Mar 1 2018 | Industry View

Ramakant Pandey, Founder & Director, RachTR Chemicals

The use of right construction chemicals enhances the capabilities, performance, functionality, chemical resistance and longevity of the construction materials. It minimizes the project completion time and the need for regular repair, thereby reducing the overall average project & repair cost in the longer run. They also add value by augmenting the look and feel of the building.

Ramakant Pandey, Founder & Director, RachTR Chemicals share insights with Sandeep Sharma about his company, product offerings, core competencies, critical parameters considered by buyers, benefits of using construction chemicals, industry size, strategy to increase market share, challenges before the industry, R&D efforts, and future business prospects.

Tell us about your company, objectives, product offerings and core competencies?
RachTR Chemicals Pvt Ltd is a Delhi based start-up providing solutions in ceramics and construction industry. It was brought into existence in September 2013 by a team of four entrepreneurs - Ramakant Pandey, Sameer Jakhar, Nikhaar Jain and Abhisek Poddar. The company was galvanized to fix the dilemma of access to quality solutions in construction chemicals.

With a robust in-house R&D and state of art manufacturing units, the company aims to deliver technological value to the customers through quality products in minimal possible time. The team at RachTR is an ideal confluence of professionals, who are united by the aim of actively revolutionizing the construction chemical needs in the country.

The product portfolio includes an extensive variety of adhesives, epoxy systems, protection and cleaning & maintenance solutions, which are predominantly used for ceramics industry. The company’s core competencies include R&D capabilities, and it seeks to deliver to the customers, the highest-quality products by leveraging the research center.

Could you share with us the USP of your products?
Our products have:
Modified and enhanced physical as well as chemical properties

Low cost as compared to competitors’ as value delivered to price ratio is quite high
High durability, as they are designed to withstand adverse and extreme weather conditions in India
Easy applicability and are developed taking into account the skill level of Indian applicators
Low VOC thereby not harming the environment

What parameters are critical for buyers/users of Construction Chemicals?
The critical parameters for the buyers/users of construction chemicals include the following:

1. Price & Value addition
The most important consideration while choosing the right construction chemical product is price. While looking through the options, one may come across varied price points; it is not always advisable to consider the cheapest options. What is more important is the lifespan and value that you will obtain from using a particular product. Buying cheaper products might result in having to replace or repair them frequently which ultimately end up being more expensive. So it is necessary to choose the product that will serve you well for a longer period and end up being more cost efficient.

2. Durability
Some construction chemical products last longer than others and are more resistant to weather effects, decay and other environmental hazards depending upon the environmental conditions, construction stage, construction conditions, usage of construction, etc. It is imperative to choose appropriate materials as per consideration of above-mentioned factors and ensure that the products used are long-lasting.

3. Ease of application
While selecting the right construction chemical, one should consider the installation or application process. Depending on the product, you select, you may need to hire specialized personnel for complicated installations, and this will become an additional cost. Hence, it is advisable to buy products that are easier to apply or install.

What are the benefits of using Construction Chemicals in the pre and post construction stage?
The use of right construction chemicals enhances the capabilities, performance, functionality, chemical resistance and longevity of the construction materials. It minimizes the project completion time and the need for regular repair, thereby reducing the overall average project & repair cost in the longer run. They also add value by augmenting the look and feel of the building.

There are many structures that are old or built using sub-standard construction materials. These buildings face the danger of collapse. Furthermore, the climatic conditions in certain parts of India cause serious damage to buildings, which can be eradicated by the use of construction chemicals.

What's the size of India Construction Chemical industry?
According to a FICCI report, the construction chemicals market in India has grown from INR 1,900 Cr. in 2009 to approx. INR 3,500 Cr. in 2014 and is expected to grow close to 14-16% p.a. for the next five years.

What's your strategy to increase your market share?
We have a strong channel network to enhance service time and deeper geographical penetration, which in turn helps us to reach us to the end consumer. Going forward, we would break into new markets and segments to increase our market share.

We also plan to focus more on research and innovation and devote greater resources to our best-in-class product development and R&D to continue to create products that will excite and amaze customers.

What are the challenges before the Construction Chemicals producers in India?
The construction chemicals industry is presently at a nascent stage and hasn’t been explored much. Some of the common challenges are:

1. Low awareness - There is a lack of awareness among consumers regarding the benefits of construction chemical usage in increasing the longevity of buildings. Besides, most of the construction industry labours in India are unaware of the concept and the value addition that can be offered to the end-user by using the right construction chemical during the construction process.

2. Unskilled labour - Skilled labour for executing the installation and application of the construction chemical lacks presently in the industry. Additionally, the unavailability of technical expertise required understanding the complexity of construction, lack of information on latest tools and equipment, are some of the challenges that industry faces.

3. Lack of research capabilities - R&D is imperative in developing the right products considering the Indian climatic conditions. The application tools and methods also demand regular updation which is currently missing across industry.

Could you share some insights about your R&D efforts with regard to product development?
At RachTR, we believe that R&D efforts are extremely critical to constantly pursue new developments to the ever-evolving needs of the consumers and changing market practices. Keeping this in mind, we have built a robust and well-equipped R&D team. It is only because of our R&D capabilities that we are able to do much more quality control over our products and innovate on a regular basis. For example, we have recently developed a coating product that changes colours as per the room temperature which we expect to be a hit amongst kid-friendly structures.

Some of the key insights are:
1. Our R&D team comes with over 6 years of experience in research and development of products and processes in fields including Polymers, Construction Chemicals and Cosmetics.
2. We have developed more than 40 products in the past 6 years, out of which 30 are being currently sold in more than 3 different continents.
3. The team excels in developing products on new concepts from scratch till taking it to the market-ready stage including processes such as pilot testing, large scale manufacturing, QC setup, packaging and troubleshooting.
4. We have an expertise in developing cost optimized product to match the demands of the industry.
5. We have undertaken projects in more than 10 different market segments including Construction Chemicals and Adhesives, Personal Care, Home Care, Automotive Coatings, Industrial Coatings and adhesives, Polymeric Membranes, etc.

Going forward, where do you see your company five years from now?
Within four years of our dawn, we have been successfully able to demonstrate our capabilities by being ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving construction chemical space.

Going forward, we will look at further strengthening our product portfolio and increasing our market presence. We are a channel-agnostic organization and therefore, our channel partners are very important for our growth. We will bring in new training programs to equip our partners and give them the knowledge necessary to sell to the end users. Furthermore, we continuously conduct workshops, trainings and seminars for applicators and contractors to constantly train them regarding product usage, latest innovations, right tools and procedures of application, etc.

On products and solutions front, you will see many exciting technological introductions and launches that will certainly create an impact on the way people buy construction chemicals.

To summarize, we continuously strive to bring in new and innovative products, and we believe in our people and channel capabilities which will help us in aggressively tapping into newer market spaces.