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Interaction | December 2013

Entry of foreign companies and technologies have changed the mindset.......

With growing disposable incomes, there has been a rise in the demand for better-quality construction work, and thus the Indian consumers are opening up to the concept of waterproofing, said Swapnil R Deshmukh, Marketing Manager, Chembond Chemicals Ltd, in an interview with ELIZA WAGHMARE.  

What is your current market share of waterproofing industry in India? How much do you think the industry is set to grow in the next two years?
 We are pre-dominantly known for admixtures segment and hence our market share as far as waterproofing is concerned is far below than other leading competitors in the industry. However, we today have complete range of products and will be soon in the market on par with other established players.

 

The industry is well set to grow in coming future. And with the kind of awareness that is now getting created in the industry, it is all set to achieve new heights. Increase in manufacturing activities, industrial growth, and heightened investments in infrastructure and real-estate including high levels of investments by the government are likely to be the main drivers for the construction chemicals market in the future.

 

The Indian consumer is slowly opening up to the concept of using waterproofing as a part of the construction works and becoming aware of the long-term advantages of using these chemicals during construction activities. The development of construction activities in the rural areas is expected to provide an impetus to the growth of this industry in India. With growing disposable incomes, there has been a rise in the demand for better-quality construction work and most contractors are realising the importance of using construction chemicals for better quality.

 

What kind of products do you offer into the waterproofing segment? Who are your major customers?
 We have complete range of waterproofing products from integral waterproofing, crystalline, waterstop, membranes to coatings, which are PU based, acrylic based, cementitous, etc. Our customers include residential as well as commercial buildings and different projects where our products have been used successfully.

 

Do you have any new generation products which offer integrated waterproofing solutions? What are the latest technological innovations you have implemented?
 We have currently launched two new products, KEM PROOF 86 and KEM PROOF 87, which are elastomeric waterproof exterior coating and elastomeric waterproof roof coating respectively. Due to environmental and toxicology concerns and regulations, water-borne liquid applied acrylic co-polymer has taken over the solvent-borne system. It has become a popular choice of waterproofing material in recent years.

 

Acrylic co-polymer is a synthetic organic resin used as a binder to 'glue' pigments, extenders and special fillers together. It is polymerised from an acrylic monomer with other monomer(s) forming long-chain backbones of polymers with high molecular weights. The acrylic co-polymer resin used in waterproofing coating has good UV weathering resistance, is flexible, breathable, and watertight. The resin with other ingredients must be allowed to build-up sufficient dry film thickness (DFT) to produce a film or membrane that creates waterproof and elastomeric waterproofing coating.

 

Are Indian products on par with international standards?
 Indian products are very much in par with international standards. They are also easy adaptability to foreign technology and the entry of foreign companies in the construction industry has helped to change the mindset of the people.

 

We have taken up few important steps to widen our self in the industry. A new plant at Ranipet at South is one of the important step to mark our expansion. We have well-placed R&D centre at Dudhwada near Baroda and at Mahape, Navi Mumbai. Our company is also in a process of expanding branch offices at UP to cater to the Northern market. With new distributor set-up and further more channel expansions, we are set to achieve more heights.

 

Do clients see waterproofing as an unnecessary additional expense during construction?
 Today the mind frame of the customers is changing and they have realised the essence of healthy construction practices. Indian consumers are slowly opening up to the concept of using waterproofing as a part of the construction works and are becoming aware of the long-term advantages of using these chemicals during construction activities. The consumer is becoming more educated and demanding better-quality work from contractors, due to which they have started using construction chemicals. With growing disposable incomes, there has been a rise in the demand for better-quality construction work and most contractors are realising the importance of using construction chemicals for better quality.

 

Repair of existing structure today occupies a major market for the construction chemicals industry. Although waterproofing will be one of the part but other products which includes rust-removing chemicals, grouts, ready-mix mortars, corrosion- coating compounds, and epoxy mortars among others.

 

However, trained manpower is a major issue in most of the industries. Is there enough trained manpower out there that can properly use these products?
 Construction chemical companies have now started concentrating on training and development of labourers along with the development of new products. Meets and workshop are being arranged which includes on-site training and correct usage of chemicals. Awareness in terms of data sheet and brochures are readily available on website as well as hard copies as and when needed. Few organised companies have also come out with applicator care cell which help them in providing right kind of solutions for their problems.

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