Showcasing the strength of the Rs 6,000-crore Indian Paint market in one of the biggest events of the national paint industry, named ‘Coatings’, held under the aegis of Indian Paint Association (IPA), the doyens of the paint industry unveiled the three-day glitzy programme before the press on Friday.
Convener of the IPA event, Jalaj Dani, informed that over a thousand delegates from the paint and allied industries from India and overseas have gathered to exchange views and developments pertaining to this sector. The exhibition held in concurrence with the conference has attracted participation from around 80 companies across the world, making it the largest ever event of the Indian paint industry.
President of IPA, PK Khanna, while addressing the media, said the Indian paint industry was probably the only sector in the country that has posted growth year after year after liberalisation of the economy. In the year 2003-04, the paint industry grew by 12 per cent, with however a sluggish growth of nine per cent in the current financial quarter.
Alongside evaluating the status of the paint industry and looking at issues around this sector, the IPA Conference also intends to prepare a draft of the budget memorandum for faster growth of the Indian paint market as a whole.
On issues facing the paint sector, Dani informed that the recent price hike in crude oil has increased input costs of raw materials and containers, increasing the final cost of paint. The small-scale manufacturers have found the input cost to be far more substantial and have been unable to increase the prices of the finished products commensurately. The margins have eroded and in many cases the viability of the smaller units is at stake. Freight and processing costs have also increased with a decline in the overall profitability, Dani said.
Special attention will be drawn on import duties and VAT rates under the framework of the Memorandum that IPA will present to the Government.
Besides, the Conference will hold panel discussions on subjects like ‘Changing Colour Preferences of the Consumer,’ Impact of Influencer on Industrial Coatings, Trends in Emerging Markets, IT solutions for small scale manufacturers and several other technical themes. While many of the CEOs, and senior professionals from the local paints market, like Pravin Chaudhari, Vice President, SCM, Goodlass Nerolac Paints Ltd, Ashwin Dani, Vice Chaitman and MD, Asian paints Ltd, will be participating in the deliberations over the next couple of days, a host of foreign companies professionals too have descended in the conference venue.