Utkarsh India Limited is one of the experienced players in the polymer pipes market. As the global and domestic industry looks forward to a period of booming growth, challenges and competition are as inevitable as opportunities. It is in times like these that even seasoned players like Utkarsh India are up and front ensuring leadership and growth by the confluence of quality, pricing, innovation, and acceptance of modern techniques. As Mr. Utkarsh Bansal, Director of Utkarsh India, engages with Tube & Pipe India to discuss both industrial and organizational future, one could observe the attitude and planning it takes to become an industry leader. For instance, doubling the company revenue from the eastern Indian region to reach over INR 1,000 crore in the next four years.
Tube & Pipe India: Utkarsh enjoys pioneer status in the polymer pipes market. Please elaborate on your market position and the steps that you take to maintain your brand loyalty and market leadership.
Utkarsh Bansal: Utkarsh India is one of the leading brands for polymer pipes of various categories in eastern India with the highest brand recall amongst channel partners, influencers, contractors as well as the public at large. Whether in the agriculture, boring or plumbing segments, our range of PVC and HDPE pipes and fittings have become one of the most trusted and preferred brands. We have a network of over 5,000 channel partners and over 20,000 influencers who are in touch with us on a regular basis. Utkarsh Polymer Division has a production capacity of more than 36,000TPA. We are the first to manufacture and introduce SWR pipes and fittings and UPVC lead-free pipes and fittings in the eastern region. We are the first to use Leak Proof Gold Seal in the SWR range of pipes and fittings. We are among the PHED-approved PVC Brands complying with various standards like ISO, EN, BIS, BS, DIN, TSEC, IS, ASTM d, SGS, OHSAS, etc.
To maintain our brand loyalty one of the foremost steps we undertake is to be one of the most quality-conscious brands in the market so that the market has an automatic sense of trust when buying our product. We are one of the only fully automated plants for the production of plastic pipes and fittings in the eastern region which allows complete control over quality, process, and output. We also ensure our procurement only happens from the top suppliers in the world, that is from Japan, Thailand, etc.
Moreover, we have a very active quality team who is hands-on with attending to any complaint that we may receive with immediate solutions so it gives both our customers and partners a sense of comfort at all times. We are constantly adding to our range of products with innovation to ensure that we have the most cutting-edge products that match the need of our market as well as the remotest requirement of our customers. We are also very active in terms of influencer marketing by doing more than five plumber meets per day across all our customers on average to ensure product awareness among our influencers and constant touch with the brand. We take their feedback as well to understand their issues and perception and make changes accordingly.
We also make sure that we maintain a very strong channel policy, with most of our partners having been with us for decades and growing with the company, which ensures that we have their loyalty at all times. We also have a dedicated team looking after approvals, certifications, project sales, etc. to ensure that any marketing support that is needed by our partners is always catered for. Moreover, we believe in complete transparency and accessibility so all of our channel partners and customers alike have access to all the people responsible for the brand and the product so that we can constantly adapt to the market feedback and solve any challenges we may face.
We are already doing more than INR 250 crore of sales of plastic pipes and fittings in the eastern region, and aim to grow this figure to about INR 500 crore within the next couple of years to further amplify our leadership position. Furthermore, we are investing in new forms of marketing, such as digital marketing, for lead generation and connecting with new channel partners, tapping on all ends of the market catering to both rural and urban demand and to all applications of plastic pipes and fittings. We are determined to maintain the best balance of quality and price to ensure that our customers get top-quality products at the most competitive pricing as per the ethos and mission of the company.
TPI: Discuss your product portfolio along with its application areas.
UB: Utkarsh India Limited is an ISO 9001:2015 certified organization with an annual group turnover of INR 2,000 crores, and 40+ years of manufacturing experience in the infrastructural sector. Our group owns ultra-modern manufacturing units, consistent premium quality products, a pan-Indian robust distribution network, and an export setup to more than 35 countries.
Our polymer production unit located at Gurap, West Bengal is equipped with the best in manufacturing technology and backed with stringent quality control and checks. Utkarsh Polymer products meet national & international standards and specifications and are certified by plumbing governing bodies around the world.
