Farid Khan, Director & CEO, profine India Window Technology Pvt. Ltd
and Dr. Peter Mrosik, Owner and CEO of profine Group
Over the past two decades, uPVC has taken over other traditional materials for making doors and windows in a significant way all over the globe. Presently, it is the preferred material for door and window profiles due to its various features that improve quality of life, i.e. energy efficiency, recyclability, low maintenance and light weight. Globally, the segment was valued at USD 27.5 billion in 2015, and would reach USD 47 billion by 2024.
The Indian window and door (all material) market was around INR 13,000 crore in year 2013-14 and the market share of uPVC windows and door profiles was about 6-7 per cent. As per report by Ken Research, Indian window and door market is expected to reach over INR 15,000 crore by FY-2020 in terms of the revenues and out of that, the uPVC segment is expected to contribute at around 8-10 per cent approx. i.e. 1500 crore.
profine GmbH – an international profile group – is a leading manufacturer of PVC-U profiles for windows and doors and a renowned provider of shutter systems and PVC sheets. With its KBE, KÖMMERLING, and TROCAL brands, the group, having a payroll of 3,300, supplies its products to 70 countries and has an international standing at 29 sites in 22 countries. profine Group has production facilities in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Ukraine, the USA and China, and its head office is located in Troisdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany.
WFM had an in-depth discussion with Dr. Peter Mrosik, Owner and CEO of profine Group, on fenestration market in India and the progress of uPVC windows in the market. We also discussed about profine Group’s products, its USP and on the company’s future plans for India. Mr. Farid Khan, Director & CEO, Profine India Window Technology Pvt Ltd also shared his views on certain subjects. Here are the excerpts…
WFM: When did you start the business in India and tell us about your journey since then.
Dr. Peter Mrosik (PM): We started the business in India in the year 2005 and have now been here for the past 11 years. But the real progress in business was observed after 2013. I have been owning the profine Group since 2012. Our first factory in India became operational at Vadodara (Baroda) in 2013.
Farid Khan can talk much about the brand’s history in India since he has been with the group for a longer time and is permanently looking after the business in India. As an emerging market, India is in profine’s focus. Farid Khan, as the head of Indian Market and as the Director & CEO, has been communicating with all our dealers and clients. It is very important for me to be here twice a year and it is a bliss to meet the Indian team.
WFM: Mr. Farid khan, could you please add few lines on profine’s journey in India?
Farid Khan: It has been a great journey. When I started my venture with profine GmbH in 2007, I was sure that the company would be on growth mode along with the existing u-PVC profile manufacturers, and here we are growing and going places at the same time. Initially, in 2013, we started Indian manufacturing facility with 3 extrusion lines having manufacturing capacity of 3,000 MT of u-PVC profiles and now in 2017 we have expanded the capacity to 5000 tonnes with 5 extrusion lines & 1 foil lamination line which is likely to go up to 12,000 tonnes with 10 extrusion lines in coming years. This has been a result of overwhelming response for the brand “Koemmerling” from the Indian market. We have successfully reached every corner of the country through our channel partners and we are happy to see the numbers growing.
Koemmerling’s upcoming extrusion facility
WFM: Please tell us about the fenestration market in general. How can you compare the market for UPVC windows in India to other developing countries like China?
PM: Window and façade segment is an emerging industry and is growing at a fast pace. Within the sector, uPVC is a product which is a perfect fit for the Indian market. The fenestration market in India is still at a very early stage – probably in a scale of 10, it is still in stage number 2 or 3, which is just the beginning of a huge development of the uPVC sector for windows in India.
Compared to western countries or North America, the fenestration market in India is very different because it is highly price sensitive. At the same time, it is also a quality and brand sensitive market. But it is different in China. The construction sector in China is purely a price sensitive market, though in the future it is going to be more quality sensitive. But it never had been in the past. It might turn around (but not so far) when new buildings are going to be substituted by renovation.
The Russian Market is quite similar to India. About 25 years ago, we started our business in Russia, as we entered 10 years back in India. The development here at present is similar to what it was in Russia a few years back. It started slowly with the building of warehouses and progressed with production and sales of customised products for the market.
