Monday, June 21, 2021

Interaction - Anupam Shil, Head – Technical & Marketing Services, STP Limited

STP is constantly endeavouring to innovate products and technologies that can add life to concrete structures


STP Limited, a Berger Group Company, has been an innovative, respected and trusted solution provider to its customers in the field of Waterproofing, Protective Coating, Sealants, Flooring, Admixtures & Grouts and Restoration & Rendering businesses for the last 8 decades. The company has been known for launching cutting edge Technology products which are distinctive in their field and implementation. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, ANUPAM SHIL, HEAD – TECHNICAL & MARKETING SERVICES, STP LIMITED speaks about the latest trends, his company’s offerings, latest launches and a lot more.



Give us an overview of the CC &Waterproofing chemicals market in India, latest trends and sector challenges.

After Paints, one of the sector showing high CAGR is CC and Waterproofing in the construction industry. With India on the move towards major infrastructural investment, it will result in a boost for this sector. And one of the obvious expectation in these circumstances is a lot of small and big players trying to create a space for themselves in this expanding market. This is evident by the fact that all leading paint companies are aggressively entering into CC market through mergers and acquisitions. STP is no exception, which is now a part of the Berger group of companies. A large competitive market always brings about more innovation and better ideas into the industry while at the same time it cannot be ignored that the market be regulated with apt QC practices to avoid any fall out. STP in its endeavour to create a space in this direction has upgraded its manufacturing processes in last few years. After being the largest producer of polysulphide sealants, STP has become the first company to get BIS Certification in this product category.



Detail us on the range of CC& Waterproofing chemicals and its applications offered by your company.What are the USP’s of your products/solutions vis-à-vis competition. Advantages of using your CC & Waterproofing chemicals in terms of savings on construction cost, time, and labour. 

From inception of the construction process, STP products play an important role by offering state-of-the art admixture formulations, shuttering oils and curing compounds used during concrete placement and curing for in-situ, pre-casting and shotcrete applications. In fact, STP admixtures produced at its Gujarat factory, falling in line with IS: 9103 & IS: 2645, are certified by BIS. For industrial or infra setups, STP offers high strength grouts for base plate foundations and Epoxy/PU grouts for machine base foundations, along with polyester anchor grouts to fix bolts/shear connectors. We offer self-levelling flooring that are based on cementitious, epoxy, PU and hybrid chemistry technologies. For building construction segment, STP produces unique pre-formed membranes of HDPE, PVC along with traditional modified bitumen for raft foundations, which are selectively chosen depending on foundation depth and water table of the vicinity. Appropriate waterbar insertions or bonding agents are proposed at joint sections. For isolation footings or any bare concrete substrate in contact with soil, STP produces coal tar based epoxy coatings to protect it from moisture ingress and root infiltration. Several dependable choices are offered for waterproofing of wet rooms, from modified bitumen to acrylic modified cementitious to modified PU, which can be adopted within allowable budgetary limits. A variable material junction, like, drain line cut-outs which is a confluence of a non-metallic pipe to RCC to Mortar to Ceramic tile is addressed, using a combination of multiple product technologies developed by STP, such as a non-shrink grout, polymeric bonding agent, modified PU, Fabric reinforcement, elastomeric cementitious membrane, et al. STP’s unique advantage through our proven legacy of 85 years is a multiple range of chemistries that we offer to suit every customer’s budget. Rooftop ormotherslab protection solutions developed by STP includes a variety of membrane and sealant/tape types, be it, residential having minimal movement, commercial having multiple roof top installations, industrial/infra subjected to continuous vibrations, a newly casted slab or an existing roof subjected to high foot traffic. STP’s products are customized to suit all types of structural requirements. The latest development of STP is a brushablepolyurea which does not require sophisticated spraying system normally associated with high end polyurea coatings. This helps is considerable ease on application and labour while remaining not-to-heavy on customer’s budget, while offering one of the rugged waterproofing chemistry.



