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India’s Most Valuable CEOs: Marching Ahead With Colours
KBS has big plans for the company’s future. He is building up its manufacturing capabilities not only in India but abroad. The company is looking to set up a paint manufacturing facility in Indonesia
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The latest campaign of Asian Paints says ‘Barish ko aane do’. It signifies how Asian Paints and the CEO- cum-MD of the company are confident of facing challenges that come. A 38 year veteran at Asian Paints, KBS Anand has been intimately involved in the sustained growth of this market leader and is considered to be the brains behind all strategic moves.
Fondly called KBS by his contemporaries, he joined Asian Paints straight from the IIT Mumbai campus back in 1979, and since then he has served the company in various capacities for nearly four decades.
KBS Anand has seen the company grow in all the possible situations from head of sales in the 80’s to general manager and later the vice president, sales & marketing in the 90’s. On April 1, 2012 he was appointed as MD and CEO of Asian Paints, Ltd.
Over the years he has changed the perception of Asian Paints from a paint production company to home décor solutions. In 2015, Asian Paints acquired 51 per cent stake in Kadisco Paints, Ethiopia.
The company also opened multi-category décor store named ‘AP Homes’ in Coimbatore in 2016. At this store, the consumer is able to avail an integrated décor consultation across categories of paints, wall papers, bath fittings, sanitary ware, kitchen, furniture, furnishings, tiles, light fittings and décor accessories. The company also entered in adhesives category in India with brand name, Loctite. It marks Asian Paints’ entry into the retail segment of adhesives category through distribution arrangement with Henkel adhesives.
KBS has led various marketing initiatives that has led to a thriving impact in the paint industry as well as helped Asian Paints gain the maximum pie in the market. Not only through TVCs but the brand has also grabbed the attention of consumers by launching a memorable ad campaign series which is headlined as: ‘Har Ghar Kuch Kehta hai’.
Lately the paint giant has got actor Ranbir Kapoor on board to promote their brand with a fresh TVC. Most marketing analysts agree that Asian Paints has been uniquely successful in projecting something as banal as paint for the house to an enriching experience for aspirational Indians.
KBS Anand has also consolidated the company’s front-end in a big way. Asian Paints does not have distributors — it supplies its paints directly to 45,000 retail shops across India through 125 depots. It has tied up with retailers to tailor its service according to customer needs.
KBS has big plans for the company’s future. He is building up its manufacturing capabilities not only in India but abroad. The company is looking to set up a paint manufacturing facility in Indonesia. It is also planning to set up paint production facilities in Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) and Mysuru (Karnataka). The proposed facility at Vizag: 5,00,000 KL/annum (investment of Rs 1,785 crores) and Mysuru: 6,00,000 KL/annum (investment of Rs 2,300 crores). Both plants to be set up in phases depending on future demand conditions.
The group has also entered into share purchase agreement with the existing shareholders of Causeway Paints, Sri Lanka for acquisition of 100 per cent stake.
KBS is widely travelled across the world. He is fond of defeating fellow CEOs in Bridge. He sleeps with a book in his hands to prepare for another busy day. When it comes to delivering sustained success, KBS is indeed an inspiring leader.