Finolex Starts Commercial Production at Masar, Plans 4th Plant

Finolex Industries, the leading PVC pipe manufacturer in the country, had kicked off the commercial production at its new plant at Masar in Gujarat, which was set up with an investment of about Rs 100 crore. Prakash Chhabria, Executive Chairman, Finolex Industries Limited, revealed that the strategic location of the new plant would allow the company to cater to agriculture and real estate market not only in Gujarat but also Northern part of the country.

This is the first plant of the company that has been set up outside Maharashtra. Chhabria said, "Friendly industrial environment in Gujarat prompted us to set up a plant there."

The first phase of the plant will have a production capacity of about 30,000 tonnes per annum. The second plant, which will be commissioned during 2013-14, is likely to increase the capacity of the plant to 50,000 tonnes.

The company is also planning to start its fourth plant in the next two to three years. The fourth plant that will cater to domestic requirements may be established in Masar, Maharashtra or in the North East states of the country.

Earlier this year, in an exclusive interview with CEW, S S Dhanorkar, Managing Director, Finolex Industries Limited, had commented, "The company is aggressively focusing on its core business of PVC pipes and fittings where it enjoys undisputed leadership position. FIL already has a network of more than 14,000 direct and indirect retail outlets spread across India and plans to further develop this network so that FIL's PVC pipes are easily accessible to every farmer in India."

The PVC pipes market has been growing steadily at more than 10 per cent per annum and it stands as approximately 14 lakh MTs. The market is divided almost equally between organised and unorganised players. FIL enjoys a share of more than 20 per cent in the organised market, Dhanorkar had revealed.

According to Dhanorkar, the total consumption of PVC Resin in India has touched 20 lakh tonnes whereas the domestic production is approximately 13 lakh tonnes, paving the way for imports. The domestic manufacturers of PVC Resin are, therefore, fully sold out. "FIL will look at extending the PVC Resin capacity sometime in the future though there are no concrete plans as of now," he added.

Commenting on how the organisation has achieved brand leadership in PVC pipes segment, Dhanorkar explained that over the years Finolex extended its dealer network across different States in India reaching farmers who are the ultimate users of pipes. "FIL always believed in providing to the farmers a consistently high quality. This helped in building confidence in the farmers' minds about the brand Finolex and helped the Company grow its business from year to year. FIL retained its leadership position in the market despite entry of many other manufacturers in the field," he added.

By late eighties FIL was one of the largest importers of PVC Resin (which is the main raw material for PVC pipes) in India. This dependence on imports was however, was proving to be a constraint to the growth of PVC pipes business. This is when FIL decided to set up a backward integration project for manufacture of PVC Resin.

The company has come a long way from being a "Processor" of plastics to a ¬Producer  of plastics.

In 1994 FIL commissioned its state-of-the-Art PVC manufacturing capacity with a technical know-how from Hoechst, Germany. The Plant was set up on the West Coast of India at Ratnagiri where the Company also set up India's first private sector cryogenic jetty to import the raw material required for manufacture of PVC Resin.