With perfection, from Milan

With perfection, from Milan

4:56 AM, 7th August 2018
With perfection, from Milan

Mapei Construction Products India Pvt Ltd. offers world-class solutions to the Indian construction industry approved none other than their experts in Milan.

Mapei started its operations in India in 2011- a time when the country was brimming with numerous infrastructure projects, a time when major construction chemical companies had already established their operations in India to take advantage of the major boom that was about to happen.

But as they say- better late than never!! Mapei clearly needed a different strategy to define themselves in a crowded market. And what better USP can there be when they promise to provide products that are individually tested by experts in Milan and are certified to be of the quality and standards that Mapei offers globally!!

Background

Milan-based construction chemical company, Mapei International, started in 1937. A family-owned business, its gained its name globally as a leader in mortar and ceramics. This 81-year old company places the onus of its success on its strong R&D team, which is considered one of the best in the world. To further strengthen its research activities, Mapei spends 5 percent of its annual turnover into R&D to upgrade, modify and keep in pace with the demands of the constructions industry globally. The company today is present in 64 countries across the world and one of them is India.

Unlike many other companies, Mapei did not enter India as a joint venture or an acquisition or as a subsidiary. It entered on its own to keep its identity, values and its standards intact.

“Even before the launch of the company in India, many companies were eager to tie up with us. But Mapei believes in being in any country on its own. Mapei is more of a technical company. So, it is of utmost importance that we develop the right products for various construction projects. This can happen only when you play by your own rules,” said Sanjay Bhalla, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mapei Construction Products India Pvt Ltd.

Mapei India opened its first plant in 2011 in Bengaluru spreading across 2 acres, the plant mainly focuses on powders and liquids. Later with the rising demand from the market, Mapei started its second plant in Vadodara in 2015 which is spread across 8 acres. Along with power, liquid and epoxy plant, this plant also , makes specialized products like Tunnel Boring Machine which caters to underground construction projects like metro and irrigation projects.

“The Vadodara plant is one of the best construction chemicals plant in India. The plant is big enough to cater to almost the entire country. But to ensure better service and product delivery, the Vadodara plant caters to projects in northern parts including Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal and Bhutan along with central, eastern and western parts of India,” noted Bhalla.

But India is not an easy market. A country where the temperature, humidity and climatic conditions constantly keep changing as you travel north to south, one product cannot cater to every infrastructural project across the country. Hence, Mapei believes in making customized products that will suit the specific environmental demands of each project.

“India is a growing market with construction market growing at approximately 5 percent. There is a lot of opportunities for construction chemicals to be used in the industry. However, India is a big country where the temperature varies from -20?C to 50?C and these conditions change every 100 kilometres. We need products that can justify the varying temperatures and change as per local temperature conditions,” said Bhalla.

Growth Path

Despite being a late entrant in India, the company is growing in a much faster pace and banks a substantial CAGR of 25 percent per annum. The company, which earned Rs 97 crores last year is targeting to cross Rs 120 crores this fiscal year. This was purely due to the fact that the company stood true to the name it had earned globally.

“We got our first project, which was the Mumbai Airport, even before the company was set up in India. Trump Towers in Pune has used Mapei products. We have also bagged numerous strategic projects with the Defence projects primarily because of our brand reliability globally. Today, we are one of the strongest suppliers to various defence projects,” said Bhalla. Apart from numerous big projects in India, the company has also been a part of the Melamchi hydro projects, which is one of the longest water carrying tunnel in Nepal. The project was catered to from the Bengaluru plant of the company.

Striking the Right Cord

The secret to striking the right cord with your customers is by understanding their needs. And that is what Mapei does. Every customer is treated differently. After understanding their specific needs, demands and challenges, Mapei develops a customize product that will best suit their need.

“An imported raw material will be best suited to foreign temperature conditions. Products for India needs to be manufactured as per the local conditions. Hence, we started shortlisting various raw materials which were available in India, got it tested in our international labs to meet Mapei’s standards and then developed the products to best suit our customer’s demands,” Bhalla pointed out.

This way the products are suited to Indian temperatures, economized to fit the Indian pockets and optimized for fast product and service delivery by being closer to Indian customers. Mapei India offers a range of products including admixtures for concrete, materials for underground construction, grinding aids, specialized waterproofing and ceramic and stone materials and specialized floorings, sealants. The company is soon expected to add new products in the area of repairs & protection so as to cater to new demands from its Indian customers.

Strengthening your strength

Research and Development division is undoubtedly the company’s strongest pillar. Right from raw material sourcing to finished product in any country, every stage is closely monitored by the global R&D team to ensure that only the best comes out of Mapei.

“There are different construction challenges that come up from across the world and the R&D team in Milan is efficient enough to address them. In India too, although we have a team of R&D experts, every sample, every product is sent to Milan which is then tested by the R&D experts with their high-end equipment and only when the product meets their approval, is it launched in India,” said Bhalla.

“We believe in 100 percent accuracy. Even 99.9 percent is not enough for us,” added Bhalla. Not just this, every division of Mapei India is regularly trained and appraised on the production standards by the global experts themselves. Apart from strengthening new structurers, Mapei also hold a forte in renovating heritage structurers. While Mapei Milan has renovated several structurers across the world, Mapei India too has a few projects of renovating old monuments in the pipeline.

“While renovating old monuments, we have to use mortar which is similar to the one that was used 100 to 200 years ago. We have developed such mortars through our R&D. Our products have been tested by Archeological Society of India (ASI) and IIT and will be used in the renovation of certain historic monuments in the future,” said Bhalla.

Future growth

Mapei India caters not just to the Indian construction industry but also to neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, and Nepal. After having production sites in South and West zone, Mapei plans to add new plants and warehouses in the East and North Zone to ensure better service and product delivery in all the four zones of the country and around. It also plans to further strengthen its R&D unit by starting an R&D center in India soon.

“The next phase of growth will be in the east with numerous new projects coming up in that region. Also, a stronger base in the Eastern region will help us cater to Nepal and Bhutan more strongly,” said Bhalla.

There is no doubt that Mapei is slowly and steadily becoming the brand to engulf the Indian construction industry.

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