Our Polymer Portfolio includes:
- CPVC Plumbing Pipes and Fittings
- uFLO UPVC lead-free Pipes and Fittings
- SWR Pipes and Fittings
- uPVC Column Pipes and accessories
- Agriculture Pressure Pipes and Fittings
- PVC well casing Screen Pipes
- HDPE Pipes
- PLB HDPE Duct
- Garden Pipe
TPI: Tell us about your Indian and International presence in this industry.
UB: We have a strong channel market in the eastern region with over 5,000 active dealers, channel partners, and retailers working with us for various markets. In the industrial segment, we have buyers on a pan-India basis from various sectors. Due to our presence in various infrastructural sectors such as roads and highways (via crash barriers), railway electrification (via OHE structures), urban development (via lighting poles and Highmasts), water transportation (via PVC, HDPE and steel pipes), power transportation and distribution (via steel tubular poles, transmission like towers) and telecom (via telecom towers) through our diversified product portfolio, we have become the brand of choice for all these sectors on a pan-India basis. Utkarsh India Limited, a Government of India-recognized export house, has achieved the EEPC India award for export excellence for two consecutive years and has gained footholds in various countries, including Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern island, Sri Lanka, UAE, and UK among others.
We have supplied major projects and agencies, such as NTPC, NALCO, PHED – Aizawl, Rajasthan & West Bengal, Tata Steel, ONGC, Hindustan Petroleum, L&T, Kalpataru Power, NHAI, BHEL, Coal India, SAIL, ESL, TISCO, Indian Railway, Power Grid, CESC, WBSEDCL, ESL, and DMC Corp.
TPI: What are your future short-term and long-term goals to serve the plastic pipes industry?
UB: Our short-term plan is to become the market leader for all kinds of plastic pipes and fittings in the eastern India market. We understand this market very well and our brand has high visibility and recall here, so we would like to further strengthen that. Within the next two years, we are aiming for plastic pipe revenues of over INR 500 crores from the eastern market and over INR 1,000 crores within the next four years from eastern and surrounding markets. For this, we have planned a network of over 10,000 retailers and channel partners across the eastern market in 2 years with a clear presence in every district across Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, the northeast, Orissa, and Chattisgarh. This is in line with the company’s target of becoming an INR 5,000 crores revenue company within the next three to four years.
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TPI: PVC pipes & fittings market is expected to experience a big boom in the near future. Kindly shed some light on this statement highlighting the significant areas of growth.
UB: Despite being the third largest selling plastic commodity after polyethylene & polypropylene, the PVC pipes & fittings market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.2 percent to reach USD 6,224 million by 2023. The Indian plastic pipe industry has a bright future with increasing application demand in areas such as potable water supply, wastewater supply, electrical and telecommunication cable protection, agriculture, chemicals, and oil and gas.
Government policies are also major contributors. The Jal Jeevan Mission scheme in every state has added to the demand for plastic pipes (specifically PE pipes) in India, creating a further boom in this category. The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana and other housing schemes have also ramped up residential and construction needs which has automatically also amplified the need for plastic pipes in the market.
TPI: What message would you like to float about the future of polymer pipes to the industry?
UB: The polymer pipes industry in India is booming, especially in the building products and agricultural application segments. It will continue to boom for years to come as India has huge potential for housing and construction and we have only touched the tip of the iceberg. At the same time, India will continue to be an agricultural economy with a constant need for the agricultural sector. Moreover, with water transportation at its peak via the Jal Jeevan mission, this is the golden period for the industry. The current market is of consolidation and the customer becoming more and more quality and brand conscious. A product that is the best in the market will continue to stand out and take market share from the others that are providing subpar offerings, and we, at Utkarsh, believe that we will be able to capitalize on this to make sure we’re the leading player in the market
TPI: What is your outlook toward the role of exhibitions and fairs in the growth of the industry?
UB: Exhibitions and fairs in this industry, just like any industry, tend to be extremely important as they help us connect with the end customers, especially the decision makers as they provide a platform for them to come and see all offerings in one arena. Moreover, they provide an opportunity for the project and actual user sales to meet a variety of consultants, contractors, infrastructure customers, and government agencies. Additionally, they provide an opportunity to showcase the quality and new innovations in our products to various key people, which is otherwise a difficult and lengthy procedure.