Debrup Chatterjee, Chief Marketing Officer, Asian Paints

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Painting a Bright Future

We sat down with Debrup Chatterjee Chief Marketing Officer, Asian Paints who divulged on the company’s tremendous growth in Bangladesh, the importance of innovation in business and adapting to the “New Normal”.

Asian Paints Bangladesh has seen remarkable growth in a short time despite stiff competition; it is a remarkable achievement and an exemplary accomplishment at localization. What has been your localization strategy?
Asian Paints Bangladesh has always believed in bringing out products, which are relevant to the market. Our consumers are our top priority and we aim to make products for them, suited to their needs and aspirations. Through our “glocalization” strategy, we bring products of international quality, suited to localized tastes and preferences of the Bangladeshi people.

To satiate the demands of the ever-evolving consumer, we constantly strive to come up with innovative new products that can bring joy to their lives. With our focus on customer-centricity, we are building our second manufacturing plant at Mirshorai, Chattogram.

Asian Paints happens to be the first brand in the industry to provide a warranty on our products and that is a testimony of our quality. We are also the first brand to introduce a contemporary way of buying paint through our signature retail stores,i.e. Ezycolour & ColourIdeas stores, where our consumers get an upgraded retail environment where they are serviced by our Colour consultants; who help them view their preferred shades come to life virtually through our state-of-the-art colour visualizer service.

Our consumers also get to choose a safe and hassle-free 360-degree painting experience through our EzyPainting service. These are just a few of the initiatives that we have taken to provide an enhanced paint experience for our customers.

 

Asian Paints is known for adopting the latest technologies to enhance the consumer experience. Can you please share some insights about the company’s “Smartcare Waterproofing Range”?
At Asian Paints Bangladesh, product innovation is our strongest USP. To improve our consumer experience we try to focus on products, which solve their problems from the root cause itself. We take pride being the only brand to provide warranty on our Smartcare Waterproofing Range. As the damp problem is a major issue faced by our customers, we are constantly trying to better our waterproofing range, Smartcare. In 2019, we launched our newest product to sort out damp problems, Damp Proof Silicone Ceramic, with the latest technology suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces. Additionally, this product can be used just like a paint product and comes in 1600+ shades. It consists of silicone and ceramic particles to provide a unique dual waterproofing to the surface.
We also have Smartcare Damp Proof Fiber Tech which is most easy to use convenient and durable waterproof coating for terraces and tanks. Asian Paints is offering 6 years of waterproofing warranty for DPFT.

This year, we have launched our very own “Vitamin for Cement” Vitalia Neo, which is an integral waterproofing ad mixer for cement, increasing its strength and providing waterproofing properties.

In 2019, we also brought out two of our top products for Interior range, Royale Luxury Emulsion Silk and Royale Luxury Emulsion Shyne. Royale is the only product in Bangladesh giving interior warranty for 5 years and Sheen Stay warranty. The ColourBrite Technology is for the most vibrant shades and Advance Surface Protector gives superior stain resistance; as we focus on satisfying our consumers with the most technologically advanced products. At Asian Paints we take pride in the innovations we bring out every year. We will be bringing some new and exciting products soon. Stay tuned for them.

 

Asian Paints Bangladesh offers complete painting solutions to regular/corporate clients. Are you accommodating social distancing and hygiene regulations due to COVID-19 in your services?
With the latest pandemic, COVID-19 we have changed our plans focusing more on providing our regular and corporate clients with services with safety.
We are trying our best to serve the community along with our top priority stakeholders. We have disbursed money among our painter base to support them in these times of need; we have also shared safety and protective materials such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizers among our dealers and painters. Asian Paints Bangladesh is the first brand in BD to install washbasins all around the most populated areas for Dhaka for the hygiene & safety of the local communities. We are promoting social distancing regularly on our social media pages to create awareness among our target groups and followers.

 

From your experience, how crucial has it become for companies to maintain a strong social media presence? Have we reached a point where it has superseded every other medium?
Social media is the way to go in the future. Due to this pandemic, we have come to find out how strong social media can be. In a country where technological advancements are still new and people who are not used to using digital platforms, we are looking at the next way forward for all businesses.
The regular mediums still are well recognized with the older generation but with the younger people of this country, the digital medium is at the verge of superseding the rest.

 

How has the experience of working in Bangladesh been for you? What are the challenges that you had to overcome since you joined?
This journey has been very different from my previous jobs. A new city brings new opportunities and poses new challenges. So far, I can tell my journey has been incredible and the most challenging situation, which my team and I are facing right now, is making it work by working from home. As we are always coordinated with our global units, working hours are not limited to office hours. However, I believe this could be the “New Normal” for all of us and if we could nail working from home; this could be beneficial for many of our employees. Due to the pandemic, we did have to suffer a lot as dealers and painters are still not getting as much work as they used to and many customers have kept painting their homes on hold.

Nevertheless, I am hopeful that we will learn new ways of living and for the better. Challenges bring new opportunities and make us stronger and I hope all of us will come out of this as the best versions of ourselves.

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