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“The Quality of Our Products Ensures a Safer World for Customers”
By: Saurabh Mittal
In an interview with Saurabh Mittal from Greenlam Laminates, elaborating on the evolution of cladding industry in India, the latest trends in materials and technologies in cladding, his company’s role in bringing about the current revolution in the façade cladding sector, the effect of the pandemic on business and project execution, the environment-friendly cladding options, Greenlam’s capacity expansion plans, and much more.
How do you see the exterior cladding industry evolving in India?
Over the years, the exterior cladding industry has experienced a paradigm shift giving birth to innovation, design and functionality. I believe, exterior cladding has been primarily used to enhance the building aesthetics which will not be the case in the future, looking at the rising temperature levels on a yearly basis. In this climatic condition of India, High Pressure Laminate (HPL) cladding is going to see an upsurge in demand due to its unmatched durability.
Greenlam Clads offers exterior HPL cladding which is manufactured with advanced and revolutionary GLE Technology that protects your exteriors from all kinds of weather conditions. It is tested to withstand extreme temperature ranging from (-) 50 to (+) 80 degree centigrade. These clads are also fade-resistant, protect from microbial threats, weather-proof and fire retardant, hence ideal for exteriors. Today, people have also become environment conscious and therefore practicing sustainability. This is where Greenlam Exterior Cladding comes in because the product is sustainable and green as well as has a Greenguard Certificate.
What are some of the latest trends and styles in façade cladding of the building?
Façades are no more considered like any part of a building but play a major role in forming a ‘skin’ that protects your space from wear and tear. Over the years, cladding has become a preferred solution for giving a protective layer and identity to both residential and commercial buildings. Speaking of the latest trends in this space, customers have shifted their preference from wood grain texture to natural and abstract patterns. For instance, cementitious pattern type along with few special wood designs with knots are likely to be topping the trend chart. They also beautify the space because of their simple and clean appearance. Additionally, shades like light blue or pearly white are also suitable for every season.
What has been your or your organization’s contribution in bringing about the current revolution in the façade cladding sector?
Balikesir Airport, Turkey – Greenlam products used for cladding
Façade industry is seeing a shift from wood to aluminium cladding to HPL all over the world. Looking at the recent mishaps in UK and UAE with regards to the aluminium cladding, a debate has risen around certain serious risks involved with this material which has resulted in severe causalities. Greenlam Clads are fire retardant and conform to a high fire rating – BS1DO – are best in the category, which makes it safe against fire, and are well designed. Moreover, these are ventilated façades and are eco-friendly, which makes them ideal for different weather conditions.
Balikesir Airport, Turkey
We are constantly increasing the awareness of customers on this front. This is our endeavour to prevent mishaps due to lack of knowledge, product quality, awareness, or incorrect use to ensure a safer world for our customers.
How is the present situation (due to the Pandemic) affecting your business and project execution?
The nationwide lockdown has impacted our operations and sales, which has slightly brought down our growth curve. However, this is a temporary phenomenon that the world is facing, and we all are in positive hopes to get back on track soon. The economy is opening up and we too have resumed operations across our manufacturing units and offices with highest standards of safety and hygiene.
Greenlam Manufacturing facilities
Greenlam recently announced capacity expansion for its manufacturing unit in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh.
Please tell us about this and your future plans.
Over the years, there has been a revolution in DIY concepts, which has given birth to cost-effective alternatives and conventional surfacing materials such as stone, cultured marble or polymeric/ synthetic slabs, especially in the UK, Poland and various parts of Europe. This trend has given rise to increasing demand for special purpose HPL compacts that stand as alternatives for worktops, kitchen tops and breakfast bars apart from casing solutions.
To catch-up with this demand soon, this additional high capacity production plant was set-up in Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh. This line assures meeting the demand for clads since more and more specifiers and retail customers have started to understand advantages of HPL cladding. This step has enabled us to produce up to 15.62 million sheets in the facility annually which has further strengthened our position in the market. We will continue to add new dimensions within our company to better service our customers.
