By incorporating the human element and greenness in its offerings, the Paints Industry is elevating itself to higher levels, reports S.D. Khan
Tradition and conditioning of the mindset are two vital elements of Indian culture. As hardcore traditionalists, we have revered colours, but on the flip side, we have also been conditioned to believe that 'A Paint is A Paint'! The phrase does sound quite ambiguous, but in-fact, it conveys a very simple message that selecting paint for the house is too menial a task to merit your focus and attention. And since 'it's just a paint', it should better be left to the painter's discretion. No wonder, most of our buildings have been stereotypes wearing the monotonous off-white, yellow, and pinkish paint coats.
But the modern definition of paint is much beyond that of an element which makes a dwelling habitable. Today, paint themes define personality and moods, mark occasions and festivals, and bespeak sentiments such as peace, repose, enthusiasm, vitality, and even lull! Well, this noble transition is attributable both to the paint makers, and the consumers. For manufacturers, what can more gratifying than an educated and evolving clientele which loves to experiment? Taking cognizance of this, paint majors have added new dimensions to their offerings in the form of creative themes and palettes that incorporate colour psychologies. In fact, their Research & Development wings relentlessly gauge consumer preferences to tailor the products accordingly. Professional advice is also sought from architects, designers, and consultants since these influencers interact with clients quite informally and have a deep knowledge of their likes and dislikes.
Asian Paints, for example, introduced the Colour Next collection almost a decade back in consultation with design professionals, sociologists, and industry experts. It's a heterogeneous blend of paint themes, and undergoes a change every year. On the other hand, Norwegian player Jotun raised a toast to womanhood by launching 'Lady Effects' theme which encourages the Indian housewives to get involved in the paint selection process. Berger, another stalwart, recently roped in the designer Suzanne Roshan as its brand ambassador wherein paint themes conceptualized by the diva were promoted across the country. Meanwhile, Kansai Nerolac, which is endorsed by Shahrukh Khan, has tiedup with KidZania, an 'indoor' family edutainment theme park for kids. The partnership has resulted in an enjoyable activity for kids, wherein they can paint dummy houses using Nerolac paints. For consumers, these are excellent mediums to express their creative side and discover the unexplored facets of their personalities. And given the fact that all of these paint themes are eco-friendly, the top most essential, what more can people ask for? Here's what the Paint Industry's crème-de-la-crème have to say:
Jotun Blending Innovation and Greenness
According to Mr. Percy Jijina, Sales Director-Decorative, Jotun India Pvt Ltd, increasing consumer awareness about paints is translating into a shift towards better products, and it's imperative that paint makers constantly upgrade their wares in accordance with the trends. "Innovation has now become the key to success. For every product or brand to survive in the market, one needs to be innovative to differentiate them and simultaneously meet the rising demands of the consumers. Jotun strives to develop products that are useful for their customers and at the same time are best suited for the environment."
Notably, Jotun acknowledges the fact that customers are particular about the paint products they use. "Majority of the consumers look at painting as a onetime investment and prefer products that are long lasting. Eco-friendly paints are given more importance as consumers these days understand most components used in non eco-friendly paints which can cause health hazards. The global paint and coatings industry is doing its part to build a safer, greener environment. As per government requirements and regulations, a majority of Indian paint companies have also introduced "green" product range in their offerings. This is the time when the green building concept, eco-friendly technology, eco-friendly paints and materials are being given more emphasis in India," he says.
How committed is Jotun towards greenness can be gauged from the Fenomastic Gold, and Jotashield Extreme paint finishes that it has introduced in the market. Mr. Jijina informs, "Fenomastic Gold is a superior quality, 100% acrylic based emulsion paint with an advanced Hairline Crack Tolerance formula, creating a high class finish. It contains special Anti – Fungus additives in wet film which help resist fungal and bacterial growth on interior walls. The product is also flame spread certified. Fenomastic Gold emulsion paint is lab tested (independent test laboratory certified) as having a stretch bridging capability of 1 mm. Besides this, it has excellent flow properties and wash ability. It is easy to maintain since smudges & stains can be easily cleaned."
"Meanwhile," he continues, "Jotashield Extreme is an exterior product that addresses environmental issues such as rising energy costs, global warming and effective heat management. It's a non hazardous product and 100% lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium free. Also to complement the above features, there are a wide variety of colours to choose from, that provide outstanding durability."
