Since its inception in 1959, Pidilite Industries Limited has been a pioneer in adhesives & sealants, construction chemicals and polymer emulsions segments in India. Most of the product range of the Company has been developed through strong in-house R&D. Ashish Prasad, President of Construction Chemical Division – Pidilite Industries, speaks to Buildotech about the new trends and developments in the industry.
Indian construction chemicals market scenario & positive trends
The waterproofing market in India is at a very premature state. The bulk of construction sites still use traditional methods like brickbat coba and mud ‘phuska’ which have their own limitations and therefore opened up an area where huge opportunities exist. Not surprisingly, there is an urgency to inculcate the right material usage, right dosage and the correct application to ensure creation of healthy structures. In terms of development in the construction chemicals industry, there has been a strong growth rate of 17% per annum.
The new trend in construction chemicals and waterproofing solutions segment is green construction. In sync, we have launched Dr. Fixit LEC i.e. Low Energy Consumption System which is a comprehensive waterproofing-cum-insulation system. It is an advanced high-end range of waterproofing method that has been developed with 25 years of waterproofing and insulation warranty. Another of our green product is Extensa, an award winning, high performance spray applied seamless waterproofing membrane catering to the needs of complex high-rise structures.
We believe that waterproofing is a systems approach and not a product approach. A systems approach is that which will drive the market demand. Sustainable construction is the next future and hence we launched Dr. Fixit LEC, which helps waterproof and at the same time insulates the building and reduces energy consumption in an effective manner. If you see 99% of the time product doesn’t fail but applications fail because of the lack of detailing. Hence, there is a definite need for training. Also knowledge about right accessories is essential. The waterproofing industry can only succeed if we use right material with right application. Untrained applicators are another concern which we are slowly addressing through our Dr. Fixit Service which involves site trials, site demos and training applicators.
Demand drivers and the major challenges for the sector
Construction chemicals market has a huge growth potential due to the construction and manufacturing boom in India. Many newly developed products give better performance and results and hence there will be a shift in demand towards products offering better performance. The Indian construction chemicals market size is at `4000 cr in 2014-15 which is pegged at about 10% of the Chinese market.
Lack of skilled manpower is one of the biggest challenges and a major constraint faced by the sector. It has been our primary challenge. Other industry related challenges are low awareness regarding the benefits of construction chemicals, inadequate knowledge on proper usage of these chemicals and lack of enforcement of quality standards on construction activities. About 85% of contractors and builders are not aware of the key advantages of using construction chemicals and have limited knowledge on their proper applications.
Company research and innovation in this segment
The best practice used internationally is to coat the terrace with elastomeric coatings and Pidilite has worked towards the same. The company has setup Dr. Fixit Knowledge Centre at Kochi where it demonstrates how to carryout waterproofing properly and where engineers go wrong with it. It is a place to learn new things for architects and engineers. Here we give them practical training on dealing with real life challenges in construction. The response has been very good and we are planning to open more of such centers in other cities too. We also have a non-for-profit organization called Dr. Fixit Institute which imparts knowledge about the best construction practices in the Industry to the ACE Community and the students of Civil Engineering.
Dr. Fixit gives customers an end-to-end solution for waterproofing their entire home at the time of construction. It includes Dr. Fixit Roofseal, a revolutionary product for new terrace waterproofing that provides a comprehensive solution to the issues related with roofs and terraces. For proper and correct application of the product, Pidilite has trained waterproofing applicators across India on the usage of these products. Likewise, Dr. Fixit Newcoat Ezee, a two coat waterproof coating for bungalow terraces does not require breaking the old waterproofing system of brickbat coba and mud fuska making it hassle-free, economical and reliable.