‘Right now the main demand driver is infrastructure’

CHRYSO India (formerly known as SWC) established in 1930 has been one of the pioneers across construction chemicals in India, with a wide range of proven and time tested products. CHRYSO India has four units in India producing for its three verticals – Concrete Business Unit, Construction System Business Unit & Cement Grinding Aid Business Unit.

Giles Everitt, Managing Director – Chryso India told Sandeep Menezes that the company’s growth should mirror the cement industry growth which would be around 10 per cent per annum.

Giles Everitt

Giles Everitt

Excerpts from the interview:

We understand that Chryso entered India through minority equity stake in Structural Waterproofing Company (SWC) in 2006. Tell us about how this alliance shaped up over the years.

Firstly, we identified the SWC as an acquisition target in India. SWC as a business has been within the construction chemicals business since nearly 70 years. Therefore they had strong brand acceptance within their specific market. We saw that the coverage that they had especially of the four metros was a good fit for Chryso to be introduced into India.

But SWC was primarily waterproofing and construction systems. The core strength of Chryso is concrete admixtures and cement grinding aids. As a result of that we were able to piggy back on the footprint of SWC to introduce Chryso products into India.

In 2008, we as a business acquired 100 per cent of SWC. So now SWC is a 100 per cent Chryso owned company. At that point it gave us the opportunity to introduce Chryso because we had 100 per cent control of that company. We then introduced our full technology range for concrete admixers and cement grinding aids. We then encompassed the construction systems business as it stood and tried to act that it.

Now that the company is 100 per cent Chryso, we now look to invest heavily within the plant network that was in existence. So we have a new plant in Alwar (Rajasthan), a new plant in Chennai, a new R&D center in Mumbai and a new Greenfield site under construction near Kolkata.

How much is Chryso investing into this capacity expansion plans?

We are investing significantly. It will be around Rs 100 million plus the ancillary land costs.

Alwar has been done in 2012, Chennai done in 2013 and Kolkata will be done in 2015. Also we had the R&D center in Mumbai. Therefore it is a continuous investment into the plant infrastructure. We are also investing in our people in India.

We have moved our business from what was a regional structure to a vertical integrated structure of three business units. These are concrete, cement and construction systems.

Tell us about Chryso’s export portfolio from India?

We export to South East Asia and also support other subsidiaries from India. Our exports from India are significant and growing.

What is your business model in India? Globally, we understand that your major markets are cement manufacturers, precast manufacturers and construction companies.
Our global market is concrete and within concrete we are looking at readymix concrete, precast concrete and jobsite. When you look at cement grinding aids, it is to facilitate the cement manufacturers in grinding efficiency. There are cement grinding aides and raw mill grinding aids. We are then looking at vertical roller mills.

Currently, the government is aggressively promoting its ‘Make in India’ campaign. Do you have any suggestions?

Any assistance that the government can give with regards to fund availability will be widely appreciated. Across the chemicals industry, there is a high degree of imports of raw materials therefore any assistance on customs duties will be good.

Tell us about your engagement with Lodha Group’s prestigious World One project?

We are supporting many projects in the Mumbai region, out of which this is one project. Lafarge has a dedicated plant for this project as per contract. We are providing Lafarge with full technical support program and this goes from different classes of cement grade such as M90 to M50 and M40 and M20.

This is a highrise project of 117 floors. Therefore the difficulty is getting concrete skybound properly so that the performance of the concrete at that height is specific with no pumping issues. Therefore it involves highly technical and advanced concrete solutions.

India is a big market for construction, per se – be it infrastructure, industry, commercial building or residential buildings. What do you envisage as the biggest demand drivers?

Right now the main demand driver is infrastructure. We have got the 12th five year plan which is extremely significant. Then the next driver will be residential due to urbanization. But I feel that infrastructure will be the core driver for the cement industry.

It helps us not only with regards to concrete admixers but also with cement grinding aids volumes as well.

It is absolutely key that the infrastructure program is in place to boost the GDP of India.

India has a very poor penetration of construction chemicals. This means that India is currently low on deployment, but high on potential. What is your overall view?

If you look at the construction industry for last two years, it’s been the w0rst since last 20 years. The 12th five year plan is giving huge confidence to the cement industry to add capacity.
The vision is that by 2020 we have achieved 500 million tonnes of cement consumption. We are at 270 million tonnes today so there is huge potential for growth of around 10 per cent per annum. I feel that cement is the barometer of the construction industry.

We have to look at how much of cement manufacture is mechanized – it is less than 30 per cent today.

This gives me great confidence that our investment plans as Chryso is gearing us up in the correct way for the future of the construction chemicals market over the next five years. Our growth would mirror the cement industry growth which would be around 10 per cent per annum.

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