Please brief on the latest technologies being incorporated by Greenlam in exterior
For Greenlam Industries Ltd., innovation has been the secret of success for years now. Greenlam Clads is a complete in-house developed technology which we named it as GLE technology with the help of our R&D facility. The product overcomes different challenges faced by the industry by building various attributes like fire retardant property without halogenated ingredients, weathering and climatic shockproof, and bring out a single product to suit geographical conditions from -50˚C to 80˚C.
Claddings from Greenlam come with special fasteners, which are made using non-corrosive materials that offer better colour fastening properties. The exterior clads allow you to decorate your home, office or entire building structures. Properties such as hard bonding strength, an excellent fire retardancy, high dimensional stability, impact resistance, and top-notch UV performance make Greenlam exterior cladding perfect for commercial and residential applications. They can easily last for decades, given the correct installation and maintenance.
What are the emerging technologies in recent times which have impacted the façade design and the façade Material selection so to speak?
Technology in façades has reached new heights over the past decade which has made it possible to produce a revolutionary combination of façade design and materials. Based on the market requirement and demand for new products, there are different materials like Neolith, Metal cladding (bronze and copper) and solid surface amongst others. Apart from these, there are other commonly used materials like clay tile, granite, HPL and ACP.
Are there enough choices in the Indian market for fireproof cladding? What about environment-friendly cladding options?
Clads have been in use for a little while now and fireproofing has always been one of the many factors taken into consideration. There are no cladding materials available which are fire-proof, even inorganic materials like clay tile, bricks also get affected by fire. However, the product we manufacture are organic in nature and does not catch fire easily. It is fire retardant in nature and burns only when a continuous fire source is put on the surface and can be stopped if the source stops emitting fire. Our clads are fire retardant which is designated with BS1DO – Best in the category as per EN code. Also, we do not use any carcinogenic chemicals in producing clads to protect the environment.
There are performance requirements for façade materials – energy efficiency, aesthetics, etc. How much does that impact the selection of façade material and façade design?
Both façade material and system largely impact as far as the building energy efficiency is concerned. Therefore, Greenlam Clads are made with paper which is a bad conductor of heat. Moreover, our clads are used as breathable façade which indirectly helps in the conservation of energy and protect a building from all sort of weathering break downs.
As we are into decorative business since the inception of the organization and understand our customer requirements, we endeavour to deliver an aesthetically beautiful and quality product. Therefore, while working with architects and interior designers, we make them understand our product’s application through photographs of all our projects. Greenlam Clads are equipped with modular system, and they can be easily installed and are low maintenance which makes them an ideal refurbishment option.
Please tell us about a few of your recently completed iconic and innovative projects?
Some of our recently completed prestigious projects:
Dimapur Airport, Dimapur
Assam GST Bhawan, Guwahati
Kochi Airport, Kochi
Red Fort, Delhi
Qutub Minar, Delhi
APIIC Building, Vijayawada
Rajahmundry Municipal Office, Rajahmundry
How do you convince your clients when they speak about budget constraints?
Our extensive experience in this industry has made us observe that our customers have evolved in terms of knowledge and understanding of an appropriate cladding solution. Therefore, our team explains to the client about the features of our products and samples of past installations done worldwide. We take our customers through the journey of our products and services which makes it easier for them to make decisions.
When it comes to new construction versus retrofitting, going forward what do you think the trends favour?
Retrofitting projects have lower budgets as compared to new construction projects. The condition of the building is considered by building owners or architects while making a choice between these two concepts. It is important to note that people prefer newly constructed and designed buildings basis the ongoing trends.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Saurabh Mittal is the Managing Director & CEO of Greenlam Industries Ltd. Over the past two decades, he has been responsible for carving a niche at Greenlam Laminates and the allied decorative products. Given his hands-on engagement across the entire value chain, he has always been deeply involved with the manufacturing process while progressively adding production capacity that is simply the best in the industry. With an affinity to successfully execute marketing initiatives, Mittal personally build brand Greenlam, which undisputedly commands the market. His sales experience is especially strong in the B2B segment as he built a distribution network that has provided incomparable market reach. An alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer and a Commerce graduate from the University of Madras - his charismatic leadership, personal drive and strategic thinking has rallied the company to attain market leadership, both in domestic and international, in a very short period of time. In a candid interview with Window and Façade magazine, Saurabh Mittal explains his journey with the company Greenlam Industries, their products, the evolution of the cladding industry in India and much more.