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“Alcomb, an Aluminium Honeycomb Panel from Alstone, is a Top-Notch Choice for Any Architect or Façade Consultant”
SUMIT GUPTA, Alstone
WFM Media interviewed Sumit Gupta, discussing his career as the Managing Director of Alstone, the company’s products and manufacturing facilities, their latest launch in the market, Alcomb, his vision for the year 2030, and much more.
Could you please tell us about your company, Alstone?
Alstone started its journey way back in the year 2004. And, we have completed 20 years of presence in the Indian cladding market. With this, we have got pan-India presence as of now with our 16 sales offices cum warehouses, along with 350 dealers across India. I feel honoured and proud to say that Alstone is now a known brand in the cladding industry market. And all architects, façade consultants, developers, and consultants know Alstone very well.
What are the products manufactured by your company?
Alstone has been a leading brand in the cladding industry for almost two decades now. At Alstone we manufacture a wide range of Metal composite Panels with Manufacturing Unit in India and Dubai (with Brand name “Emerge UK”} to cater the demand of national and international markets As of now, we have a wide product basket and we are not only manufacturing standard aluminium composite panels (ACP), but we are also manufacturing class B and class A2 (noncombustible) composite panels, apart from that, we are also now into zinc cladding, which is our premium cladding for buildings nowadays which is very much liked by today’s architect and façade consultants. We also have metal composite louvers, and metal-based HPL in our product basket. As you see, we offer quite a good number of product options for exterior cladding.
Where is the Façade Industry leading to?
The façade industry, what I can observe is moving very fast and I can see that i is now getting much more mature in terms of its demand for sustainable and green products., Alstone has already stepped forward by bringing in one of the innovative products which is an aluminium honeycomb panel with the name Alstone Alcomb. It is a green and sustainable product. Architects and façade consultants have really liked our Alcomb product range because of its unique advantages over the standard ACP.
Could you please tell us more about your honeycomb product, what are its advantages? And how can it change the future of the façade industry?
Honeycomb panel is our latest and versatile product which is completely made up of aluminum. There is no other material used in its composition. Or I can say, it is a 100% aluminium-based product. It’s a very lightweight material because of its honeycomb aluminium core structure inside. It is not only lightweight, but it’s a very rigid material. The strength of the material is far superior to a standard ACP panel and it is also a non-combustible panel in terms of fire rating. It comes under A2 grade, and the thermal and acoustic properties of this product are far superior. So, all these USPs make this product a top-notch choice for any architect or façade consultant.
Do you want to say something more about its technical features and installation process?
One thing I would like to highlight is that the Alstone’s Alcomb product’s strength is so strong that you can have 6, 8, or 10-meter-long panels without back support or a stiffener, which is generally required, even for a small- sized panel of ACP. So, that is one of the major USPs. If we are talking about the installation side. Architects love to have long panels without even a single joint in between.
The Indian market is highly competitive. How do you manage to keep the consistency to be one of the leaders? And how can this product help you in maintaining your leadership?
What I understand is that India is a huge market with different segments within the market. There is a top market, which is also a very niche market, where only quality and innovation play a big role. So, if you talk about Alcomb, we are very clear that we will take this product in the niche market where quality and innovation are majorly in demand. Customers want good quality products along with a complete wall solution. In this case, we are not just going to supply the honeycomb sheets or panels, but we are going to provide a complete wall solution along with fixing system.
For almost two decades, our dedication to quality and innovation has earned us the loyalty of our customers, who know that we never settle for less than the best
Alstone products are already known for their technically advanced machines which are used to make it and give improved features to the façade. Could you please explain this?
Alstone has always been focused on innovation and new product development. This is one of the features of Alstone for which it is known in the market. Our latest entry, which we have just discussed about – our honeycomb product “Alcomb”, we have established a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant for this product. And we want this product to come out technically strong and fit for any of projects.
How do you differentiate Alstone products from the other brand’s products and what are the advantages of using Alstone products for façade and wall cladding, etc.?
