—Monnanda Appaiah, Managing Director, Wienerberger India
When did Wienerberger start its operations in India and how has the journey been thus far?
Wienerberger has been into existing since 1819, close to two centuries, with its head office in Vienna, Austria and over 200 factories across the world in 30 countries. Since 2009, the company expanded its presence in Asia and chose Bangalore in India for its first Asian footprint.
We have a state-of-the-art production facility in Kunigal Industrial town, 75 km from Bangalore, producing high quality clay walling materials rated by the Indian Green Building Council and GRIHA (TERI). The facility has a capacity of producing over 450 tonnes of bricks a day. The facility runs 365 days a year, 24×7.
The journey so far has been exceptionally well as the market that we are servicing have responded positively to the solutions that we are offering in the field of construction and masonry and we see a very fruitful future ahead for the company.
Although the production unit in Kunigal manufactures only bricks, we import finest clay roof and façade tiles from our overseas factories under the brand names Koramic and Aspect…
Describe in some detail your solutions for roofing and building façade.
Our roof solutions for the Indian market are catered by our factories based out of France, Belgium and Germany. The clay roof solutions are marketed under the brand name KORAMIC, which has already garnered tremendous appreciation form the architect community across south India where roof tiles is a norm in independent houses.
Koramic is a very exclusive and premium product, available in a wide variety of forms, colors and surfaces. For each type of tile, there is a complete line of special tiles and accessories such as ridge tiles, verge tiles, and much more. The plethora of finishes and colours ensures that both the owner and the architects’ design aspirations are comfortably met. Koramic roof tiles are attractive, impermeable and durable. The tiles create a protective roof shield that can resist any weather condition, while at the same time conforming to all the necessary requirements for exceptionally healthy living conditions. Of the many advantages of clay tile roofing, is durability which is probably the biggest one. Koramic tiles are double interlocking which means they give protection from water leakage, an aspect which makes the tiles very useful in geographies experiencing heavy monsoons and rainfall.
Our brand of clay façades includes “Aspect.” Well when it comes to façades we strongly believe in the notion that the façade is the Architect’s opportunity to make a statement. And Aspect Clay Façade Tiles help the Architects to do exactly that…make a statement! Aspect Facades conform to international quality standards and comfortably meets the varied demands of the architects. A choice selection of color and range along with ease in installation lends a unique character to the building and also provides enough flexibility to the architect on the design element.
Overall, what is the extent of localization of your products?
Clay walling solutions manufactured in Kunigal rely completely on locally available clay tanks and other raw materials that go into the blend are also locally sourced from industries situated in close vicinity to ensure reduced carbon footprints…
Wienerberger offers complete solutions for walls, roof and façade. What type of projects would be your targeted audience?
All our products can be used in large residential projects to smaller individual house to large commercial establishments and educational institutions. Based on the design requirements, our products are flexible enough to suit any type of project.
Tell us about your clientele. Also, what is the broad distribution of your business between private and government sector?
If you see the kind of projects we are doing for last six years, our clientele varies from large builders, mid-size builders for both residential and commercial establishments, educational institutions and individual house owners. Comparatively, majority of our supplies go to private projects. Many prestigious government projects—ESIC hospitals, DTDC (Kerala Tourism), Arogya Bhavanam, Bangalore to mention a few—have also used our products.
Discuss the eco-friendliness of your products, and how they contribute to the cause of green construction.
Wienerberger views sustainability as an integral part of its business and an important factor for its success. For these reasons, we have firmly anchored sustainability in our corporate strategy. A house made of Wienerberger building materials is an investment for coming generations. The core of our sustainability strategy is the long service life of our products. At the same time, we implement measures to reduce the environmental impact of our production processes. Our activities are focused not only on reducing energy consumption, but also on improving our ecological footprint by using fewer raw materials and increasing the use of recycled products.
Right from procuring raw materials, to the production methodology and the products that we offer, are all bound by principles of sustainability. Some of the initiatives in this respect include:
• De-silting of clay tanks
• Use of locally available products/by-products from other industries
• Efficient use of biomass and other environment-friendly fuels in manufacturing
Apart from these, we continuously recycle heat and energy in the production process and systematically adopt various conservation projects in our plant on a regular basis.
Wienerberger’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in the continuous improvement of its production processes. A central engineering department for walling products is working, above all, on projects to reduce energy consumption. Other focal points of our research include resource conservation in production and the responsible processing of raw materials.
How do you see the road ahead for Wienerberger in India? What would be your key demand drivers?
In a short span of six years Wienerberger India team has been able to strongly establish ourselves as reliable suppliers of sustainable, eco-friendly quality walling solutions to the south Indian market. In the coming future our focus would be to develop more innovative value added solutions that can bring about a meaningful difference to the building and construction industry in south India.