July 2020 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE—ASIAN PAINTS
“People don’t really punish good brands”

In an interview with IANS, Amit Syngle, MD and CEO, Asian ...

By Sanjeev Sharma

Would you be looking at anything apart from paints in the health and hygiene category like you have done sanitizers? Or is it health-oriented within paints?

So we started with something very interesting called 'FamAssure' which is a Sanitizing Service. Under this service, we offer shops, offices, multiplexes, hotels, hospitals, and other spaces a complete sanitization service, right from space sanitization, surface sanitization to sanitization of people. So we got into this service which is packed along with our Safe Painting Service separately.

We think this is a deadly combination because today customers are looking at really sanitizing their places in a very effective way. The added bonus with this service is that it comes from a trusted brand with the commitment of offering a professional and safe painting experience, thus giving the customer complete peace of mind. Therefore, we have already innovated in the health and hygiene category and I think that service brands are something that we are going to work in a very strong way.

What do you mean by service brands?

So service brands means areas like Safe Painting Service, Sanitizing Service, Home Decor Service.

So this year, this would be the kind of area in terms of finding new opportunities?

There are lots of areas. When we look into the future, we are looking at, one, how do we maximize the entire potential of the paint market in India. The per capita consumption in India is anyways very low and there are two things we have been working on with the objective of changing that.

First, we are looking at increasing the frequency of people painting and decorating their homes. Whether it is wallpaper, whether it is waterproofing or new painting textures, we are looking for more opportunities to increase the frequency of going to a customers' homes and getting customers to paint more often. For instance, waterproofing is a big opportunity. In China, the market for waterproofing and the use of construction chemicals is almost ten times bigger than the Indian market. So that is one area that we are working on.

The other area which we are working on is home improvement. We already have a kitchen brand, a bath brand and we have introduced a chain of high-end home stores called 'AP Homes'. AP Homes is a one-stop-shop that offers comprehensive decor and design solutions to consumers across all categories that one would need for their homes and other interior spaces.

So the entire strategy is to offer solutions on the walls and off the walls within the homes. Therefore, we are offering solutions that talk about a share of the space within the house rather than just the share of the surface. Apart from this, we feel that innovation is critical. Offering cutting edge products which are first in the world, first in India; that is something that we have been working on in a very big way and that would be the direction going forward.