29th Indian Paint Conference – 'Paint Pe Charcha - Naye Aayaam'

Excerpt: “The Indian Paint Industry currently valued at around Rs. 50,000 Crores is poised to grow at a healthy rate and is expected to reach around Rs.70, 000 Crores by 2021-22.

THE bi-annual event Indian Paint Conference has earned a name for itself as a unique platform for exchange of knowledge, information and networking and the 29th Indian Paint Conference with the theme'Paint Pe Charcha - Naye Aayaam', held at Jaypee Palace Hotel, Agra recently, lived upto this reputation of being one of the meticulously organised event with the best attended congregation of paint industry stalwarts

The 3-Day Conference organized by Indian Paint Association (IPA), the apex body of the Indian paint industry was inaugurated by Mr. Sumit Sawhney, CEO & MD - Renault India and Mr. Jayant Krishna, former Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in presence of stalwarts from the Indian paint industry. The Inaugural Session started with the traditional lighting of the lamp

P.K. Khanna

Welcoming the delegates and guests, Mr. P.K. Khanna, Convenor, IPA Conference speaking about the significance of the theme of the conference 'Paint Pe Charcha - Naye Aayaam' said that it signified the in-depth deliberations (Charcha) to discover new dimensions (Naye Aayaam). The Conference, he said, will witness the knowledge sharing sessions from leading paint industry stalwarts from India in addition to select global speakers who will bring in new ideas and the latest developments in the paint industry.

Abhijit Roy

Mr. Abhijit Roy, IPA President in his speech said that the paint fraternity always looks forward to this Biennial event and it is an opportunity to meet and exchange views and ideas which renews and revitalizes our bonding with members of the industry. With the GST,Bankruptcy and RERA Laws being introduced, the industry is in for greater challenges and this conference with eminent Indian and international speakers will help ideate and debate, innovate and create, explore new dimensions and take the industry to greater heights, he said.

“The Indian Paint Industry currently valued at around Rs. 50,000 Crores is poised to grow at a healthy rate and is expected to reach around Rs.70, 000 Crores by 2021-22. There is a strong co-relation between the Indian Paint Industry and the GDP growth of the country. It has historically surpassed India's GDP growth by 1.5 to 2 times, ” he said.

Speaking about Paint & Coatings Skill Council (PCSC), a body affiliated with IPA, Mr Roy said that “Skill development has always been one of our prime focus areas. The paint Industry spearhead by the IPA and PCSC has taken big strides in skilling across the country and today our painters have been exposed to not only national but also international painting best-practices”, elaborated Mr. Roy.

Jayant Krishna

Mr. Jayant Krishna, the keynote speaker in his talk remarked that the paint industry has entered the big league and has seen a lot of trends towards waterborne coatings, world standards in environmental protection, robotic application of paints, textured and designer paint etc. He took the audience through the various opportunities that are there for increasing the paint consumption mainly by taking the 'pain' out of painting through different methods like automation, outsourcing etc.

Mr Jagdish Acharya, CEO, PCSC next announced the launch of an Apprenticeship Training Programme in association with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for developing skilled manpower for the industry. He and his colleague gave a detailed presentation on the various aspects of this program.

Jayant Krishna

Mr Sumit Sahwney, stressed on the importance of skilling and upskilling which would in turn increase the productivity and also ultimately increase the per capita consumption of paint. With the automotive industry having a boom period, there is great opportunity for the paint industry, he said. Bringing in positive disruptions in the marketing strategies, will accrue bigger markets and an hockey stick growth, he said

Sumit Sawhney

This was followed by the Presentation of Technical Papers' Awards in the research and the review section as also the institutional one.

As in every biennial, IPA held a contest for best Research and Review Papers and had received 84 papers from aspiring Paint Technologists under both these categories.

The Life Time Achievement Award was bestowed upon Mr G N Tiwari and Mr N K Bhatia amid thunderous applause and standing ovations.

