29 May 2020

Interaction - Dr Subash Cipy, MD, CIPY Polyurethanes Pvt Ltd

Our challenge is to sustain our number one position

This is an innovative technology driven company with a modest beginning, from a 600 sqft tin shed and a meager capital of $200, it has metamorphosed into a state-of-the art factory with a first-of-its-kind completely automated plant with a capacity of 50 tons per day, at Talawade, near Pune. In an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES, Dr. SUBASH CIPY, MD, CIPY POLYURETHANES PVT. LTD, talks about their pioneering role in offering new products and discusses the Indian and global industrial flooring market scenario.



Tell us briefly your assessment of the industrial flooring market in India in terms of volume and value.

The global concrete floor coatings market is expected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2020. Region-wise, North America leads the market and is closely followed by Asia-Pacific in terms of consumption. As regards to India, various figures are being flaunted in the media about the market size of resinous floorings. I feel it could be roughly around Rs,400 Crore, excluding cementitious floorings and underlays. I am afraid, the flooring volumes can’t be precisely estimated, as this segment is broadly fragmented with 1mm, 2mm, 3mm, and 5 mm, thick systems with varied rates.




Tell us about the various types of industrial floorings offered by your company, in terms of types and applications.

You are aware that Cipy was the first to produce floor coatings in India, in 1985. So, as true pioneers, we offer numerous types of floorings based on a myriad of technologies like Epoxy, PU, EPU, PU-Concrete, Polyaspartic, PUD, MCU and Polyurea. We have waterborne, solvent-borne, and solvent free flooring systems to suit the diverse applications for industries ranging from automobiles to F&B.



Cutting edge technologies featured in your products. What distinguishes your products from competitors?

I have spent four decades in this arena, and feel that product innovation is the key to Cipy’s success as the market leader. Though we sell more epoxies than others, because of the sheer market size, we predominantly outshine in PU floorings, as we brought this pioneering technology for the first time in India. Though a few manufacturers produce PU-Concrete floorings, they seldom manufacture PU-Self leveling and roller coatings. Hybrid flooring is Cipy’s forte, which makes us stand tall among the various competitors.




What are the demand drivers for industrial flooring products in India?

The Make in India initiative by PM Narendra Modi has opened great vistas for industrial floorings. Epoxies are ruling the market, which is precisely due to the presence of many organised and unorganised players. Automobile companies still pose huge opportunities, followed by Pharma. The emerging trend is PU-Concrete floorings pushed by F&B manufacturers.



What is the average lifecycle and ease of maintenance of your flooring products?

One can’t decisively comment about the life cycle of the industrial flooring, as it depends on several factors such as floor conditions, static and dynamic loads, maintenance regimes, and traffic situations, to name a few. Some of our flooring installations have stood the test of time of almost 12 years. One should remember that an epoxy flooring wears out by an average of around 100-200 microns per year, where as PU wears out by just 50-100 microns per year. The life expectancy of PU is much greater than epoxies. With regards to maintenance, regular cleaning with floor scrubbing machines that has soft bristles is quite adequate for our floorings.




Any new product launches from your company. Their unique features.

As I told you, our strength is research and innovation. We have a state-of-the-art laboratory exclusively for floorings where new products are being developed very frequently. Recently, we launched the epoxy terrazzo floorings for the first time in the country. We have developed clear epoxy and PU floorings, which are going to be the major constituents of decorative floorings.




Impact of GST on your products.

GST is the biggest tax reform since independence and it has changed the indirect tax landscape of the country, subsuming over a dozen Central and State taxes. Our products fall under the 18 per cent and 28 per cent GST brackets. There is no direct GST impact on us. However, the positive impact is on the flooring applicators who buy materials and execute at customer’s facilities. They will have a net saving of 6-8 per cent, which will be a big relief to the customers.




Major challenges faced by the industrial flooring market in India.

The crucial task in this price sensitive market is retaining the price structure without upsetting the quality and performance. The only way we found to overwhelm this challenge was to go for backward integration. At Cipy, the challenge is to sustain our number one position in the coming years, which itself is the foremost toil in view of many new companies entering into the fray. The flooring market is going to witness a major overhaul in the future, as the customers are now looking beyond the conventional epoxy systems.




Your strategy to play in a price sensitive market.

As you’ve guessed rightly, the flooring has become a commodity market where price plays the villain. Our strategy is very candid. We are well armed to confront the locals as well as multinationals and beat them on price and quality, because we are the only company who has backward integrated products like amine and amide curing agents, colour concentrates, and polyester polyols, manufactured at our brand new facilities.




Tell us about the new growth areas identified by your company to strengthen business operations this year.

Every year, we have only one mission: To maintain the leadership status in floorings. And we have successfully done it for the past few years. This year, we will focus on commercial flooring which is the new growth area for us. We are the first to introduce this innovative concept, which will have tremendous growth potential in India.




Future outlook for the industry and from your company’s perspective.

The country’s economy is booming. The GST impact may earn 2 per cent GDP additionally, and the industry is ecstatic about the bright future ahead. Our focus will be on both, industrial and commercial floorings, aiming at a growth rate of 20 per cent, whereas the CAGR of the Indian flooring industry is around 12-15 per cent. I feel, epoxy floorings have overrun their shelf lives and Polyaspartics and PU will definitely hold a future, as both are rapid curing with so many welcome features.


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