Interview with David Teng, Director, Decorative Paints, India & South Asia, Akzonobel India
In Conversation with Shubham Singh, David Teng, Director, Decorative Paints, India & South Asia, Akzonobel India talks about the Indian government policies and latest trends of the paints industry
How paints industry has leveraged digital innovation to become customer centric?
Increasingly it is a reflection of how digital penetration in all our lives has increased. The paint industry is not unique when it comes to latest technology. In terms of online presence, we have websites for cosmo products and professional products. Today’s launch of Colour of the Year 2018 will be on our Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and social media sites. We have something called Dulux Visualisers which is an app that can be downloaded from IoS, Android. It is also called Augmented Realty where you can pick any colour of your choice and match it to the closest colour and throw the colour on the walls and use it on the wall. Consumers can use this technology from their home to test colours that they like in terms of making information available at the fingertip. We also give consumers a chance to test colours in a safe environment.
How important is Indian market for you?
It is actually one of the biggest market for us moving forward. It has a lot of potential and the global consumption of paints in India is about 1.5 ltrs per capita. There are four to five developed markets in India. Given that the fast growing GDP in India and the rising middle class sector and movement of people from rural areas to urban areas and low home ownership, I must say that there is a lot of patch in the market. At this point in time it is large but not the largest market. In the next four to five years, India will become the largest market.
How do you think the government policy reforms give impetus to the paints industry?
Demonetisation in the last quarter of 2016 has been a big hit to the overall economy. There was a GST impact which has affected all the business sectors. Personally I feel that these reforms were important for the future and there are some short term pains particularly affecting the small traders and paint shops. Things are looking much more positive in the new year. We hope that the government will look at the paints and coatings market in a positive way.
What are the latest global trends in the paints industry?
Some of the latest trends will be the impact of digital technology on the paints industry, to give consumers more information on fingertips and the ability to test colours without buying a can of paint. We are able to bring technology and Akzonobel is global company seen to be spend between more than half a billion Euro a year in the whole R&D innovations. So the Indian consumers are increasing on more choice. We are able to bring technology very much faster to the Indian consumers. In the past we must be launched in Europe also.