Well, by the virtue of being a global paints major, Jotun taps consumer sentiments by infusing colour psychologies in its offerings. Mr. Jijina states, "Pablo Picasso always said 'colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions'. Undoubtedly, every colour signifies and says something different to everyone. We never realize what a strong association we have with colours particularly in our subconscious minds. Be it your favorite colour or just paints for your room, you need to be consciously aware that colour history plays an integral role in our day to day lives and can sometimes have a positive or not so positive association in our memory banks. The colour association of an individual could be deep rooted with his own past experiences and sometimes culture. With the coming in of the festive season, it's time to get the most out of every paint colour. It's all about eco-friendly, protective, temperature control ability paints. We also offer speciality finishes that are tailor made to meet customer requirements, matching specified colours and textures. The demand of such finishes is primarily in the hospitality sector, high end luxury apartments and lifestyle homes."
Nippon Tapping Consumer Personalities
Nippon Paints adheres to the philosophy that colours within interior spaces largely affect the mood of people residing in. "Every year, we release The Colours of Life Interior & Exterior books wherein we recommend colours for the year. For example, Pink is a colour that conveys a feeling of care, acceptance, contentment. The choice of various shades from the pink colour family – light pinks to deep purples can go a long way in creating a gamut of moods from pure innocence to extravagant sensuality," informs Mr. Ramakanth V. Akula, President – Decorative Division, Nippon Paints India Pvt. Ltd.
On being asked about the receptivity of Indian consumers to new paint trends considering the fact that paints have traditionally been a painter's prerogative in our country, he opines, "Indian consumers are quite conveniently adapting to the changing trends in paints as well as colours. There is a small yet growing segment of the end consumers who are highly involved in the paint buying decision. Considering the large range of colours which are being offered by paint companies, the colour selection is definitely the consumer's decision. At Nippon Paint, we strive to cater to all strata of the society. While working on our recommendation of colours, we present a gamut of shades in each colour family, which surely caters to the requirement of all consumer classes."
According to him, professional advice enables consumers to zero in on the most suitable paint colours and combinations. "The level of involvement of architects is quite high, as they are considered to be opinion leaders, who, keeping in mind the market trends, recommend paints/colours to individuals.
Our Colours of Life book for interior and exterior is provided to all influencers, painter, contractors, architects, and consultants." Notably, Nippon is in the process of developing specific paint finishes which will require skilled application. We will be training painters, which will enable them in smooth execution of work. This will be done by next year."
Significantly, Nippon's paints are NEAR ZERO VOC, which means that they don't emanate fumes and smells that are hazardous to health. The company has also introduced the anti-formaldehyde with Active Carbon Technology that continuously absorbs harmful free formaldehyde from the air and converts that into water vapour, thereby resulting in clean and fresh air.
Kansai Contributing to the Green Sentiment
Mr. Sukhpreet Singh, Vice President of Marketing and Sales (Decorative) Kansai Nerolac, avers that in today's times, selection of paints is definitely not the sole responsibility of a painter/contractor as more buyers are taking the onus of picking the right brand for their homes. "As end-users are becoming more sensitive to their needs, paint companies are also now focusing on providing paints that propagate healthy living. Paints have the ability to reflect one's personality and play a vital role in healing therapy."
He adds, "At Kansai Nerolac, innovation is at the core of our philosophy, be it in the products we offer or the mediums we utilize to connect with our consumers. We were the forerunners in introduction of 'lead free paints' followed by 'low-VOC' and lastly 'zero-VOC' paints. We strongly consider that paints are not just about choosing a colour or a design but also it is a lot more than just beautification. Our group robustly believes that consumers have and will continue to become more vigilant about the health hazards caused by paints. In other words, the eco-friendly category is only going to grow stronger and prominent."
Nerolac'as "Natural Healthy Colour Palette" that was launched during summer is definitely worth a try. "The palette constitutes the colour wheel which represents inherent qualities attached to every colour with a co-relation to elements that comprise healthy living. The mere thought behind creating this palette is to help individuals choose the right shade for their homes to maintain equilibrium between healthy lifestyle and a healthy environment."
"The colour wheel," he elaborates, "brings together a plethora of colours that represent positive and healthy state of mind. For example, to achieve an energy laden colour scheme one could opt for shades of orange (Orange Grove 2068, Nastritium 2070) for a particular room and offset it with off-white (Papyrus 2666). The colour orange is symbolic of citric fruits – rich source of Vitamin C, whereas the latter represents milk, the best source of Vitamin D. Similarly, one could choose from the various shades in the wheel to bring about a balance in their lifestyle."