Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Table of Contents for Industry Focus- Green Buildings & Sustainable Cons

Interaction- Mahesh Anand, President of Decorative Business, NIPPON PAINT India


Nippon Paint is the pioneer in bringing ‘functionality in decorative paint’ into the Indian paint market



Nippon Paint produces high-quality paints with an emphasis on innovation and eco-friendliness, driven by the philosophy to consistently deliver paint solutions that not only serve customer needs, but also protect the world we live in. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, MAHESH ANAND, PRESIDENT OF DECORATIVE BUSINESS, NIPPON PAINT (INDIA) speaks about Green Buildings & Sustainable Construction in India, his company’s range of products, research and innovation, new products and a lot more.





Your assessment and comments on Green Buildings & Sustainable Construction in India, what kind of business opportunities has it generated?


Green building should be a priority for both the Corporate as well as the Consumer. The Corporates can adopt Green building processes and Consumers can insist on eco-friendly practices and products from the Corporates. Let us take home buying as an example. Any residential building can go green in most aspects. Aware consumers and corporates would know that a single aspect like using Green paints can contribute to the health of the home buyers as well as the environment.



What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your business and what are your strategies to overcome these sluggish market conditions and expand market share.


Like most businesses, ours was also affected by the pandemic. However, in the last two quarters, we are seeing a steady recovery and we are well on our way to Pre-COVID normalcy.


Nippon Paint (India) forayed into the health and wellness segment with the launch of ‘MEDIFRESH’ range of PPE (Personal Protective Equipments) products including Hand Sanitizer, Facial Masks, and Hand Gloves. As personal hygiene becomes a top priority for consumers across the world, Nippon Paint wanted to cater to the burgeoning market by providing affordable and effective products to combat the spread of Covid-19. Post Covid-19, there is a boost in personal and domestic hygiene measures being taken by consumers, with many individuals ensuring complete sanitization of their personal spaces. To cater to this segment, Nippon Paint has come up with MEDIFRESH and hopes to continue exploring newer ventures in the health and hygiene sector in the country. The products are manufactured under the private labelling of Nippon Paint MEDIFRESH and are designed following the current WHO norms.



Briefly talk of the role played by your firm in India’s green building space? Tell us about the specific products, services, and solutions offered by your firm – sectors, areas of application and scope?


Nippon Paint is a certified green company being the first paint manufacturing company in India to receive GreenCo rating and products certified as GreenCo by CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). In addition, Nippon Paint is the founding member of the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council). Recently, we received the IGBC fellowship award and, in this regard, Nippon Paint stands as an ideal example on how paint industry could use eco-friendly products and greatly lessen the negative effect caused to the natural surroundings. All of Nippon Paint’s products are eco-friendly. Using eco-friendly paints also decreases the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, which comes from many sources of interiors such as carpets, cupboards etc. Paints such as Nippon Paint Odourless Aircare does this and contributes to making homes safe for the residents. During summer, the ambient temperature of homes rises, which forces people to stay air-conditioned which in turn increases the energy consumption. Hence, choosing paint products with features like Heat Ban technology, such as Nippon Paint Durafresh Solo, can reduce surface temperature by up to 7°C. We also have products like Nippon Paint Kidz-all-in-one paint that caters to discerning parents towards creating uplifting environments for children. The product has features like Anti-formaldehyde technology for Clean Air, Anti-viral & Anti-bacterial for Safe touch and Superior Washability for Creativity. The product has recently received the NHA (National Health Academy) certification as well.



Tell us about your company’s approach towards research and innovation.


Nippon Paint’s scientists, chemists and technologists are fully dedicated to extensive research in paint technologies while at the same time maintaining a fine ecological balance of protecting, beautifying and enhancing the environment. Based on its in-depth market understanding, the team produces specialized and distinctive solutions for customers’ needs, ranging from home furnishings to high-rise facades and industrial applications.


As a leader in paint and coatings technology and a creator of exceptional innovation solutions delivering high satisfaction for customers, Nippon Paint generously invests in technological development as well as product and business innovation. With meticulous attention to detail and careful consideration of customers’ needs, Nippon Paint develops its products and services to enhance industries, lives and the environment with high performing, cost friendly green products – constantly pushing new frontiers in research & development.



As a manufacturer tell us about the critical challenges faced while introducing and marketing green products in India? To what extent is cost a deterrent in pushing green technologies and products?