I feel the market knows very well – be it retail or be it projects. Alstone has always delivered quality to all its customers, whether it is a small-sized site or it’s a big project. We have been very focused on our quality standards at every step of production, right from procurement to the point where we deliver the product to the customer side. We ensure that at every step we have a quality process and we ensure that every product delivered is of the best quality.
One of the most critical values of Alstone is innovation. We were one of the first ones in India to introduce a range of innovative products like louvres and fin louvres. These are very recent examples other than Alcomb – Alstone Honeycomb panel, FR-rated aluminium composite panels.
We invest consistently in research & development to ensure future-ready products for amazing cladding and a safe environment.
To support the Dream of our honourable PM Narendra Modi, Alstone is relentlessly working on Green Building Solutions with fire safety features and Net Zero Concept in cladding along with end-to-end solutions. We provide the Consumer with customised solutions as per their specifications and need.
What testing and certification methods do you follow for your Alcomb products?
All our Alstone products, particularly, class B and class A2 grade products are tested by Thomas Bell Wright – an international test lab based out of Dubai. That is one of the major testing lab in the world. We have also got our product tested and certified by Winwall laboratory in Chennai. And, I feel proud to inform that Alstone is the first ACP company in India that has got NFPA 285 test successfully conducted in India with Winwall Systems, Chennai.
Also, in our in-house laboratory, all of the product batches are evaluated for their strength and longevity before they are sent out of the production facility. This way, we can be sure that we are consistently providing our customers with the same trustworthiness and excellence.
What are the prestigious projects in which Alcomb products have been used?
So Alcomb is the latest entry in our product basket. But within the short period, we have been able to get two of the big, massive projects in which one project has already been completed, where we have supplied 14,000 Sq m of our Alcomb honeycomb panels. The project is one of the Airport Authority of India’s projects, known as Civil Aviation Research Organization (CARO) building, which is in Hyderabad. So, this project has already been handed over. And, if you see that building itself, shows the beauty and strength of the Alcomb panel, which has been used in the entire cladding of that building. The other project is Gwalior Airport where we have already supplied honeycomb Alcomb panels. This project is expected to get complete in the next three months.
What are the major challenges you find in the industry and how do you cope with those?
Every industry I feel has one or the other challenges. It’s just that you need to understand the challenges and work constantly to overcome those challenges. Besides that, I also feel that in every industry, there are a lot of opportunities also, one needs to be on their toes to grab those opportunities and gain first-mover advantage by working as a front-runner.
Could you explain your distribution system and how it helps with the timely delivery of your products?
We possess sixteen branch offices and warehouses throughout India, where we guarantee the timely delivery of our products across the country. Moreover, we have a state-of-the-art Coating line to provide consumers with personalized shades of cladding at a faster and smoother pace. Additionally, our dealer and distributor network consists of around 350 channel partners, located in PAN India, whose main goal is to serve our customers and consumers On Time In Full. Additionally, we have a specialised sales force who make sure to connect and communicate with all the influencers, channel partners, contractors, and various departments in both public and private domains to provide all necessary support.
What are your plans and vision for 2030?
We are talking about seven years from now… I feel that the industry will be playing at a different level altogether. We do not know really where these architects and façade consultants take this and to what level. But as Alstone, I would say that we are very aggressive and active in having a lot of new products for the future in our basket, which would not just be innovative, but also sustainable and green products. I feel that by 2030, we will be having most of the products only green and sustainable. These new products would be very different from what we have been manufacturing currently.
SUMIT GUPTA, Alstone
Sumit Gupta, the Managing Director of Alstone, at the age of twenty-three, encountered the concept of Aluminium Composite Panels while on a trip abroad and envisaged its great potential in the construction and building sectors. This motivated him to begin manufacturing ACP domestically in 2003, and he has not looked back since. Currently, after almost two decades in the field, Sumit Gupta considers himself an ACP evangelist. His motivation and enthusiasm for business growth and management techniques are what fuel him. Inheriting the traditional business acumen of his parents, along with his MBA qualification and knowledge of the industry, he has been able to take the Alstone Group to new heights and continuously redefine their objectives.