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Waterproofing industry breathing new hope

An in-depth analysis on the prospect of waterproofing industry and its key trends and issues
Increasing urbanisation and infrastructure boom have added oxygen not only waterproofing but overall construction chemical industry. The growth of Tier 2 and 3 cities has also put the waterproofing industry in a much better time. Let’s discuss what the industry leaders have to say. Future of waterproofingWaterproofing segment has the highest and the brightest potential to have an exponential growth in Indian market in all areas of construction industry. “The lack of awareness still prevailing in this segment is actually an opportunity in itself,” says Arijit Basu, Country Head – Roofing and Sealing (Bonding), Sika India. “However, with this enormous potential of growth there is also a danger of having various different companies and products flooding the market at the same time without giving the market the time to evolve and mature, which can lead to confusion and wrong selection and subsequent dissatisfaction at the end user level. We envisage a growth of a minimum 15 per cent CAGR in this segment for next couple of years.”
Dr Sanjay Bahadur, Global CEO, Construction Chemicals, Pidilite Industries, thinks differently as he says that waterproofing market in India is at a very premature state, since the bulk of the construction sites use traditional methods like brickbat coba and mud puska which have their own limitations. “We see this as an area where huge opportunities exist,” explains Dr Bahadur. “There is an urgency to inculcate the right material use, right dose and the correct application to ensure that we create healthy structures. As far development in the construction chemicals industry goes, there has been a strong growth rate of 17 per cent per annum.”
As the construction and manufacturing are gearing to boom in India, construction chemicals market has a huge growth potential. Many newly developed products give better performance and results; hence, there will be a shift in demand towards better performing products.
Increasing urbanisation and waterproofingInfrastructure development and increasing urbanisation have become a key growth driver for not only waterproofing but overall construction chemical industry. “We stay optimistic that there will be further momentum in these areas which can propel the growth of waterproofing segment significantly,” says Mr Basu. However, the major challenge would adopting such solutions at the design stage as like “investment” rather than “cost”.
Even Dr Bahadur echoes the same sentiment. He shares, “With growing urbanisation, the need of multi-dwelling apartments, vertical structures and environmental-friendly options are growing. At the same time, with the growth of Tier 2 and 3 cities and the older building needing revival the opportunity is vast.”
Key issues and trendsLack of skilled manpower is one of the biggest challenges and a major constraint faced by the sector. “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,” adds Dr Bahadur. “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.
“We believe ‘sustainable and green construction’ is the key market trends in construction chemicals and waterproofing solutions market in the country. More and more clients are demanding a green construction which is eco-friendly and puts less strain on natural resources, he adds”
Pidilite has developed an advanced high-end range of waterproofing system with 25 years of waterproofing and insulation warranty. “This solution will take waterproofing to the next level as far as high-end projects are concerned,” claims Dr Bahadur. “We believe this new solution will contribute significantly as the value proposition is very strong.”
According to Mr Basu, “When it comes to waterproofing, the most critical part is to ‘Do It First Time Right’.” However, the major issues actually start from the point of design and specification itself. Another larger challenge is the quality and expertise at the execution and installation level which finally leads to a non-performing structure in terms of water tightness and dissatisfied and helpless end users. The involvement of multiple stake holders without a clarity and responsibility matrix also puts the ownerships on wrong places, resulting in further disputes and pains.
However, as Mr Basu adds, the trend is encouraging with more focus and awareness developing on waterproofing and customers are becoming more inclined towards solutions rather than just buying products based on technical data sheets. There is also a trend to opt for more sustainable and user-friendly solutions.
Taking businesses to next levelSika India would like to stay patient and committed in closely working with all the stake holders. The company wants to ensure “best demonstrated practices” are adopted by sharing its rich, global experience and helping the local construction professionals to adopt and implement the technology solutions under Indian climate conditions and construction practices, by sharing its know-how and dissipating the same through hands on workshops and trainings.
Mr Basu revearls, “One of our major plans would be to address the refurbishment part of the waterproofing segment like in basements, water tanks, expansion joints and roofs, where there is a lot of pain area and a very less competence and know-how available. Sika would like to help the key owners not only to fix the problem for one monsoon but to show them that by adopting designed and proven Sika technology they can restore the performance and durability and above all get back their peace of mind.”
Whereas Pidilite looks at new construction as a definite area of opportunity as more and more smart cities getting developed. According to Dr Bahadur, “Another area of focus is to develop and promote products for each surface area of the house. These products will ensure that all waterproofing concerns are story of the past. We are also looking at being as service oriented as we can. From DFI to Tech Chat, we are exploring all areas and media to reach our influencers, users and consumers. Only when, we will be able to service them satisfactorily we will be able to leap to the next level.”
The playersSika is one of the leading players in waterproofing segment. With in-house R&D capability and a well-spread out manufacturing units in India, Sika is very close to the customers in terms of providing solutions and servicing the critical needs in terms of timely execution with proven performance. “Sika believes in solutions rather than products and hence does not have one-size-fits-all principle. We provide customised techno-commercial solutions to our customers based on their needs.
Innovation and improvement has been also Pidilite’s  mission, and it wants to continue being in the same sphere. “The need of the hour is to carve a niche which supports new-age construction with improved technology which supports the life of the construction,” adds Dr Bahadur.
———————–When it comes to waterproofing, the most critical part is to ‘Do It First Time Right’.
Arijit Basu, Country Head – Roofing and Sealing (Bonding), Sika India————————–As far development in the construction chemicals industry goes, there has been a strong growth rate of 17 per cent per annum.
Dr Sanjay Bahadur, Global CEO, Construction Chemicals, Pidilite Industries

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