Lifetime Achievement award being bestowed on G.N Tiwari

Lifetime achievement award being bestowed on Mr. N.K. Bhatia

Mr. S Mahesh Anand, Vice President, IPA gave the vote of thanks. This was followed by a musical extravaganza along with cocktails and dinner Business Track

Business Track

The Business Track on day 2 had four sessions

The first session focussed on Innovation on Products & Services and was moderated by Mr. Abhijit Roy, MD & CEO, Berger Paints India Ltd. The first presentation was on 'Trends in the Australian decorative paint market and best practice application from the perspective of the paint retailer and the customer by Mr. Robert Guy, Managing Director & CEO, Inspirations Paint. Speaking about the Australian Paint and Coatings Market, he said that it was a mature market with growth of 1-1.5% pa with 4 manufacturers supplying 95% of the decorative market with international coating companies owning two of the 'big 3' Australian coating companies. The total paint market value wise is about Rs 15000cr(155ML per annum) and the split by volume is 70% decorative -30% industrial. He then spoke about the trends in Australian decorative market, whichare shift from DIY to DIFM(Do it for me). The Trade distribution is heavily biased to paint specialist stores and ths split is 56% trade-44% retail. There is a growing environmental awareness and responsibility towards proper waste paint disposal. Mr. K.K. Sai, Vice President (Mktg), Berger Paints India Limited gave the second presentation on 'Product and Service Innovation in Paint Industry over the years'. Innovation, he said is something new-Novelty; something new and valuable-creation; Something new and uniwuely useful and having potential value through utility. He then gave the history of innovation in the paint industry in detail. He said that innovation can take different forms-in the process or manufacturing or retailing. Mr. S Mahesh Anand, President Decorative Business, Nippon Paints (India) Pvt. Ltd moderated the next session on 'Difficulties of Late Entrant and way forward. Mr. Hemant Jalan, Managing Director, Indigo Paints, gave an extensive and incisive presentation on 'Difficulties of a Domestic Late entrant and way forward to scaling up' in which he gave a lowdown of his journey through which he went in steering his company to success. He started by explaining about the 'Deep Moat' around the Big 4 paint companies, which led to difficulties in establishing wide distribution network; long entrenched players with huge brand equity and the large existing population of tinting machines and how one has to work around this to achieve success. Mr. S Mahesh Anand giving a perspective from the MNC entrant point of view spoke about the travails of a 'Global Player to Indian Market'. He spoke about the Nippon Paint heritage, the significance of the Indian market and the difficulties faced &way forward in terms of plant, product, people, placement, promotion and painters. Mr. Kartik Sharma, Managing Director, South Asia. Wavemaker gave the next presentation on 'Key Consumer & Media Trends Impacting the future of Marketing'. The first trend is that massive evolution in retail is being enabled by technology; the second trend is that marketing is being massively transformed by artificial intelligence; the third trend is the emergence of voice search/voice technology; the 4th trend is realtime message management; the 5th is the growth of micro influencers and the last trend is personalisation at scale.

Robert Guy

Mr. K.B.S. Anand, MD & CEO, Asian Paints Ltd. Moderated the next session on 'Branding & Marketing'. Mr. Amit Syngle, Chief Operating Officer, Asian Paints Ltd. gave an insightful presentation on 'Colour Forecasting and the significance to the Paint Industry '. Colour forecasting , he said helps architects and designers tell new stories to their clients in terms of what is happening and what is edgy; Helps them to introduce newer colours, textures and patterns which they are sure are being influenced by lifestyle changes; and finally helps brands tell customers what is new and what is trendy. Mr. Madhukar, country head , Ogilvy & Mather Pvt. Ltd. followed this up with an knowledgeable presentation on the importance and significance of the correct Advertising. The next session focussed on 'Sustainability & Profitability go hand in hand' and was moderated by Mr. Surender Bhatia, MD, Shalimar Paints Ltd. Mr. Prashant K Dalvi, R & D Manager Coatings – India, Akzo Nobel India Ltd. gave an focused topic stressing on the importance of following sustainable practices which if properly followed could help reap profits apart from discharging the moral duty to the society at large. A Sustainable product portfolio approach opens opportunities for innovation and customer dialog, he said. 'Green makes Business Sense - Green Manufacturing to Green Products' was the topic of presentation by Mr. S Raghupathy, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industries. Mr Ulrich Nauber, Dow Chemicals speaking on the occasion started by giving an introduction to Dow Coating Materials and went on to describe about the Market trends in global coatings; what the Indian consumers want; the need to move towards water-borne solutions. He said that urbanisation trend is driving higher performance coatings with added functionality. He also spoke about the new wave of middle class consumers are driving fundamental shifts in coatings industry.

Team from Jeson

Mr. Nasser Arivoli, MD, Corob India Pvt. Ltd.gave an excellent and informative presentation on 'Internet of Corob (IOT): Next Dimension in Tinting Automation'-

Nasser Arivoli

The team from Jesons Industries Ltd. - Mr. Dhiresh Gosalia, Dr. Patnaik, Mr. Shaji Thomas, gave an insightful talk on 'Polymer Emulsions: New Dimensions'

The day 3 of the business session focussed on 'IT / Digital Transformation' and was moderated by Mr. Jason Gonsalves, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning, IT, HR & materials.

