Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Interview - M. Vivekanandan (Flowcrete India)

Redefining benchmarks


With a track record of 25 years of operational excellence, Flowcrete India forges ahead to meet the dynamic demand markets. M. Vivekanandan, Managing Director, Flowcrete India Pvt Ltd shares with
Construction Opportunities  the evolving market trends and the strategies to leap forward as a market leader.


Brief us about the current market value of industrial flooring sector in India? Give us an understanding of the role played by your firm in this sector and contribution to the overall market?

Flowcrete India has a wide product basket for industrial flooring systems that offer high resilient and durable workhorse surfaces, which perfectly suits the challenging operational conditions of the industrial sector. The Resin flooring market in India is today approximately worth `300 crores.

Flowcrete is a latest entrant and is operational since the past four years. Since our inception, we have been constantly educating the market with functional benefits of using new Generation Polyurethane (PU) and Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) for industrial segments. All our industrial floor coating systems are joint-free and deliver a seamless finish with no cracks or cervices to harbour dirt and bacteria. This enables the surface to be user friendly for cleaning and maintenance purposes, and ensures utmost hygiene between wash cycles.


Please provide some details of your product offerings for the Indian and international markets. What are the projects in which they have found application?

Flowcrete is the world-class leading manufacturer of self-smoothing epoxies (industrial and commerical), Polyurethane (PU) Screeds (Flowfresh), MMA finishes (Flowfast), Vinyl Ester resins (Flowchem VE ), and an extensive variety of specialist flooring products. Flowcrete operates around six continents with nine factories and 30 sales offices. Major projects successfully completed around the globe include Mumbai International Airport, Hindustan Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, Dr.Reddy’s, ITC Essentra, Mercedes, Land Rover, Caterpillar, London Heathrow Airport, Kenya Airways, Mondelez International (Cadbury India Ltd) etc.


Flowcrete India recently launched its Isocrete Self Level Plus screed technology to Indian flooring markets. Can you highlight us about the major benefits of the products and how has been the prime feedback from the market?

Isocrete Self Level Plus is a pumped, self-levelling, pre-mixed and protein-free cement based underlayment, designed to receive thick-set commercial floor finishes. This new and exciting screed enables to smoothen and restore the existing concrete prior to the overlay of subsequent floor coverings, such as carpet, vinyl or wood. The new addition is a part of our award winning Isocrete Floor Screeds product line. The responses received from the market for the products have been quite overwhelming and positive.

In addition, these products have been well received even in the international market. We have a track record of many prestigious, large – scale commercial and industrial developments across the globe which has benefited through the installation of Isocrete products. Gatwick Airport in the UK, South Africa’s Soccer City Stadium, Singapore’s high-tech chemicals company Lanxess BTR and the Royal London Hospital can be outlined as few among the noteworthy international projects.

Which are the major demand sectors for your products in India and what are the opportunities you are seeking to grow your business?

Flowcrete India has successfully provided clients with a complete collection of flooring solutions specialized for a variety of flooring markets in major commercial and industrial segments. The major demand sectors for Flowcrete India in industrial segment include food & beverage, pharmaceutical, automotives and general manufacturing industries. We are seeing immense opportunities from the infrastructure and commercial market; and projects demanding Car Park Decking System and Mondeco (Epoxy Terrazzo) from the retail segment further enhance our prospects.

The resin flooring market is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years due to the pro-industrial policy adopted by our Government. Moreover, the prospects for the seamless flooring market will be further brightened due to the ‘Make in India’ policy by the new government


Brief us about your manufacturing units, their current capacities, investments and plans to raise the profile of your firm going forward?

The facility’s location in Chennai, enables Flowcrete India to significantly reduce the lead times to customers and minimise the environmental impacts by using locally available raw materials. The plant’s present capacity though is at 9,000 tonnes per annum will be expanded to a much higher capacity as per the demand indices.  The facility is already equipped with a fully operational QC laboratory using latest equipments. An investment of $1 million is also outlined for future expansion plans to meet the upcoming demands. We also look forth to add few more specialist resin flooring solutions from the UK to our locally manufactured portfolio. We are hopeful of meeting the ascending demands from clients through additions in our performance based resin flooring systems.


What are the prevalent trends in the industrial flooring segment? Tell us about your emphasis on sustainability and green in the course of product development?
India’s Resin flooring market is always oriented towards cheap epoxies (which can be laid from 100 microns to 4-5 mm thickness). Flowcrete is always engaged in a constant process of educating the end users about new Generation Polyurethane (PU) & Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) flooring to suit different environmental conditions in the industrial flooring segments. The products have been specially accepted by the food & beverage industry.

We are proud to be a leading advocate of eco-friendly practises within the global flooring industry. We are not only committed to provide innovative and sustainable flooring solutions but also to utilize our planet’s resources responsibly.  Our water based and low VOC formulations result in less Ozone pollution, and also ensure fewer emission of smog forming chemicals. The usage of IBC containers for transport purposes eliminates the wastage of any excess products and minimises the wasted space in transportation thereby reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. In addition, the utilization of recycled content, i.e. Flowsport contains upto
60 per cent recycled rubber crumbs from end of life tyre; Mondeco contains 60 per cent
recycled clear, coloured and mirrored glass; Isocrete Green Screeds has 40 per cent recycled construction materials and are free from OPC; Flowfresh liquid content is made up of 50 per cent water and renewable materials. Furthermore, Isowarm, under floor heating saves upto 30 per cent energy as against other heating methods.


What are the major challenges faced by the Indian industrial flooring industry - and what are the solutions you propose to facilitate ease of doing business?

Predominantly the Indian flooring industry is specified with demand for low cost Epoxy resins. Improper installations coupled with low thickness floorings leading to floor failures, lack of professionals in installation despite the availability of quality resin products etc can be outlined as the few other major hindrances faced in the flooring market. Moreover, the respective manufacturer should train the installers so that the failures can be minimized and proper flooring can be provided as desired by the client specifications.


Tell us about the new growth areas for your business in the coming years?

Our special focus in the upcoming years is on Food & Beverage segment, (for which we have Antimicrobial Polyurethane solutions),   Pharmaceutical (Decontamination flooring Solutions), Commercial Car Park Decking system, Decorative Concrete System apart from the general manufacturing industries like automotive etc. We also have lot of credentials, product related certifications from distinct industrial bodies across the globe available for these segments already in both national and international market.


Isocrete: Meeting dynamic demands

Flowcrete India has designed an award-winning Isocrete Floor Screeds product line that offers a variety of heavy-duty, self-smoothing and fast drying surface underlayments as well as resin bonded systems, surface treatments and damp-proof membranes. The Isocrete Floor Screeds product range is recognized industry-wide for delivering ‘the level best in floor screeds’ and is ideally catered to clients that desire a sub-floor which is built to last. 

Key System benefits include:

  • Can contain the innovative 'K-additive' to accelerate cure time
  • Early installation of moisture sensitive finishes
  • Excellent workability properties and good compaction
  • Can be used in conjunction with Isowarm underfloor heating
  • Can be machine applied for installation up to four times faster

The Isocrete floor screeds is all set to refine the flooring market and ensures to suit the distinct requirements for floor finishes and toppings.


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