Our PROTECTON Division has crossed Rs. 1,000 Crore within a short period of time: Sanjay Chowdhury, Vice President & Business Head - Protecton, Berger Paints India

  • June 21, 2023

How would you rate the company's financial performance in FY 2022-23? What's the forecast for FY 2023-24?

We are growing at a CAGR of 14%. We will maintain this growth rate in the years to come if economic volatility stabilises to some extent.

Performance of the Protecton in different segments in FY 2022-23? What's the future roadmap? 

India is poised to be better than other world economies. It is the fastest growing economy and by 2030, it will be touching the US $3 Trillion. It will move to the third position from the current fifth position. There is a tremendous amount of investment into infrastructure by the government. There will be nine times more investment in railways. Similarly, power, refinery, and other relevant segments too have phenomenal growth prospects. There is a huge investment into Gati Shakti which is basically integrating roadways, railways, and airways. It will be giving tremendous impetus to accessibility and delivery of products to customers in the shortest period of time.

All these government initiatives along with other initiatives like bullet trains, Vande Bharat, etc. shall be opening up new opportunities for Protecton. We are suppliers to iconic projects like Vande Bharat, Pamban Bridge at Rameswaram, Chenab Bridge at Jammu, and such opportunities will be helping us to maintain our leadership position. We will continue to maintain this position because the majority of the customers prefer buying from us as we do not sell products but we sell solutions.

How has Berger Protecton Division performed in FY 2022-23? What's the plan for the future?

It gives me immense pleasure to present our accomplishment in the FY 2022-23 which has been a year of good progress, a year that began with challenges and ended with considerable success. We are growing at the fastest speed within a short period of time which helped us to cross 1,000 crore. We plan to maintain a similar kind of growth in the coming future.

Capex investment in FY 2022-23 and projects/facilities where the company has invested? Capex plans for the company in FY 2023-24 and how will it help the company in the long term with respect to investment in Lucknow, Jejuri, and Pangarh?

The Jejuri plant is already functional. In Pangarh, we have just purchased the land and will take time to commission. At the Sandila facility, production has just started and it is focused on decorative only.

Recently, the Sandila facility was inaugurated by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh. How do you see the largest facility catering to the rising demand for the company's products?

The reason for setting up the plant is to meet the demand in North India. Berger is growing fast and we are establishing plants in strategic locations where we foresee that demand may increase.

Innovations and tie-ups are key to Berger Protection success. How have innovations and strategic tie-ups increased market share of the company?

Our whole game is based on the innovation strategy because until and unless you create something new nothing will strengthen your leadership and put you ahead of the competition. We do a lot of innovative products and processes by reaching out to the customers.

As mentioned earlier, we don’t just sell products but solutions. We do a lot of interactions with consultants, architects, and engineers. We are having close coordination with actual users and applicators. We generally listen to the customer feedback and requirements to create solutions for them. Our motto is to always add value to the activities of our customers and that is how Berger Protecton is the preferred name for customers. For example, we do a lot of supply to railways and it has in turn awarded us for saving national assets from corrosion. In our country, 5-7% of the assets are corroded due to lack of awareness on the mitigation of corrosion. If the corrosion is not handled properly, there is asset loss but there are safety issues as well.

Hence, it is of paramount important for us to create awareness areas and save the national assets by providing innovative solutions. We have given solutions for Rameshwaram bridge, Pamban bridge where the area is highly corrosive. We have provided solutions for Chenab bridge, besides we have given solutions for airports and ports. Our team has a Can Do Attitude and Never Say Die Spirit has transformed the work towards our customers as a result we have done some phenomenal work.

Both in the sea and air, we are seeing increased activities in Indian geography. How is Berger Protection planning to increase its presence in both the sectors through product innovation and strategic tie-ups?   

This year our major focus will be defence because of our Prime Minister’s dream plan, Make in India, Vocal for Local, and Atmanirbhar Bharat concept. We have to focus on the Airports, Navy, Railways, Ports, and Ship building. These will open up a lot of opportunities for us and we are working closely with the government in this direction.

Level of automation and digitalization projects carried out in FY 2022-23? How do you plan to move ahead on this front both on brownfield and greenfield projects?

In today’s era, digitalization is critical to success and the government is launching many initiatives. People are talking about UPI, Direct Benefit Transfers, etc. Ease of doing business, reaching out to customers, and providing solutions are being done effectively and in a faster way through digital platforms in a more effective manner. We have to be at par with the current market requirement.

Key sustainability initiatives of the company across facilities and where do you stand vis-a-vis your counterparts?

Sustainability is our major focus in the years to come and we are gradually shifting towards low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) products that will help the environment. We are implementing our waste to wealth program where whatever is used is then recycled back. The Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3R) is our Mantra. We are basically controlling the ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) activities in such a meticulous way that the plant remains low discharge and without any harmful environmental effects.

We are utilizing solar power so that consumption of electricity can be reduced. We are also bringing heat insulation coating to the market. That is another area that requires attention due to global warming and increase in the temperature. To reduce the inside temperature and thus decrease the cost of running an air-conditioner will help in decreasing the electricity use. In the longer run, it will decrease the use of coal and ultimately carbon footprint will be lesser.

When is Berger Paints India planning to achieve Net Carbon Zero and what are the different milestones set up by the company to achieve it?

We are working towards achieving Net Carbon Zero and shall be announcing the targets in the due course of time. All the cumulative effects of the efforts will be visible very soon.