What is the company’s approach towards innovation, environment and sustainability?

The core objective of construction chemicals is to provide durability to concrete, which like any other man-made material, is created through extraction of natural resources. STP is constantly endeavouring to innovate products and technologies that can add life to concrete structures. Industry is now gradually shifting its focus from Strength to Durability as the impending scarcity of natural resources is becoming evident. Climate change is no more a myth, but a reality. In line with these thoughts, STP has popularized high quality liquid membranes which are formulated with water as a solvent carrier, thus, reducing VOC emissions and having least detrimental effect on human health.



Challenges faced in terms of availability of skilled labor in your industry and how to overcome them.

STP firmly believes that labour output is directly proportional to the knowledge investment done on the labour force. It is a moral responsibility of every sizable industry to create modules for skill enhancement of their workforce and associates. This includes organizing trainings and experience sharing with the application workforce. STP is continuously engaged in organizing such interactions where labour teams are made to explain the importance of each detailing and also trained through hands-on activities, where the products can be touched and felt by the applicators.



Have you launched any new products or launching new products in the near future.

STP has recently expanded its range to incorporate few variants of the latest technology in the waterproofing market – Polyurea based in-situ applied membranes. We believe that all the high value capex investments taking place require technologies to protect them from premature ageing.

This apart, for long STP has marketed an innovative hybrid sealant for control joints of shop floors, which has both flexibility and toughness, much needed for this application.



As a manufacturer tell us about the critical challenges faced while introducing high end products in India? To what extent does cost influence a customer’s purchasing decision?

While it is okay to introduce high end products in India, what is important is to understand the adaptability of a product with Indian conditions, be it weather or usage or installation. All of these shall play an important role in determining its worth. Though Indian market is cost sensitive, but this country is all set to invest in bulk infrastructure. At this juncture, our acceptability for high end solutions that can add durability and enhance dependability is highly sought after. With a detailed Life Cycle Cost analysis and quality assurance system at both production and application level, the Indian customer shall not shy away from making the correct investment, is our firm belief.



Which sectors are major demand drivers for CC & Waterproofing chemicals in India.

Leaving aside retail market, which is always the biggest revenue driver in Indian economy, upcoming infrastructure projects, like, highways, railways, ports, airports, power plants or multi-utility commercial buildings are the major demand drivers for CC products. At the same time refurbishment and re-waterproofing of existing structures adds up to a large share of repetitive demands.



What is your outlook on the opportunities from renovation and repair of old existing structures for the construction chemical and waterproofing business? Can this area be considered as a new growth driver to strengthen business volumes for players like you?

It would be impertinent to allow high value capex assets to deteriorate before their expected useful service life is derived. Lately, with the advent of advanced testing methods and availability of such expertise in our country has helped in doing better ‘root-cause-analysis’. Our leading academic and research institutes are also playing vital role and have considerably contributed in developing effective solutions and methodologies for the Industry. STP has taken deep interest in this segment and has developed customized product technologies, keeping in mind the limitation faced by the industries where capital assets after years of usage are only available for a limited isolation time for repairs, off the production line. Several cooling towers throughout the country has been reinstated using Restofix – STP’s customized repairing system, by proficient contractors.



Brief us on your manufacturing facilities.

Today we have 6 manufacturing facilities across India, all of which comply with the ISO requirements. These manufacturing units are established in line with the chemistry of product formulations that they are designed to handle. Some are designed for bitumen processing and others for epoxy, polyurethanes, polysulphide, acrylic polymers, dry powder products, coal tar, etc. These factories are situated in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Gujarat.



Future outlook on the industry and from a company perspective.

STP Limited, now as a part of Berger Group, is clear to sustain its more than eight decade old brand image in the Construction Chemicals & Waterproofing business. The company is in the process of modernizing its operational systems to come at par with global players. STP believes that the only way for a long sustainable and ever expanding growth is to keep customers satisfied with dependable products and shortest response-time.

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