18 October 2019

Interaction- Dr Subhash Cipy, MD. CIPY Polyurethanes

Our strength is research and innovation

 

From a modest beginning, from a 600 sqft tin shed and a meager capital of $200,  CIPY POLYURETHANES  has metamorphosed to a technology driven, Innovative and sustainable company. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, Dr. SUBASH CIPY, MD, CIPY POLYURETHANES PVT. LTD, talks about his company’s product offerings and future outlook on the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A latest report on the industrial floor coatings market has projected the growth of the Industrial flooring market to reach $ 161.4 billion by the end of the 2023. According to you, where does the market in India stand in terms of volume and value.

The floor coatings’ market is growing phenomenally worldwide. Region-wise, North America leads the table and is closely followed by Asia-Pacific in terms of consumption. Various figures are being flaunted in the media about the market size of resinous floorings in India.

 

I feel it could be roughly around RS.,500-600 Crore, excluding cementitious underlays and vinyl floorings. I am afraid, the flooring volumes can’t be precisely estimated, as this segment is vastly fragmented with 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 5 mmthick systems with varied rates.This segment is growing steadily@15% CAGR in the country.

 

 

Tell us about the various types of industrial floorings offered by your company, in terms of types and applications.

In India, we are the market leaders with over 25% market share and offer a myriad of technologies for floorings, right from the conventional epoxies, polyurethanes, EPUs, PU-Concreteto Polyaspartics. We have waterborne, solvent-borne, and solvent free flooring systems to suit to the diverse applications for industries.Very recently, we ventured into decorative floorings which include Metallic epoxies, 3D floorings, flaked floorings and epoxy terrazzo floorings. Industrial floorings serve diverse industries ranging from pharma and auto to F&B, while decorative floorings cater to office and commercial spaces.

 

 

Cutting edge technologies featured in your products. What are the USP’s of your products/solutions Vis-à-vis competition 

I have spent four decades in this arena since 1976, and feel that product innovation is the key to Cipy’s success as the market leader. Though we sell more epoxies than our competitors due to the sheer market size, we are dominating in PU floorings predominantly, as we brought this pioneering technology for the first time in India. Though a few manufacturers produce PU-Concrete floorings, they seldom manufacture PU-Self levelling and roll-on coatings. Hybrid EPU flooring, where urethane linkages are infused into the epoxy polymer matrix, is Cipy’sUSP, which makes us stand tall among the various competitors.

 

 

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

We are very conscious of our planet and the environment we are living in. The underlying strength of Cipy is R&D where innovative ideas are conceived and designed. At Cipy, sustainability means a cohesive business approach to continual improvement in environmental protection and social responsibility. We envisage a greener world in which our innovations help reduce consumption of the depleting oil sources. Our endeavour is to produce products based on renewable resources, employing green chemistry. Castor oil, Castor oil based polyols, Cardanol based Phenalkamines and amides are predominantly employed in our formulations. We do not use any hazardous chemical like chromes or leads.

 

 

What are the demand trends driving the market for industrial flooring products in India? Which sectors are major demand drivers in India. 

When we introduced floor coatings, the pharma and F&B segments were in a very nascent state in India. The advent of Maruti Suzuki in 80s changed the automobile scenario of the country and we focussed our efforts in auto and auto-ancillary segments. Even today, our major revenues are being generated from this segment, as we are well present in 90 percent of the automobile companies. Auto sector was, however, facing a great recession since the last one year which forced us to look into other untapped segments. Today, our focus area is F&B and with our PU-Concrete technology, we have made rapid strides in this segment. The futuristic trend is for epoxy terrazzo floorings for airports, shopping malls and multiplexes. As many new airports are being announced recently by the Govt, we see a great demand for decorative floorings. Car park flooring is another emerging market.

 

 

Tell us about the challenges faced by the industrial flooring market in India. What are the steps taken to overcome them?

Many still consider that floorcoating is an avoidable luxury. Our challenge is to convert these unyielding Non-usersinto Users category. This is a huge market which is yet to be untapped.

 

We need to convince the non-users that the unprotected concrete floor corrodes and erodesand needs protection and decoration like metals and walls. Oils, fuels and chemicals penetrate through the concrete floor and go into the ground, thus polluting the ground water. All concrete floors and kitchens need to be shielded with floor coatings. The other challenge is to explore the small users’ segment like hospitals, clinics, café, kitchens, garages etc with the deployment of small applicator networks nationwide. Another challenge we face in the market is the mushrooming of small timers who flood the market with low cost epoxy floorings. Our endeavour is to make the gullible customers aware of epoxy’s shortcomings and higher filler loadings and convert them to PU, EPU or PU Concrete followers. But in my opinion, the major challenge to Cipy is to sustain our number one position in the coming years, which itself is the foremost toil in view of many new companies entering into the fray.

 

 

With price being an important factor in any product, what is your strategy for the volatile market?

Yes, price is a big factor in the flooring segment. As you’ve guessed rightly, the flooring has become a commodity market where price plays the villain. The crucial task in this price sensitive market is retaining the price structure without upsetting the quality and performance. The only way we found to overwhelm this volatile situation was to go for backward integration. Our strategy is very candid. We are well armed to confront the locals as well as multinationals and beat them on price and quality, because we are the only company who has backward integrated products like amine and amide curing agents, colour concentrates, NCO prepolymers and polyester polyols.

 

 

 

 

Any new product launches from your company, their unique features

As I told you, our strength is research and innovation. We have a state-of-the-art laboratory exclusively for floorings where new products are being churned out very frequently. Recently, we launched the epoxy terrazzo floorings for the first time in the country. We have developed clear epoxy and PU floorings, which are going to be the major constituents of decorative floorings. Hybrid polyurea is another development which finds uses in waterproofing applications. ESD flooring, sans carbon fibres, is again a brand new concept in conductive/static dissipative flooring segment.

 

 

Future outlook for the industry and from your company’s perspective

The ministry of civil aviation, under UDAN scheme, has announced to build 100 airports in the next decade at an estimated cost of 4 lakh crore. Epoxy terrazzo floorings are being installed worldwide in airports and I’m pretty sure, this trend will be followed in India too, replacing granites and marbles. With growing emphasis on urbanisation and big ticket infrastructure projects by Modi Govt 2.0, I feel that there will be a huge potential for commercial floorings and car parks. Apart from maintaining the market leadership position every year, we will be focusing on commercial floorings which are the new growth areas for us. The flooring market in India is going to witness a major overhaul in the future, as the customers are now looking beyond the conventional epoxy systems.




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