Chryso India: Aiming to be a Technological Leader
- Giles Everitt, Managing Director, Chryso India

The last two years have been cumbersome for the manufacturing sector across all industries including construction chemicals. But with the positivity around the Union Budget and new investments planned, the sector may see a high growth in the next five years. Giles Everitt, Managing Director, Chryso India speaks to Girija Dalvi about the market scenario till 2020, the factors that would spur growth, the challenges that lie ahead and how Chryso would like to be the technological leader instead of being just a dominant player in the Indian market.

The manufacturing sector has seen turbulent times in the last two years which is evident across all industries including the construction chemicals industry. A recent report by FICCI and Tata Strategic Management (TSMG) has projected the construction chemicals market to reach ` 7000-8000 crores by FY 2018 at a growth rate of 15-16 per cent which can be attributed to the conducive environment that the present Government is creating to push the infrastructure growth which will provide impetus to the growth of the construction chemicals industry in India. “Now that there is so much optimism regarding the growth of construction chemicals segment, I feel the industry needs to take up a more active role to put itself on the right growth trajectory,” Everitt expresss.

Lack of education across the end user segment of construction chemicals is one of the biggest lacunae according to Everitt which can be addressed only through educating the targeted user sector. “I believe that addressing this challenge will go a long way in evolution of the construction chemicals industry,” he adds. Everitt emphasises on the need of the industry to come together to provide greater stress on producing quality construction chemicals which would further catalyse the growth of industry.

Penetrating Indian Construction Chemicals Market
Chryso entered Indian market in 2006 through a 50:50 joint venture with Structural Waterproofing Company Pvt Ltd (SWC) and two years later acquired SWC, which is now a subsidiary company of group, Everitt notes. “For us, technology has been the key differentiator and we aim to become a technological leader in the market rather one of the dominant market players,” he reveals.

In 2014, cement consumption in India stood at 240 million tonnes per annum which is expected to grow at 10 per cent CAGR per annum and forecasted to reach 500 million tonnes per annum by 2020. Ad mixtures constitute for the highest share of 42 per cent of the total market share.

Over the years, Chryso India has strengthened its position in the Indian market and built a strong team, set up industrial sites and has research and development facility to offer customised solutions to the market. “We continually invest in recruitment and training programs to hire right people to drive the business forward,” Everitt says.

Technology: Key Driver and Differentiator
According to Everitt, technology has been the key driver and differentiator for the company’s growth. Chryso India has made significant investments in research and development in India and commissioned the first R&D centre in Navi Mumbai towards the end of 2012. Apart from the R&D centre in its headquarters in France, Chryso India is the only subsidiary with the advanced R&D centre amongst total of 17 group subsidiaries, which is a testimony of its commitment to the Indian market.

Chryso believes in working on different niche technologies to enhance the performance with the varied raw materials available in India. Some of those technologies are the delta range of products that work very well for the ready mix industry which is one of the fast growing sectors within concrete in the country. Chryso’s core strength lies in the new generation super plasticiser technology and the company manufacturers its own polymers in France giving the company access to know-how and an edge in the Indian market. The innovation in cement grinding aid is in respect to the early and late activation. Everitt elucidates that this offers a big benefit to the cement industry in increasing its clinker factor and it is another growth arena for Chryso in India. The company has a specific cement grinding laboratory here and the cement grinding aids business has seen a strong growth in the last one year.

Reserch undertaken by Chryso India encompasses entire product basket offered by the group and not confined to any particular product. The group has strong focus on research and invests 3 per cent of its turnover into research and innovation. R&D is a crucial part of the company’s business and there is constant evolution through new product development.

Everitt opines that Chryso is a technological leader in all of its niche arenas and the company aims to further strengthen the position as the technology leader though innovation and constantly bringing new technologies to the table through extensive research and development.

“We constantly align the new technologies with the changing market demands to support the customer demand and even offer technical support after commercialisation of technologies. 35 per cent of our company’s turnover comes from products that are not even five years old,” Everitt states.

Factors Spurring Growth
Everitt opines that infrastructure is going to be a key driver for growth in the next financial year driven by the growth in real estate where the growth was on a hiatus. He foresees strong sustainable growth for the construction industry over the next five years in India.

Everitt quips that in addition to the government initiatives and investments, there has to be a committed effort from the industry as well on working at penetrating the arena of mechanised concrete. Presently, the mechanised concrete is at a very low point in India. He adds that mechanisation of concrete will allow consistency, right quality and optimisation to achieve better efficiency from an economic perspective; and construction chemicals will definitely have a large role to play. For instance, the delta range of products which are robust and versatile that would prove to be the catalysts to ensure quality concrete, he notes.

He observes, Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) guidelines, which factor heat, temperature control, power consumption, etc. as another catalyst for the growth of the industry. Chryso along with the partner Lafarge is working on the technological advancements one of them being a new roofing system as far as ECBC guidelines are concerned.

Concrete is a great absorber of heat as a thermo mass index and if concrete can be made attractive through superior finishes which is possible through various technologies linked to Chryso’s new generation super-plasticiser, de-moulding works and surface treatment, it would provide a scenario conducive to growth.

Organic Growth & Future Plans
Everitt explains that India has a noteworthy contribution to play in the Chryso global financials and the company is making considerable investments here and the company is witnessing significant year on year growth in the Indian market.

Chryso has already built Greenfield capacity in Alwar and is close to commissioning of facilities in Alwar and Kolkatta. The company is also expanding the R&D centre in Navi Mumbai. Indian market is an emerging one for Chryso but vital to group’s global growth strategy. In the years to come, Chryso India will have a greater part to play in the future financial performance of the Chryso group.

The company is undertaking capacity expansion, improving the operation efficiency and sustainability as well. Even as the global market has experienced tough times, Chryso is committed to the Indian market and has elaborate plans to maintain the competitive edge to stay ahead of competition.