Ramakanth V. Akula_Nippon Paint_ProjectsMonitorRamakanth V. Akula,
President – Decoratives,
Nippon Paint (India) Pvt. Ltd

Nippon Paint (India) Pvt. Ltd, is a subsidiary of Nippon Paint Group of Japan, is a leading manufacturer of paints and coatings. The company produces high quality paints and coats for the automotive, industrial and decorative segments. While the economic slowdown has affected the Indian paint industry, Nippon Paint India is bullish on growth as it seeks to increase its market share in future. Ramakanth V. Akula tells Projectmonitor why he feels so.

What is the total size of the paint industry in India? What is your current market share and how much will it be in five years?
The paint industry is estimated to be worth Rs.29,000 crore. We have less than 2 per cent market share as on date. We are currently competing in limited geographies and in limited categories; hence our market share may not be comparable or meaningful. We want to be a significant player in the years to come. We will be looking forward to increasing our share to 5 per cent in five years time.

FY12-13 was a tough year with demand slowdown and inventory losses? What is Nippon Paint’s outlook for FY13-14 and beyond?
The slowdown in the economy has impacted business for all. However, we could still manage to grow in excess of 40 per cent in the last fiscal. In the current year, too, we are hoping to post a 20 per cent growth over last year. We expect the economy to improve from 2014 onwards and the industry should bounce back.

In which segment, industrial or decorative, do you see faster recovery? Which other industrial segments are you betting big on?
Deco business has a potential to recover faster owing to drivers like rapid urbanisation and increased décor consciousness. Industrial business may take a while to recover as it is largely dependent on economic activity in the country.

We are participating in the automotive, refinish and coil coatings in the industrial coatings segment. We hope our share would increase in all these segments in the coming years.

Nippon Paint Factory_ProjectsMonitorWhat is your strategy for capitalising on the untapped potential of the paint market?
We have plenty of room to grow in the decorative and industrial segments. Geographical expansion and participation in all the categories across the price points would give us the required growth in the future. We will be bringing in latest technology from our parent company to compete effectively in the market place.

How has Nippon Paint India’s journey been since inception?
We are the fastest growing paint company in India and the response to our offerings has been overwhelming so far. We wish to continue our journey delighting our customers with innovative products and services.

Can you tell us about your company’s manufacturing capacity and products available in the Indian market?
We have two state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities strategically located in India, one in Sriperumbudur near Chennai and the other at Taloja near Mumbai. We will soon set up a facility in the north. At present, we have a capacity to manufacture 80,000 kilolitres per annum. All the factories have the requisite infrastructure to scale up the capacity as and when needed.

Our decorative products are available in south India. We have begun our expansion into west and north markets. We are hopeful of making the products available in all the markets by end of this year. We will get into east after we complete our expansions in north and west.

Can you elaborate on your products in both industrial and decorative segments?
In the decorative segment, we are currently participating in the emulsion and enamel categories. Very soon, we will introduce our wood coatings range to the Indian market. We have a range of emulsions for every price point.

Our innovative offerings include Odourless Aircare (interior emulsion with formaldehyde abatement), Medifresh (interior emulsion with anti-bacterial formula), Satinglo (high sheen luxurious emulsion), Spotless (stain resistant emulsion), Weatherbond Solar Reflect (exterior emulsion that reflects heat and keeps homes cooler), Weatherbond (highly durable exterior paint with nine-year warranty), and Durafresh (durable exterior emulsion with dirt pickup resistance).

In the industrial segment, we offer coatings for automotive and coil.

Can you tell us more about Nippon Paint Odourless Aircare?
Nippon Paint Odourless Aircare is the first paint innovation in the country, which has been developed to improve indoor air quality. It uses active carbon technology which has the ability to continuously absorb harm-free formaldehyde from the air and convert it to water vapour; hence, refreshing the indoor air resulting in a cleaner and healthier living environment. Besides having near zero VOC and odour, this environment friendly paint is anti-bacterial and possesses superior washability.

Formaldehyde is a very common indoor air pollutant which can be found in virtually all homes and buildings. It is emitted into the air from sources such as furniture, carpeting, flooring, cabinets and wallpaper. Some people are very sensitive to formaldehyde, while others have no reaction to the same level of exposure. In particular, children and aged people are likely to be more sensitive to the emission, making them prone to sickness. Those suffering from chronic respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis are also more sensitive to these fumes.

Nippon Paint Odourless Aircare has been launched across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and the initial response has been overwhelming.

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