Construction chemicals market was expected to grow by around 20 per cent during 2012-16. The industry, however, seems in the right path. And the recent construction and manufacturing boom only strengthen its importance
As the bulk of construction sites use traditional methods, the construction chemical market in India is at a very premature state. If we inculcate the right material usage, right dosage and the correct application to ensure, we can experience a huge growth.
“As far as development in the construction chemicals industry goes, there has been a strong growth rate of 17 per cent per annum,” says Sanjay Bahadur, Global CEO, Construction Chemicals, Pidilite Industries. “The construction chemicals market is having huge growth potential due to the construction and manufacturing boom in India. Many newly developed products are giving better performance; hence, there will be a shift in demand towards products offering better performance.”
However, Dow Corning feels that there is still a lot of time to take off. “A lot of things are happening in the construction industry, and the initiatives are being taken by the government now,” emphasises Nitin Kamat, National Sales Manager, Dow Corning India Pvt. Ltd. “It is more about rolling the policies, and the key for it is implementation. You may have the best policies but without implementing them rightly you may not get anywhere. Infrastructure is the key to the country’s economic growth. We particularly see a good phase will come. The government tends to emphasise on infrastructure.”
Key competitive factorsThe primary challenge is the lack of skilled manpower, and the industry is trying hard to keep their workforce educated with the new skills and technologies.
According to Mr Bahadur, “The industry’s biggest challenges are low awareness regarding the benefits of construction chemicals, inadequate knowledge on proper usage of these chemicals and lack of enforcement of quality standards on construction activities. About 85 per cent of contractors and builders are not aware of the key advantages of using construction chemicals and have limited knowledge on their proper applications.”
Going greenThere is a need to shift towards green virtues in the construction chemical sector. “Green construction is the current trend in construction chemicals and waterproofing solutions market in the country,” says Mr Bahadur. “Our consistent efforts are to generate green solutions for various areas of application catering to the needs of complex high rise-structures. We have launched LEC (low energy consumption) which is a waterproofing cum insulation system.”
Even Deepak Kanitkar, General Manager – Technology and Business Development, Chembond Chemicals Ltd., thinks so. “We are very much committed to this,” Mr Kanitkar says. “We believe that we have to protect our nature and give something sustainable to the future generations. Wherever it is possible, we are trying to avoid the use of solvents. So the volatile organic content from our side is always less. We are discussing with our customers particularly the cement manufactures to reduce the use of cement. We optimise our solution in whatever way we can help sustain the nature.”
Expected growth It is expected that the systems approach will drive the construction chemicals market. Then there is sustainable construction which is going to be the next big thing.
According to Mr Kamat, “It is all reflection of how the economy takes up as the industry picks up the demand for construction chemicals will rise. So the good thing is that we are able to keep with the pace of the demand. Once the industry starts shaping up and the demand increases we will come up with new products.”
Mr Bahadur believes that waterproofing is going to be the biggest driver because it is a systems approach and not product approach. However, he thinks that the waterproofing industry needs proper knowledge and training. “The waterproofing industry only can succeed if we use right material with right application. Untrained applicators are another concern which we are slowly addressing through our Dr. Fixit Service which involves site trials, site demos and training applicators.”
Challenges from low-cost segmentsDow Corning doesn’t think that the company is really affected by the cheap imports. Mr Kamat says, “We are also part of the same business environment, so nobody is faired in that context. Our way of differentiation is that we are talking more about quality but not about price. The low-cost imports will make a noise, but it is not a really big thing to be scared about.”
Even Mr Kanitkar shares the same thoughts. He opines, “To certain extent, we don’t believe that is a threat to construction chemical manufacturers. If you talk about any concrete products like certain admixtures, I don’t think it is possible for anybody to import it from China. We are not having any issue in this segment.”
Green construction is the current trend in construction chemicals and waterproofing solutions market in the country Sanjay Bahadhur, Global CEO,Construction Chemicals, Pidilite Industries. We are discussing with our customers particularly the cement manufactures to reduce the use of cement. Deepak Kanitkar, General Manager – Technology & Business Development, Chembond Chemicals Ltd.
You may have the best policies but without implementing them rightly you may not get anywhereNitin Kamat, National Sales Manager, Dow Corning India Pvt. Ltd.