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Strong Strokes

Asian Paints is now present in nineteen countries, across which it has set up 27 manufacturing plants that contribute to the group revenue of $2 billion

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Asian Paints is a name that is synonymous with painting solutions in India. It, though, is no longer a brand that offers different colours. It has evolved into a brand that provides customers with complete home décor solutions.

The hues of Asian Paints have spread far and wide across the last 75 years. The company is now present in nineteen countries, across which it has set up 27 manufacturing plants that contribute to the group revenue of $2 billion.

Asian Paints works with innovative market place strategies. Some of its offerings include the exterior paint segment, a consumer and dealer helpline, signature stores, colour ideas stores, AP Homes, water proofing and a wallpaper business.

The company’s CEO and managing director, K.B.S. Anand ranks Asian Paints six on a scale of ten. He said, “We could have done better but due to demonetisation the supplies were a constraint and there was a shift in the demand pattern.”

The brand has done well in the international market, however, notwithstanding the blow from the devaluation of the Egyptian pound in a market in which Asian Paints is hugely present and the weakening rupee. It has focused mainly on its retail business, particularly Asian Paints Home and entire décor retailing.

Anand said that retailing was doing phenomenally well. Over the years the company has launched signature stores in different cities to reach out to consumers of their latest products and solutions. “We were cautious before installing these projects,” Anand said, “because these projects come at a very high cost.”

Asian Paints received a superb response to its offering, beautiful and engaged with more than five lakh customers. Changing its sales strategy and offering new products at regular intervals worked for the company. He said, “We cater to people needs.”

The paint company has been on a growth curve since its inception. In the last quarter ended 31 March, 2017, it reported a 10.14 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 479.61 crore against Rs 435.47 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

Anand said three things made Asian Paints stand out in the crowd — its people, information technology, and services. “The core strength of Asian Paints are our employees and the way we engage to persue the task of understanding the needs of the consumer.” The company’s teams works on solutions to décor and colour problems for consumers, such as colour solutions for damp walls, rusted paint and home décor. The team also focuses on handling consumer complaints, striving to solve problems within 48-hour time frames.  

Anand pointed out that the company had earned respect and credibility for its product and services. Asian Paints gives top priority to its retailers and deals with 45,000 retailers and direct suppliers. The paint giant has more than 380 colour ideas stores, which are growing at a phenomenal rate.

Information technology was the third vital plank of its business, Anand said. “All our executive managers and sales professionals are linked with the latest gadgets and are able to solve customer queries on the spot,” he said. The company has invested in its manufacturing system, acquiring an edge over rivals in its automated plants.

The organisation has big plans for the future. It is building up its manufacturing capabilities not just in India, but overseas too. It is considering setting up a paint manufacturing facility in Indonesia. It also plans to set up paint production facilities in Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) and Mysuru (Karnataka).

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magazine 5 August 2017 KBS ANAND asian paints

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