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Gliding On A Rough Road

Vijay Aggarwal has launched Prism Johnson on a growth path through his focus on providing innovative products and services

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Vijay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Prism Johnson

Bucking recessionary trends in the Indian economy, Prism Johnson, one of India’s leading integrated building materials’ company, grew handsomely during the financial year ended 31 March 2019. While its topline grew 12 per cent year on year (yoy) to approximately Rs 6,100 crore, ebidta jumped 36 per cent to Rs 600 crore and net profit doubled to roughly Rs 110 crore on a consolidated basis. The company has primarily three product segments — cement, ceramic tiles and ready-mix concrete — which are critical ingredients for the government’s thrust areas such as Smart Cities, Housing for All and infrastructure projects.

“This year our cement division has performed very well and other two divisions have good scope for improvement in the coming years,” said Vijay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Prism Johnson and the man driving the stupendous growth of the company.

Aggarwal sees a great future for his company. “Our vision is to improve customers’ lifestyle by providing innovative products and services. We are the only integrated building material entity in the country and see a great future ahead considering ongoing thrust on housing and infrastructure and positive sentiments in real estate business,” he said, adding, “By utilising internal resources and synergies, Prism Johnson will move closer to Rs 10,000-crore topline target in next few years.”

Aggarwal is a veteran of the industry he operates in. In 1998, he was appointed as the managing director of erstwhile H&R Johnson (India) which later merged with Prism Cement. He set up a R&D unit called IPNR (Industrial Products and Natural Resources) on the premises of a tile factory at Pen, a town in Raigad district, in 2005. A hands-on leader, Aggarwal was instrumental in making H&R Johnson the seventh-largest tile company in the world (2011) and a formidable brand in the tile and sanitary-ware category. Thanks to his business acumen, the various sub-brands from the Johnson family have been receiving consumer and industry awards since 2005. In 2016, H&R Johnson India was selected as a ‘Business Superbrand’ by the industry.

“Our cement business came up as a big challenge when I took over. A few years back, the situation was really challenging as the division was making cash losses. However, all that is behind us and the business is back on track with robust growth and profitability,” he says.

Aggarwal informs that they have diversified into construction chemicals business in a joint venture with Ardex of Germany. “Our construction chemicals brand Ardex-Endura brings the best-in-class construction chemicals to India. We also have made another successful diversification in bathroom business with mid- and premium-range sanitary ware and bath fittings and have created good capacities. The idea now is to consolidate on all our present businesses,” he said.

Aggarwal is on the board of a diverse set of industries including Exide Industries, Exide Life Insurance Co, Asianet Satellite Communications, Raheja QBE General Insurance Co., etc.

Besides the three divisions of Prism Johnson, namely Prism Cement, H&R Johnson (India), and RMC Readymix (India), the company also has a 51 per sent stake in Raheja QBE General Insurance Company, a JV with QBE Group of Australia.

“At present, we have good capacities available for growth across all three divisions. The cement division has delivered good results with 90 per cent capacity uitilisation. In the remaining two divisions, we are currently at 60 per cent capacity utilisation which means that we have enough room to grow in these businesses for the next two to three years,” says Aggarwal.

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