29 May 2020

Tradepoint- Waterproofings Association

Bringing Standardisation in  Waterproofing


The Waterproofers Association of India (WAI), currently having more than 100 members has been conceptualised as a non-profit organisation dedicated towards the upliftment of the Waterproofing fraternity. The main objective of WAI is to provide a unified voice and a dignified platform to the WATERPROOFERS in the construction industry. SANDEEP CHOUDHRY, PRESIDENT, DIXIT BAJAJ, VP and KUNJJAN POPAT, DIRECTOR- WESTERN REGION, WATERPROOFERS ASSOCIATION OF INDIA spoke to ROHAN AMBIKE about the idea behind forming the association, its role and future plans.



What was the thought that led to the formation of the Water proofers Association of India and what are the objectives of the association?


SC: Every trade has its own association, irrespective of the industry, there are collaborations and associations like Builders Association of India or the Construction Chemical Manufacturers Association to name a few. However, there was no association which was taking care of the interest or the growth of the waterproofing sector. Waterproofing industry is one of the most crucial aspect of any building structure. However, it is still an unorganised sector. Hence, we thought of bringing around some changes in the structure through standardisations, training formats and seminars to bring an awareness about the role of waterproofing in any structure.


KP: We aim to come out with a quality waterproofing that will be carried out in the construction industry. Also the emphasis shall be on the fact that the waterproofers will not be looked down upon & any malpractices in terms of exploitation of the waterproofers interest shall be legally taken care of. Simultaneously we are trying to rope in some of the construction chemical manufacturers as well in this. A good waterproofing should be part of initial design also.

DB: In short, this association is formed for the waterproofing applicators / contractors. That is why the mandate behind this is the growth and development of the waterproofers. So, the growth of the waterproofers will propel the growth of all those associated including the manufacturers & the petty labour contractors.


The manufacturers simply sell the product either to the Applicator or to the client without giving them the know how to apply it. This is where the problem lies. There are high chances of the blame game being played and the applicators are made the scapegoat. Hence we are going to take care of the skilling and the certification of the applicators after proper training sessions. We aim to maintain the quality and the necessary standards in the waterproofing sector. The industry is dynamic, and it is not about the traditional methods in terms of application. We are focusing on making the applicators aware of the new techniques and the products that are revolutionizing the industry.




The waterproofing market which was a `2605 crore industry in 2016 is expected to cross the `5000 crore mark by 2020. How do you view this rise in the market?


DB: The traditional polymers sold at about `80 - 100 per kg, are becoming obsolete and people have accepted the fact that these products are not up to the mark. They are accepting products that are better in terms of quality. Also, the purpose of using superior materials instead of the normal polymers has been realised. In addition to this, the actual cost of the product has gone up to `200- 300 per kg. The most important factor is that the entire waterproofing fraternity has come up with an idea of bringing awareness amongst the architects and consultants who actually formulate the BOQs and the schedules as to the availability of the superior products suitable for specific requirements. The architects are realising the fact that polymers are not the only waterproofing material. There are combination of materials that are to be used to get the best waterproofing system.


Moreover, Infrastructure projects like Metros, Airports and Elevated Corridors also add to the growth of the industry and bring in an improvement on the waterproofing criteria. Projects planned for underground structures require stringent norms when it comes to waterproofing which should be of the highest quality.


SC: In last couple of years, the specifications have improved and are further improving which is a good sign. However, this needs to be channelized properly. When the manufacturers start giving a guarantee,this will rope in a proper certification of the applicator for which the training sessions will be coordinated & facilitated at the association’s end. This in turn leads to a channelized growth of the industry.


KP: The clients such as MMRCL and others are insisting on the manufacturers to give the guarantee. Earlier, it was just that the waterproofers were giving guarantees. The manufacturers did not give any guarantee on the application. Hence the clients are now insisting on the manufacturers to give guarantee. Today the bridges need to have stringent waterproofing norms which was missing earlier. Such awareness amongst the client will no doubt lead to a complete revolution in the waterproofing industry.




Can you list down some of the short comings for the waterproofing industry?


SC: The major hurdle for the industry is the lack of standardization of the waterproofing methods and also the numerous Over the Counter (OTC) products. If people randomly go for products endorsed by a celebrity, and do not know the exact application, this is a matter of concern. However thankfully such campaigns are actually helping in brining awareness about the importance of waterproofing.


DB: Any kind of structure needs waterproofing. Now a days waterproofing is not being done seriously and that has caused the buildings or the structures to degrade in terms of quality at an alarming rate. Waterproofing today, accounts for a mere 1 per cent of the total construction cost. However it has to be understood that it is this 1 per cent that will save the rest 99 per cent of the construction cost. If that 1 per cent is compromised, the entire structure loses its life at almost 1/4th than its actual life. The structure that is supposed to last for say a 100 years has degraded in strength in just 30 years. Especially in cities like Mumbai, where there is excessive atmospheric saline attack, corrosion and similar problems. Waterproofing involves a lot of technicalities in terms of the site location, the climate, the factors affecting the strength of the material and much more. All this has to be considered when it comes to deciding a system for waterproofing. This is unfortunately given a back seat.


KP: The designers and most importantly the builders are not too keen on waterproofing. They do not realise that an improper waterproofing ultimately leads to a failure of the entire building. If the waterproofing is not done properly , the whole purpose of the structure may also fail




On a concluding note, how do you look at the future of waterproofing market in India?


DB: What we look at is that the market will be at around 7 – 8folds, looking at the initiatives that are been taken by the corporates to educate people. Through the initiatives of WAI, the waterproofers are going to be united and shall take the best possible measures to educate the architects to standardise the specifications through seminars conducted by the experts of the fraternity. Considering all this, we look forward to a decent growth in the waterproofing industry. In terms of revenue, we cannot predict as the industry today is highly unorganised. We are looking for applicators who wish to enhance their skills and knowledge.




Tell us about the key focus area of the Waterproofers Association of India?


DB: Our Association focusses on the following:

  • Maintaining a unity amongst the Waterproofing Fraternity
  • Standardization of the waterproofing specifications
  • Organising soft skill development programs throughout the country
  • Providing Business Networking opportunities
  • Organising Educational, Training & Best Practices Seminars from worldwide associations such as International Concrete Institute, American Shotcrete Association, American Society of Concrete Contractors
  • Providing Reliable Information & Resource Center
  • Assisting in advocacy before Govt. & Private Sector
  • Providing Business/Payment default information within the members.
  • Hand holding through expert groups
  • Enhancing entrepreneurial & technical skills of the members
  • Extending benefits through established trade chambers in India and abroad.
  • Maintaining website having latest information & trade defaulters cautions.
  • Providing opportunity to attend International & Domestic Trade shows


For more details visit: www.wai.org.in

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