ABHIJIT ROY explains how innovation has played a major role in stepping up Berger´s positioning in the market. Despite being the second-fastest growing economy in the world, we are constantly faced with the challenge of being innovative and creating global brands.
In the construction industry, given the current economic setting, it has become essential for every big or small enterprise to adopt pathbreaking and out-of-the-box marketing initiatives without which it will be impossible for any corporation to take greater strides towards the future.
Reinventing the paint industry: The Indian paint industry is not different from the FMCG industry. Branding, distribution strength and innovative use of technology have become decisive aspects of growth against a backdrop of ever-changing customer preferences. There have been innovations in the paint market both at the product development and technology level while the usage side has seen some changes too. These have been implemented with a view to create better and safer products, environment-friendly paints, more cost-effective technologies and better aesthetics.
Companies such as ours are increasingly investing in R&D, to carve out a niche and differentiate the product segment in the market. Berger is one of the fastest growing paint brands in the country with the second highest market share in India because it consistently reinvents itself by introducing a plethora of paint products and properties into the market that not only ensures consumer loyalty but also excites and increases their demand for variety.
Founded in 1760, Berger has one of the largest distribution networks consisting of 12,000 plus channel members serviced through 86 stock points and seven production units. It has four distinct business verticals namely decorative coatings, protective coatings, automotive coatings, industrial and powder coatings with about 10,000 plus product SKUs on offer. It has business or technology transfer tie-ups with various renowned paint companies in the world like Nippon Bee of Japan, Orica of Australia and Becker Acroma Spa of Italy to name a few.
product innovation: Constant innovations have also resulted in a wide range of paints for diverse needs. The Weathercoat Allguard is the first and only silicon-based exterior emulsion in the country, which reverses the effects of rain.The Rangoli Easy Clean is a unique paint with cross linking polymer that is washable and keeps walls stain-free. Berger also introduced Silk for the luxury segment with different types of designer finishes for the wall.
We also offer our green, energy-saving range which is the Breathe Easy enamel for walls, doors and windows. Under this category, we offer the energy-saving Weathercoat Kool and Seal which are water-based, flexible, waterproof roof paints which have the dual advantage of sealing the surface as well as cooling the interiors.
To take the innovation a step forward, we experimented and introduced a host of construction chemical products in the other vertical that consists of construction chemicals which impart protection from environmental hazards at minimal costs. All our innovations are brought to the fore by our seven production units and by our 12,000 plus paint retailers present across the country.
Moreover, we have evolved our communication with the customer with a dealer service efficiency call centre wherein our customer relationship management package is by Microsoft and its operations are handled by IBM. Also our franchise stores across the country empower and encourage a loyal dealer base where consumers get a complete ´touch and feel´ experience before making a decision. NR Narayan Murthy once pointed out that ´creation of global brands requires innovation.´ It is our responsibility in the industry to create a great future for ourselves on a global scale in the global bazaar by creating global brands, products and services.
Looking ahead, we are confident that our constant drive for creating differentiation in the market, our confidence in our consumers´ loyalty and our versatile presence through our existing products will act as a source of great strength in the present economic scenario and help us to expand our business further, in time to come.
About the author: Abhijit Roy, Managing Director & CEO, Berger Paints India, has been the driving force behind the company´s innovative strategies.
An MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, he joined Berger in 1996 as a Product Manager for Color Bank Tinting System. Over the years, he has climbed the corporate ladder and under his leadership, many successful brands such as WeatherCoat All Guard and Rangoli Easy Clean were launched. Silk, a premium luxury brand, was re-launched with great success.