of Pipes and fittings manufactured as per various National and international standards. Each system has been custom designed to match the specific needs of a specific application, which makes it practically sound.
  • Strong brand image based on consistent quality
  • Strong countrywide distribution network and committed and loyal channel partners
  • Multiple system option and complete system solution
  • Delightful pre–and post–technical service
Your company manufactures plastic pipes and fittings. How these products are competitive as compared with metal pipes? With the current focus and practice of constructing green and sustainable buildings, how your company is contributing its effort by manufacturing pipes and fittings eco-friendly?
Plastic piping products are always superior over conventional products because of their unique properties like corrosion and chemical resistance, light in weight, durable, fast installation, maintenance free, user–friendly, cost–effective and eco–friendly. Processing and reprocessing of these products needs relatively very low power as compared to conventional one and they do not have any negative impact on environment from raw material manufacture to finished products and its installation.

Similarly, they proved to be much cost effective over the life cost analysis.

Our aspiration is Mother Nature. At Supreme, we follow natural instincts while creating product portfolio. This aspiration leads us to perpetual range of piping products; in other words, to meet and please our customer’s needs and requirements.

Spring of Hope – Supreme Industries
As a part of its objective, Supreme has introduced many new advanced plastic piping products as a superior substitute to conventional cumbersome and time consuming faulty plumbing products like the Aqua Gold series which is the most reliable and economical piping system in the country for potable water transportation. A lead-free system whose components are UV stabilized, have excellent features like chemicals and corrosion resistance, mirror smooth internal surface, resist sediment deposits, and are up to 40% cheaper than conventional GI systems.

Likewise, the Indo Green PP-R is an extremely cost effective plumbing solution for hot and cold water applications. Lightweight, long–lasting and quick to assemble, it is fully resistant to scaling and corrosion. It can safely withstand water of the harshest quality and offer extremely long life estimated at minimum of 50 years and it is certified by reputed WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory scheme) UK. And its low thermal conductivity also helps cut insulation costs.

The SWR Drainage System is the result of Supreme’s pioneering research, and was the first such PVC system in India, which successfully replaced CI. It enables fast and efficient removal of waste without blockage and leakage. Its high impact strength, chemical and corrosion resistance, long life and virtually zero maintenance explain why it continues to be the preferred brand of architects and builders everywhere. Today PVC SWR system has totally eliminated use of CI, Asbestos cement from housing sector.

The Eco Drain series is a high technology innovation for underground drainage and gravity sewerage systems. It offers excellent flexibility, strength and hydraulic properties, besides leak-free joints and resistance to abrasions, corrosion and chemicals. Thanks to its unique design, its laying requires trenches of minimal width and gradients of least value.

Being eco-friendly, these products have potential to change the face of sanitation in the country.

Your company has established good credentials in overseas market. What category of products has evoked positive responsefrom the international clients who consider your company as the best destination for their product requirements?
The products whether they are above ground requirements of building and installation, or underground applications of civil construction and infrastructure has evoked positive responsefrom the international clients.

What have been the company’s recent products launches in plastic piping division and the market response to these new products?
One of our latest product i.e. Nu-drain underground drainage system, offers many outstanding benefits over erstwhile underground sewerage products. Nu-drain UDS comprise readymade Ultra inspection chambers, specially designed pipes along with accessories like traps, gullies and different fittings. This system is featured with great flexibility, perfect hydraulic properties, water tightness, maintenance free, long life and it is very convenient to execute the work in short time. Thus revolutionary Nu-drain UDS system, is the only solution with Ultra inspection chambers and manhole which offers multiple advantages resulting in an effective advance option to traditional cumbersome and time consuming products.

Supreme Lifeline CPVC plumbing system is new offering for hot and cold water. It is a safe, longlasting & cost effective solution for Hot & Cold water and suitable for all plumbing and potable water application.

Rainbow roof gutter system - one more new product is a latest in design, look and offer many advantages like corrosion resistance, cost effectiveness etc. This system is specially designed to give maximum flow and necessary freeboard. In spite of high flow carrying capacity there is no possibility of spillage or overflow.

Being superior over traditional alternative products these products are well accepted in the market and have good response.

How effectively R&Dsupport and systems placed in the companyhave served asa catalyst and facilitator for inducting new processes and technologies adoptable to Indian conditions?
Ongoing development activities, continuous improvement programme and quality up- gradation projects have great deal in improving our processes and product manufacture.

How proactive the company is to HRD nurturing its innovation through technological update programmes, pioneeringimproved products and technical services to complement new product development?
The company consider human asset as the best asset and lot of efforts is paid for uplift of various skills of the people working in the company. They have been provided with lot of training in-house as well as outside to promote multi-skills at various levels in the organization.

Tell us something about your upcoming mega project at Gadegaon. How this new facility will impart Supreme Industries with added sharp technical business development edge?
To meet the growing demand for quality piping products, and to expand its product range, to meet the market demand for new world class products in plumbing and drainage, Supreme has established a new mega project at Gadegaon- just 18 kms away from Jalgaon city in-route to world famous Ajanta caves. The Gadegaon project will lead our current business to the greater path of development. It is situated on 131 acres land. This project will be well equipped with world–class laboratory, training centre, innovation centre and product display centre apart from a golf academy and a golf course. This world–class project will be first of its kind in the country in terms of size, advanced technology and innovative product range. This set-up may become unique in many aspects.
NBMCW May 2009
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