Products from profine India Window Technology are installed in this innovative and modern project
WFM: You said you have over 70 partners in India. What has made you one of the biggest brands?
PM: Our products are quality-wise the best available in the market. Traditionally we have a structured way of moving forward, considering the marketing measures.
profine Group is the founder of uPVC windows. We invented it more than 60 years ago and introduced in the global market. So there is a long tradition of high quality and branded products. Koemmerling is the most well-known brand in terms of uPVC windows worldwide. It is a success story around the world which is mainly due to the best team we have, including our Indian team headed by Mr. Farid Khan. He is an experienced director in the field and ‘Mr. uPVC’ in India. Everyone in the industry knows him.
WFM: Mr. Farid Khan, please add a few lines on your group’s key strategies which helped the brand’s growth in India?
Farid Khan: We have organised various conferences/ architect’s meets over the years to create brand awareness in the Indian market. We have been participating in fenestration specific exhibitions like ZAK, Fensterbau Frontale India and our channel partners are also contributing individually by showcasing Koemmerling brand & product range in various regional level exhibitions and architect meets. Apart from above, we are actively reaching the masses through digital media thereby enhancing our brand value.
The installations at various projects from prestigious builders and developers are showcasing our presence and strength in the market thereby living to the statement “seeing is believing”.
WFM: Please tell us about world-wide operation of profine Group?
PM: profine Group is a company which has a revenue more than 700 million Euros. We are present in more than 70 countries all over the world and Koemmerling is our top brand. The focal countries in terms of mature market includes Russia, Germany and North America. But in terms of emerging markets, our main focus is India. Besides window profiles, we are producing extruding sheets which are normally used for the construction sector.
WFM: Please tell us about few of your products which you have introduced worldwide recently?
PM: After I took over the company, we invested heavily on new products and introduced many new systems world wide. One of them is the well-known 76 system which was introduced in December 2016. The Koemmerling 76 double seal system offers all the benefits the modern windows can give. It’s five chambers and 76 mm construction depth offers a fascinating combination of modern design and perfect profile proportions. It is a window profile system, which is best in quality with efficient u-value. The system is such an innovative design that it can take modern triple glazing or special functional glazing with panes up to 48 mm thick. We offer our customers a variety of colour solutions. Koemmerling 76 is available with the new innovative surface technology pro Cover Tec in 22 colours. In addition to providing aesthetic value, the surface technology helps cool down the profiles.
We have bespoke solutions for certain markets like India and South America. In addition to that, we are launching many quality products globally. All these products will be available in India sooner or later, depending on the maturity of the market.
We started with 58mm system and modern bespoke colour solutions in India. However, the market is still at an ascent stage (stage number 2 now in the scale of 10, as I mentioned earlier). Countries like Germany or Austria are the topmost in market maturity, may be in number 9th or 10th position in the scale. Frame value requirement for Germany is much higher than that for India. Since the needs are different, we need to provide bespoke solutions to different markets. Our approach to Indian market is customised.
One of the bespoke window systems by profine
WFM: In India, uPVC window market size is only 8 to 9 percent of the total market for windows. What are the steps taken for improving the market for uPVC windows in India?
PM: We further support the product in terms of marketing, educating about the value of the product, conducting conferences and discussions with architects, real-estate developers and contractors. We invite them to confer the advantages of uPVC window systems and discuss the challenges faced by them in choosing/ installing window systems. We explain the need for adhering to quality and standards, and make them aware of the difference between the right and wrong products.
We also promote the products in events like ZAK exhibitions and conferences. Such events help to spread awareness. We participate every year in this exhibition and find it as a great platform to spread awareness on the product and to discuss with various experts in the field who are present at the exhibition. Such events are very helpful in order to bring the market forward.
In Germany, for example, the percentage of uPVC windows is exceeding 70 percent and in every mature market like Austria, Russia, & North America the figures are almost the same and they mostly use uPVC. I bet that from 20 years from now, the market share of uPVC in India will exceed atleast 50 percent. We will see a growth in development which is very interesting.
Window systems from profine at Anusandhan Kendra, SASTRA University
WFM: What is the percentage of unorganized market share for window profiles and window systems?
