Painting a Bright Future
Asian Paints Bangladesh prides itself on being customer-centric and consistently innovative.
You have been involved with Asian Paints since 2006 starting as Manager in Marketing. Now in your role as CEO, how have the responsibilities evolved? Can you tell us what you have observed about the growth of the company in the 13 years you have been with it?
It has been an incredible journey with Asian Paints and continues to be. Stints in India, the Caribbean, and Bangladesh, have provided opportunities to work across different demographics, paint markets and customer segments and has been an enriching experience.
Over these years, Asian Paints has been through phenomenal growth and forayed successfully into segments like Waterproofing and Home Improvement. Our brands have stood the test of time and have a strong connection with our customers. Apart from a wide range of decorative paints, there are a number of industrial products which have strengthened their presence in the market.
We have also expanded our global footprint with operations in South Asia, South Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. As a multinational company with a host of products, we continue to grow from strength to strength.
Asian Paints has been operating for 75 years, and has grown from a humble partnership into one of the biggest paint companies in the region, what has been the secret behind the company establishing itself as a market leader?
We believe that people are our strongest assets, for a company can only go as high as its people aim. It is people who innovate and engineer the efficiencies that make a business succeed. At Asian Paints, we believe in an open and collaborative work culture which has become a hallmark of the company. This reflects in the creativity and innovation of our products and services.
We have also stayed close to our customers and take pride in being customer-centric. Every product is designed after extensive consumer interactions and identifying their needs. We strive to create value for our dealer and painter network as well and have developed a trusted relationship over the years. Growing together with our stakeholders has been our biggest strength.
Asian Paints Bangladesh was established in 2002 and has since become the go-to spot for all things paint. How does Asian Paints Bangladesh differentiate itself from its competitors? How is the market in Bangladesh different from the markets in other regions Asian Paints operates in?
Bangladesh has been through an impeccable growth and is a forerunner in the global economy. This combined with the rise of consumption class presents a huge opportunity and differentiates it from the rest.
Asian Paints Bangladesh believes in making the best products suited to these market demands. We have always challenged the status quo with a slew of innovations.
We have been industry-first in offering a warranty on paints which is a testimony of our quality. We have also been the first in modern paint retailing formats with Colour Ideas and Ezycolour stores. They provide a friendly environment for our customers to know about paints, explore our products, visualize their shade selection and even get it executed in their home through Ezypainting services that we offer from these stores.
These initiatives have generated a good response from our customers, and we look forward to more exciting times ahead.
Asian Paints Bangladesh offers segments (products) like Royale Play, Royale Luxury Silk Emulsion, Apex Ultima and Apcolite premium emulsion and Decora. Can you talk us through which consumer demography each segment targets?
We have created an exciting range of products for each segment of our customers. With Royale emulsions range we cater to the evolved customers who want the best in interiors. Our new offerings like Royale Luxury Shyne and Royale Luxury Silk have garnered amazing response and we couldn’t be more delighted. Royale Play is an interesting “One wall” makeover concept for our customers who love to experiment and always on the lookout for something new.
In exteriors, we have performance products like Apex Ultima Protek and Apex Ultima which can withstand climate changes and protect against dirt. Apex Ultima Protek is the gold standard in exterior emulsions and offers waterproofing with warranty. We have bolstered our exteriors range with our new product SmartCare Damp Proof Silicon ceramic which has excellent waterproofing capabilities and doesn’t require an undercoat. It is truly a unique product and groundbreaking in Bangladesh’s market.
Apcolite Premium Emulsion has been our champion product and ideal for customers who want trusted products at the best value. For our mass-market, we have introduced Utshob Super Saver Emulsion, a new category of plastic paint at the price of Distemper. We also care for our customers who face common problems like dampness, cracks, efflorescence etc. though our SmartCare waterproofing range to ensure that they get all solutions under one roof.
Asian Paints Bangladesh has an elaborately set up R&D facility with 200 scientists helming it. What is the role of R&D to remain relevant in the global market? Describe some aspects of Asian Paints Bangladesh’s R&D institute?
Strong products require strong research and development and our R&D has been at the heart of all our innovations. Our state-of-the-art laboratories are spread across multiple locations around the world and have the biggest R&D set up in Asia based out of Mumbai. Being a global MNC, we leverage our learnings from all over to deliver the best of our innovation.
In Bangladesh R&D, we endeavor to develop products relevant for the market and incorporating the unique needs here. We undertake rigorous analysis, tests, and experiments to ensure our products meet all requirements and set the benchmark in the industry.
Climate consciousness is in the forefront of global concerns right now. How does Asian Paints factor in climate conservation aspects while coming up with various types of paints?
Our approach to sustainable development is incorporated into our business strategy. An integral part of that sustainable journey is our continuous efforts to conserve water and optimize its use.
We continue to focus on reducing our energy consumption and make investments in renewable energy footprint. This has contributed to the reduction of the carbon footprint at the manufacturing facilities. We are constantly involved in waste reduction initiatives through effluent treatment and responsible disposal of waste.
We are also moving towards more water-based products, lead-free and low-VOC paints under our green initiatives and comply with ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certifications.
Can you talk us through the kind of CSR activities Asian Paints Bangladesh is involved in? Where do you envision the company and yourself to be in the coming five years?
For CSR activities, we are focusing to empower our painters. We are conducting regular health check-up programs and providing them with health insurance. To ensure safety and avoid accidents along with increasing their skills we arrange “Painter Training Programs” with the partnership of the Government so that they receive government certification.
These are promising times and we look forward to more in the future. The customers are ever-evolving and becoming more aware of the trends. They are well-traveled and discerning. At Asian Paints, we are geared to lead this change and set benchmarks in home décor.
We continue to attract the best talents and scaling up our capabilities to leverage the opportunities. As always, I and the company will keep pushing the envelope!