GUWAHATI, April 16 - Putting a stamp of recognition to the resurgent North-east, country’s largest paint company Asian Paints Ltd has announced plans to expand its business activities in the region by way of investments in “warehouses, people and manufacturing of paints.”Talking exclusively to The Assam Tribune on the sidelines of a recent dealers’ meet-cum-achievers’ awards function, Amit Syngle, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Asian Paints Ltd, said, “ The North-east is one area where there is good progress taking place with respect to overall kind of infrastructure, good investments happening in the economy and also we have done extremely well in the entire region as a company. While the North-east’s contribution to our overall market share is not very big, it is definitely growing at a very fast pace, I can tell you that.”
He said that the company in response to its strong performance in the region “felt the need to give it back to the people something which is close to them so that we are able get into their hearts as an emotional brand. That’s where the motivation came in for the company’s North-east focus.
“This very approach of the company has resulted in a book titled Colours of India: North-east Edition... we picked up the nuances of regional decor... we did a long research to understand what are the motivations for them to do their homes in a particular manner. We looked at the wooden furniture, the elements of their windows, the larger windows, the architecture of the seven States, the local elements that adorn the houses. And some of the brighter colours that take inspirations from the handlooms and textiles. Not only the colours, but also the textiles, handlooms, the dances, the cultures that have been featured in the book. We have given them a ‘colour in decor’ guide which they can use, get inspired by.”
When asked about the company’s steps for the North-east market, Syngle said, “We have set up a local facility in Guwahati for making some kinds of paints which are there in the market. We set up that facility last year only and we are looking to expand its capacity for making other kinds of paints also. That is a big step which we have taken for the region because generally earlier we used to transport all the material from our eastern plants... We are also looking at investing here. We have already invested in huge warehouses.”
Reiterating Asian Paints’ commitments to the region, the COO said, “We are also introducing all our latest launches here – our wood finishes, our exterior products, our interior products... We have also introduced a new range of paints called smartcare for waterproofing.
“We are also launching some very new products in the market some of which are in the range of wood finishes. We think wood is very, very relevant in the North-east.”
To a question on Asian Paints’ investmentment plans for the North-east, Syngle explained, “As of now we have not set any investment figure for the North-east. But this whole thing of expansion... we are investing in warehouses, we are investing in people, we are investing in manufacturing. All these are investments that go on to show our faith in the North-east’s growth in terms of what we are seeing.”