He gave the first talk on 'Digital and the Paint Industry' and explained how digitalisation has helped the industry. The emergence of the new force—Digital, apart from the regular competitive forces has changed the dynamics of the industry, he said. He also showed how this waveis different and compelling and called upon the Indian paint industry to be the torch-bearer in adopting digitalisation. Speaking on 'Transforming Business Operations through Digital' - Mr. Ashit Saxena, Associate Partner, Ernst & Young said that digital disruption defines the Fourth Industrial Revoloution, creating new norms of connected enablement. He spoke about Industry 4.0 which enables connected assets and process automation.

CNBC-TV18's Latha Venkatesh conducted a Live Media Session panel discussion with KBS Anand of Asian Paints, Abhijit Roy of Berger Paints, Mahesh Anand of Nippon Paint, Jason Gonsalves of Kansai Nerolac and P K Khanna from Punjab Paint wherein they discussed paint industry outlook for 2019. KBS Anand of Asian Paints expressed the view that GST rate cut came at the right time. Abhijit Roy of Berger Paints said that GST has aided savings in logistics department. Whereas Mahesh Anand of Nippon Paint felt that GST reduction has aided earnings.

Technical Track

In the technical track 4 parallel technical sessions were held

Technical Session-I was moderated by: Dr. Raja Krishnamurthy, V.P. Technology, Asian Paints Ltd. the papers presented were as follows:

  • PASQUICK - New developments & Applications in APAC - Dr. Heiko Hocke, Covestro Polymers (China) Co. Ltd.
  • Performance Optimisation - the Additive Way - Mr. Carsten Nagel, Global Enduse Manager, Deco, BYK-Chemie GmbH
  • Shifting perceptions with water-borne paints in General Industrial category - Mr. Girish Bhagwat, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd.
  • The Evaluation of AMME Dry-Film Biocides Mahabaleshwar, India – Mr. Scott Betts, Technical & Regulatory Director, Thor Specialities UK Ltd.
  • Functional Mineral Fillers for Optimisation of Paint and Coating Formulations - Dr. Philipp Mueller, Omya India Pvt. Ltd.

The second Technical Session was moderated by Mr. Tapan Dhar, Vice President ( R & D) Berger Paints India Ltd. and the following papers were presented

  • Polyurethane for Sustainable Coatings – Mr. Anup Phalke, Covestro (India) Pvt. Ltd.
  • TiO2 impact on paint weather resistance – Mr. Hari Toraskar, The Chemours Company Singapore Pte Ltd.
  • Façade colorants: Color Solutions for high durable exterior coatings - Dr. Kamakshi Christopher, Soujanya Color Pvt. Ltd. l Characterizing and quantifying the effect of rheology modifiers on improved applied hide and dry film appearance - Mr. Shirish Daptardar, Ashland India Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Laxman Nikam, Asst. V.P. (Tech.), Kansai Nerolac Paints Ltd. moderated the Technical Session – III and the papers presented were:

  • BIO mass balance approach in the area of sustainability - Mr. Jeff Knight, BASF
  • Reducing the environmental impact of Architectural Coatings - Mr. Steven De Backer, The Chemours Company Singapore Pte Ltd.
  • Effect pigments from Eckart - Mr. Dilip Ghadge, C.J. Shah & Company
  • Transforming the Landscape with functional water-borne paints - Mr. Ulrich Nauber, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd.

The last Technical Session was moderated by Mr. Tushar Sinkar, Director R & D (Tech.) Nippon Paints (India) Pvt. Ltd. The papers presented were the following:

  • An Overview of Imerys Engineered Minerals Technology Platform - Mr. Navin Patel, Global Application Director, Imerys Performance Minerals, USA
  • Presentation from Kerala Minerals & Metals Ltd. – Mr. Arun B. Kumar, HOD, Marketing, Kerala Metals & Minerals Ltd.

In the end the Convener's Baton was handed over to the next Convener from the western region—Ms Priya Bhumkar by Mr Khanna

At the end of three days the superb efforts put in by the Organizing Committee members especially spearheaded by Ms. Aparna Khanna who coordinated this effort and worked tirelessly had resulted in a memorable stimulating Conference of a very high order.