Kansai Nerolac Paints has established itself as the leader in industrial coatings segment and one of the leading companies in the decorative segment in India. H M Bharuka, managing director of Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd, is in Nepal to launch ‘U-Can’ -- an environmental friendly initiative which encourages people to convert used Nerolac Paints cans into beautiful flower pots. Kriti Bhuju of Republica talked to Bharuka about the paint industry and Nerolac’s plan for Nepal. Excerpts:
Why did Kansai Nerolac plan to expand its presence in Nepal?
Nepal is a country full of natural resources. We want to expand our presence here as it is very important for Nepal to use lead-free paints to protect its environment. As our products are lead-free, we want to expand our market here as Nepal has a huge potential.
Nerolac Paints has a long history but it entered Nepal only in October 2012. Why did it take such a long time?
We were looking for the right partner to enter here. As the local partner can understand the consumers better, it took us time to find the perfect partner.
In Nepal, the housing business has remained stagnant for the past few years. Has this affected your business?
Housing business is an important market for paint industry. But 80 percent of the demand for our products comes from the maintenance industry. Hence, the slowdown in the housing business does not have much impact on our sales.
What is the market share of Kansai Nerolac Paints in Nepal? As there is tough competition in the market, how do you plan to increase your market share?
We enjoy 18 percent market share in India and 14 percent in Nepal. We always try to give right product to the right market and fulfill the consumer’s unfulfilled demand. When we give right product and reach to the consumers, the market share will increase automatically.
Why should Nepalis choose Kansai Nerolac over other brands available in the market?
Our paints are environment friendly. Painting is not just about colors, it should be chemical free and healthy as well so that it does not have negative impact on painters and the consumers. We promote healthy home paints by producing lead-free, low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and no VOC products. We have been receiving good response for these products.
Which segment do you see growing faster in Nepal and how is the market growing here in Nepal?
The decorative segment is growing faster in Nepal as the industrial market is very small. Though there has been slow growth of paint industry globally, our sales in Nepali market grew by 30 percent this year compared to last year.
What are your future plans for Nepali market?
We have been receiving positive response from the Nepali market as our data shows that our sales has grown three-fold since we launch our products here. We are the No.3 paint brand in Nepal and we are aiming to become No. 2 brand in next two years.
We will also be launching two products within six months. As the market gets matured, we will be opening exclusive shops here. Besides, we also want to educate and involve consumers and painters to use environmental friendly products.
How long has Shah Rukh Khan been associated with your brand?
Shah Rukh Khan has been associated with our brand for the past five years. We have conducted only one program with him in India. We feel great to bring him in Nepal. For Nepal, we are planning to tie up with local stars in the near future.
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