In Conversation with Vikas Kulkarni

1. What are the latest trends in the woodworking industry?
Vikas Kulkarni: In the woodworking industry, we’ve observed a surge in furniture consumption driven by rising disposable incomes and evolving lifestyles. Consumers now seek both utilitarian and decorative furniture. The Indian market, traditionally dominated by small local firms, is witnessing increased presence from organized players and multinational companies. E-commerce has also played a significant role, making furniture shopping more convenient and accessible globally.

2. How are the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities placed in the modular furniture growth story?
Vikas Kulkarni: With the rapid urbanization of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the demand for modular furniture has seen substantial growth. Pidilite has found a niche in this space, acting as solid accomplices to joinery units with our new-age products, aligning with the rising demand in these cities.

3. How are Pidilite products making the woodworking industry more efficient?
Vikas Kulkarni: Pidilite is not just a provider of adhesives; we are a team of professionals offering technical expertise to address the varied challenges faced by joinery owners. We believe we are essential partners for architects and interior designers, enabling them to explore unique furniture designs and substrate combinations. They can come up with all sorts of creative ideas, and we’re here to make sure those ideas stick. Moreover, our product line seamlessly integrates with woodworking machinery, significantly boosting operational efficiency. We take pride in introducing cutting-edge global technology to the Indian market. Through our strategic partnership with Jowat, we gain access to pioneering innovations in hotmelt technology. By localizing Jowat’s technology and manufacturing it under the Fevicol Jowat brand in India, we have successfully brought forth groundbreaking advancements to the domestic industry.

4. Can you tell us a bit about the product range of Pidilite?
Vikas Kulkarni: Certainly. Pidilite offers a comprehensive range of white glue and hotmelt adhesives. Our hotmelt adhesive range includes EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) hotmelts, HMPUR’s (Hot melt Polyurethane), and PSHMA’s (Pressure-sensitive Hotmelt Adhesives).

Additionally, our white glue range includes D2 to D4 adhesives. A few of our flagship products in the D3 range are Fevicol SWR Maxx and Fevicol SWR+, which offer superior water resistance and various additional benefits.

5. You spoke about solutionizing for customers; can you share one such example with us?
Vikas Kulkarni: Over the span of six decades in the industry, the Fevicol brand has become synonymous with adhesives, and our laboratories have played a pivotal role in developing highly successful disruptive products. Customers are seeking an alternative to nail fixing, as it is not the most efficient process for bonding materials, and that led us to develop Nail Free Ultra. Just a few drops of this adhesive can securely hold a window frame together! Similarly, Fevicol Plastilok and Fevicol LF 101 stand out as part of our array of innovative offerings.

6. What makes Pidilite stand out from others in the market?
Vikas Kulkarni: Pidilite stands out through a combination of a large team of experienced professionals, over 60 years of organizational experience, distribution excellence, and technology-enabled servicing. Our digital enablement tools like Darpan – a distributor management software – are bringing stock-keeping and order placing to the convenience of a click. We have also recently launched the Genie application for our end-customers so that we maintain a channel of communication and business open for even the smallest customers, understand their requirements, gather feedback, and much more.

At Pidilite, we stay ahead by innovating and growing together with our customers. We understand that the way people furnish their homes is changing with interior decoration and e-commerce gaining popularity. That’s why we’ve invested in top online brands like LivSpace and Pepper Fry. This deliberate engagement allows us to stay closely aligned with emerging industry trends, ensuring that our growth trajectory mirrors the evolving needs and preferences of both our partners and end consumers.

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