PM: The market for window systems and profiles is in the range of 12 to 15 thousand crores. About 70 to 80 percent of window produced is from the unorganized sector. Only 20 to 25 percent is produced by the organized sector, out of which the share of uPVC is much more, whereas aluminium, wood and steel windows/ profiles are produced more by the unorganized sector. There are very few aluminium profile manufacturers in the organized sector (e.g. companies like Shueco, Alcoa or Reynaers).
WFM: Please tell us about your manufacturing plant at Vadodara.
PM: Our first plant built at Vadodara, Gujarat, became operational in May 2013. At present, we have installed 5 extrusion lines and 1 lamination/ foiling line at the facility. We do have a training centre too at the plant.
Offering quality profiles alone is not enough. One needs to get trained in making quality windows, followed by installing the windows in a proper way. Our workers are well trained in making quality windows. We train our customers and clients in all the three aspects – choosing the right material, checking the quality of the product, and the right installation methods. We are also training our fabricators in installing windows in the best possible way. This is how we help our customers in getting the best product and service. Architects in India say that getting the window properly installed is a challenging process. We have realized this and are successfully training our fabricators.
Another project showcasing window systems with sophisticated technology from profine
WFM: What is your USP?
PM: We are innovative and leaders in the respective market. We invest heavily in every market as we have done in India. We are a ‘no nonsense’ company and we work towards the progress of the industry and make it happen. This is what makes us reliable.
Our customers trust us immensely. They know that they will get the best products and service from our brand. In addition, we make it a commitment when we say we are sincerely working towards ‘Make in India’ mission and we do not make products in Germany for Indian market. This was the main aim behind opening the factory in India. This commitment is well understood by our customers. Our products are customized for the Indian market. All Indian customers value the right product.
WFM: What are your future plans for India?
PM: Further growth! This is a very clear answer. We want to see the Indian market developing like that of Russia. We would be opening a new factory in Vadodara this year with more extrusion lines. In the first phase we will have 10 extrusion lines, which would be expanded to 20 in the future. We are planning to start production in the new plant in this year itself.
Now our extrusion plant is well equipped with state of-the-art manufacturing facilities. It has a production capacity of 5000 MT from 5 extrusion lines and 1 lamination/ foiling line. In a couple of years’ time, profine India will be geared up for 10 extrusion lines and 2 lamination/foiling lines in its new facility which will have a production capacity of 12000 MT p.a. of uPVC profiles.
We chose Vadodara for the factory since it has great economic surroundings or zones. The location for the business zone has been taken up by the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi himself. We have everything necessary for smooth running of our factory in this zone. There are no power issues and this is one of the best regions in India to go for.
WFM: Where do you see the façade and fenestration industry in India from 10 years from now?
PM: I guess the construction sector in India will grow further. The Government has been taking necessary actions for the same. We see a hard period right now, particularly after demonetization. Policies like equalization of VAT rates will certainly help the economy to grow. Along with it, the construction sector will grow too. Looking long term, the situation is very positive. I see an over proportionate growth in construction sector in the coming years. And there is a big chance for uPVC sector as well.
WFM: Please tell us about the company’s R&D plans for India?
PM: We do R&D in all our factories around the world. Our permanent control and innovation team is working round the clock, firstly on quality issues, and secondly on innovative products. We invest heavily in our R&D team because we think we have to offer typical Indian solutions in terms of colour, profile depth or energy conservation. It all depends on how the market in India is developing.
WFM: What are the major challenges you face in the Indian market?
PM: Different taxes for various regions of India is a big challenge. The skill and knowledge of fabricators is another issue. To be honest, the quality of work is not at par with what we see in Western Europe or other developed markets, in spite of choosing the best available fabricators. We have to train them for the best output.
Our Indian team is organizing required training sessions which are tailored for the Indian market. The team is very selective about the customers. They are equally selective in choosing the fabricators too. Choosing the right customers and fabricators is essential to hold the Koemmerling brand name high. The customer base of Koemmerling is second to none and this, I guess, is the most positive sign for us.
Profine is one of the largest window profile extrusion companies. As the owner of the company, my decision making process was made much easier by Farid and his Indian team. We honour our customers very much. Nearly all our customers are privately held fabricators and window makers, who have been in this field for generations, similar to the brand Koemmerling. We maintain great relationship with our customers.