17 January 2020

Table of Contents for Construction Chemicals

Construction Chemicals

Structural lifeline

With increasing prospects of infrastructure development and project implementation  the Indian construction chemical industry is optimistic of putting up a good show in  2015 and the years ahead

With verticalisation increasingly becoming the mantra across India  repair and redevelopment has evolved as the need of the hour for the ageing and deteriorating structures. According to a study on international standards by Global Research Market, if the average life span of buildings  is more than 100 years globally in India it  is barely  20-25 years. There is a serious requirement for intervention from  high end construction chemical solutions to prevent the deterioration of structures and to strengthen new construction activities.

Thankfully enough  there is now urgency in the building business  inculcate best practices  in terms of the usage of the right construction materials   along with the  proper dosage and  techniques  to build healthy structures.

Increasing  urbanisation, a sprawling middle class population, increasing focus on developing sustainable structures and the government’s ambitious agenda of Smart Cities is expected to drive the specialty chemicals market in India. However, when compared to international markets like Europe, North America or  even Southeast Asia, the Indian construction chemicals industry is still in its infancy and  requires  a lot of improvement.



Often referred as a ‘knowledge-based’ industry, the construction chemicals sector in India involves a wide range of products like specialty chemical compounds, admixtures, waterproofing, repair and rehab chemicals and flooring compounds among others. The market size of Indian construction chemicals market in FY14-15 was  pegged at `4000 crore – the sector  has been witnessing a growth rate of 17 per cent per annum. According to the recent FICCI report, admixtures constitute a majority of the market with 42 per cent share;  this is followed by flooring and waterproofing agents with a 14 per cent share. Chemicals for repair and rehabilitation constitute another 12 per cent of the market while the remaining 18 per cent  comprises adhesives and sealants.

As per a regional analysis of the demand inflow for specialty chemicals by the research firm Market Reports on India, the western Indian marker exceeds other areas. Gujarat and Maharashtra are the leading states in the country demanding high end construction chemicals due to the large number of construction projects currently being implemented . Moreover,  sprouting demand for sustainable green building structures   has  enhanced the prospects for the country’s construction chemicals sector. It is being assessed by  industry leaders  that the market for construction chemicals in India will witness a double digit growth at a CAGR of about 18 per cent during 2014-19.

 “We foresee strong growth in the construction chemicals markets due to a  boom in construction and manufacturing sectors. The waterproofing industry has a huge growth market as this segment is still at a very premature state  and the bulk of the construction sites in India still use traditional methods like brickbat coba, mud puska which have their own limitations,” says Sanjay Bahadur, CEO, Construction Chemical Division, Pidilite Industries Ltd.

The other niche segment witnessing increasing growth momentum is the inorganic oxide pigment. Though the share for pigment solutions is still low in India as against international markets, the segment is  slowly and steadily  attracting attention with  the expansion of  infrastructure and industrial activities. The market for inorganic pigments in India mainly cater to four core areas –  construction, paints and coatings, plastics and paper industries.  Though all these sectors are inter-linked, construction and paints and coatings are the major growth drivers for the pigment solutions.

Rafael Suchan, Vice President, Inorganic Pigments Business Unit, LANXESS Asia Pacific opines, “As the economy develops,  the purchasing power of the buyer improves and this allows him to utilise advanced sustainable solutions without being influenced by price factors. India is largely embracing urbanisation  which will be a major  growth driver. Prospects are also immense from the development of Smart Cities, industrial corridors and SEZs. We consider this as a good opportunity for our products.”



The market for construction chemicals in India though fairly consolidated  is also divided  between individual players and multinationals. As per  FICCI findings about 300 companies are operating in the construction chemicals segment. While the top six players like Pidilite, BASF, Sika, FOSROC, CICO and SWC occupy 50 per cent of the market share, about 25 per cent is still comprised of  unorganised and local players. The increasing number of unorganised players, according to analysts, has been a major source of concern affecting the qualitative growth of the specialty chemicals industry. “In today’s fast changing world of technology, innovation is the key to stay ahead and fuel any organisation’s growth. Our industry is pushing forward the drive for awareness on ‘Correct Usage of Construction Chemicals’. Once this wave catches on, it would be a big boost to  driving the growth of our industry,” says Sunny Surlaker, Head Admixtures Division, MC-Bauchemie (India) Pvt Ltd.

Lack of awareness, inadequate application knowledge and lack of stringent quality norms on construction activities are seen  as the major problemss affecting the industry. This has led  the industry  to adopt a system approach rather than a product focused approach as its  prime operational mantra. As per  experts,  99 per cent of the time the product doesn’t fail but applications do. Lack of detailing and inadequate knowledge regarding  usage patterns are the major causes behind this failure in application. “About 85 per cent of contractors and builders are not aware of the key advantages of using construction chemicals and have limited knowledge of  their proper applications,” avers  Bahadur 

It is  thus imperative for construction chemical manufacturers to invest in effective product marketing to increase customer awareness. Numerous manufacturers have today stepped forward and set up training centres for workers and applicators. Pidilite’s Dr Fixit Knowledge Centre at Kochi is one such institution involved in the training of engineers and architects on application of waterproofing products. Such initiatives are gradually contributing to increased customer awareness on the usage of construction chemicals. The sector’s growth prospects are expected to further boom with  expanding construction activities in the largely untapped Tier-II, Tier-III cities and  rural areas. Moreover, the government's decision to approve  100 percent foreign direct investment (FDIs) in the real estate business has boosted construction activities throughout India.  This has  expanded the export potential of the specialty chemical industry. India today exports specialty chemicals to Asia-Pacific countries and also to developed nations like Europe and the USA. As per  analysts the Indian construction chemicals market is expected to reach $50 billion by the end of 2018, with the country emerging among the  favourite markets for multinationals. 

However, to achieve such growth figures and rise on a global level, the Indian construction chemical industry needs to focus on developing new processes and products with sustainability as its core principles. This  calls for a collaborative platform involving government, regulatory bodies, manufacturers and even customers to promote and execute strategies for the judicious use of chemicals in the construction industry.


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