Being a new entrant in the Indian market and talking about Green and eco-friendly products has always been a challenge initially; especially when the market had got used to existing brand names. We had to build our own ecosystem, create trusted partners, educate the ecosystem and the generate market recall to ensure Nippon Paint gets a bigger share of the pie in the industry.


With a 60-day window from the conception of the “Atom 2in1” product to launching it in the market, Nippon Paint had to expedite the product launch and market expansion process. Once we launched the product, we did high-impact advertising through various media like OOH, TVCs in popular channels to spread the word. We also scaled up our reach very quickly, we rose from 500 to 2000 dealers in a short span to make sure that lack of product availability does not hinder the consumer from purchasing the product. Furthermore, we wanted to develop an ecosystem around our brand. To fulfil this objective we have launched PRO store in key cities of TN which is a one-stop shop solution for a complete painting experience. Apart from offering customers an end-to-end painting solutions, it offers them colour consulting through virtual visualizers, expert painters’ services, all under one roof.


What are the new products launched or you plan to launch in the near future.


Our R&D and product development team worked tirelessly during the pandemic last year and we launched two innovative products, ATOM Fibra & Breeze Star, in spite of restricted operations. Both the products are doing exceedingly well in their respective segments. We launched BREEZE STAR in July and ATOM Fibra in November.


The BREEZE STAR is developed with a firm resolve to provide customers, a smooth and high sheen finish to their walls with exceptional coverage. The paint comes with a 3-year performance warranty. It is formulated with a pigment composition and rich polymer technology that provides an aesthetic look to the walls. BREEZE STAR also promotes a healthy interior space, ensuring that home owners occupy the house immediately after painting.With the launch of BREEZE STAR, we wish to offer our customers a paint that gives a high sheen finish, while being affordable.


The ATOM FIBRA is a breakthrough emulsion that is reinforced with micro fibers giving enhanced mechanical strength to the paint. Its disruptive technology is ideal for both interior as well as exterior wall surfaces. The paint comes with a 4-year performance warranty* and is formulated with reinforced microfibers that provides superior strength. The paint further comes with Anti-Carbonation technology, excellent coverage feature and better wash ability thereby giving a smooth finish to the walls. The ATOM FIBRA has been backed by years of market research and market learning.



What sort of government initiatives or measures are required to speed up green buildings & sustainable construction in India.


Green movement is growing both in popularity and scale. More companies are adopting trying to mitigate the adverse impacts caused to the environment due the pollution caused from industrial use and wastage. Also, increasingly, consumer groups like the millennials are very conscious about buying from companies that support sustainable practices which have minimum effect on the natural environment. Conservation of the environment is a serious commitment and it is our firm belief that this commitment should be taken up as a priority by major industries and manufacturing sectors, since contribute substantially to environment pollution. As a result, it is only natural to expect these industrial sectors to do their part



Detail us on the USP’s of your productsVis-à-vis competition.


Nippon Paint is the pioneer in bringing ‘functionality in decorative paint’ into the Indian paint market. Until then all Indian Cos were providing paints with the basic properties of color, finish, texture and protection. We launched our first functional product in 2006 ‘Medifresh 3-in-1’ Anti-Bacterial interior emulsion which when applied on walls will kill all harmful bacteria. Later we continued with more innovative products like Odorless paint, Air Care paint, Heat ban technology paint, Lamination technology paint, Anti-Virus paint etc. While our products are having functional properties they do not defy the basic properties of a paint. Moreover, all Nippon products are GreenPro certified products which are manufactured in a GreenCo certified plant. To summarize Nippon Products are more Greener than any competitor products.



Which according to you will emerge as the key growth drivers for this sector?


Decorative paint in India is purely driven by the domestic consumption, with a very low per capita consumption of 4 kg [it is 7 kg in developed countries] the market is bound to grow as the overall economy grows. In addition to this, Government led projects like - housing for all, infrastructure investments, development of smart cities and technology led reduced repainting intervals are the clear growth drivers for this sector.



Future outlook on the industry and from a company perspective.


Decorative industry is poised to grow in tandem with the core paint business + the adjacency business. Adjacency or Beyond paint business of Construction chemicals, building material products that are used for interior décor. Shift to organized sector from the unorganized is expected to happen; few more other big industry players will enter this industry. Healthy & ethical competition will lead to more innovative products and services to the consumers. Industry will witness ‘Vocal for Local that can become Global’.