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Sudhakar uPVC Windows and Doors

“Technal in India has Enormous Growth Plans for the Next Five Years”

By: Piyush Srivastava, Hydro BS India Private Limited

In conversation with Piyush Srivastava Country Head, Hydro BS India Private Limited about his company Hydro BS India Pvt Ltd, and its products and services, and their journey so far. He briefed on some of their iconic and most challenging projects, advancements in their R&D technologies, expansion plans and much more. Here are the excerpts

33LE residential building
33LE residential building

Tell us about your company Technal and Hydro Building Systems. When was it established in India and the company’s major milestones till now?

Technal is a part of the Hydro Group, which is a 116-year-old company. We are one of the oldest system brands in India as well, established almost 25 years back, which has brought “Aluminium System technology” to the country. We are having a full-fledged office in Bangalore with a very well-established team in all the departments. Our supply chain is fully set and we proudly say that we can supply and execute the project with Technal/Domal Systems in any part of India for any type of project, from individual houses to multi-story buildings.

Four Seasons Private Residences - Mumbai
Four Seasons Private Residences – Mumbai

You joined Hydro Building Systems as Country Head for TECHNAL in India on November ’22. Please brief on your experiences and how is it going to help you in leading Technal from the helm.

Yes, I recently joined the company and I’m bringing around two decades of experience in almost same industry. I have worked on metal fabrications, skylights, roofing solutions and many other related verticals. So I know the industry, not only as a system supplier but as a solution provider, and I am well acquainted with the kind of services and solutions a fabricator partner expects from a system supplier company or an engineering company.

AMBIAL folding door
AMBIAL folding door

I had worked with a few system companies as well. In India, I have worked in Delhi for around 12 years, in Mumbai for 6 years, and now in Bangalore. With excellent exposure and commitment to my customers pan India, I know that the requirement in each city from north to south or east to west is different. India is a large diverse country with different weather, seismic, zones, etc., hence the difference in requirements. And I can proudly say that Technal is a company for the complete market, providing solutions for extreme, moderate to coastal weather.

I’m sure that with my experience, along with the great team here, we can meet all demands/challenges of the fenestration requirements of India. I can proudly say that our technical team is one of the strongest teams in comparison to any other system company. We have a great project management department with the best project management and service engineering proficiency. Our supply chain is robust, and the fastest that I have observed. Our internal reports confirm that we have the least complaints pre/post installation from our clients. Our fabricator network is very large and our fabricator partners always deliver the best products because they are one of the oldest and fully trained associates we have.

SOLEAL sliding system - Corner Free
SOLEAL sliding system – Corner Free

The company has been continuously investing in the training of our fabricator partners. These knowledge-sharing programs have become very beneficial for the industry. So I’m sure, we have done a lot for the fenestration companies and the industry in India. With my experience, knowledge and support of Indian and the Middle East divisions, and with the backing support from the headquarters in France, I’m sure we’ll be able to rewrite history. I’m very bullish about this.

SOLEAL sliding system and SUNEAL pergola
SOLEAL sliding system and SUNEAL pergola

Please tell us about Technal’s products and some of your recent launches.

Technal has solutions for all… Whether it is windows/doors for a bungalow, replacement of the windows of a multi-story building, catering fenestrations for a multi-billion township, or unitized curtain walls for a skyscraper. We have all types of product ranges from non-insulated to insulated, or from single track to multi-track, from casement to top hung or bottom hung, curtain walls, unitised systems – American & European both, Unique Parametric façades, fins, railings, louvers, automation, etc. All of them are tested and certified products. We are very strong in customization too. Even we have our Patented alloy – Hydro CIRCAL which is the world’s lowest embodied carbon aluminium for windows, doors and façades.

GEODE MX curtain wall - NHSRC in Doncaster, UK
GEODE MX curtain wall – NHSRC in Doncaster, UK

Keeping the basic design principles of Technal, with our knowledge we can replicate or develop all types of innovation that an architect or the project requires. Our product range is very vast. In Hydro we have other global multi-brands like WICONA, SAPA and recently we have acquired Hueck another German Brand as well, and it is not just Technal and Domal. We are present in more than 70 countries and have brought experience from all of these countries. All product ranges, whatever you see anywhere in the world, are available for the Indian market.

Curtain wall GEODE
Curtain wall GEODE

What are the latest advancements in your R&D technologies, in production and products?

I want to talk about how we have recently launched a slim line that is very minimal, which is also tested and certified for very high wind loads, We have tested our slim line system to high wind loads upto 3kpa and I am not sure if any other slim-line product is tested for this type of very high wind loads, safety wise – finger protection door, Parametric Façade solution, the best part all the system will be tested not only against Air, Water, Wind even almost all of them will be tested for Acoustic and thermal performance as well.

Our R&D is not limited to the final product but we have been working on the base metal also, and have developed a patented alloy that’s called Hydro CIRCAL, which has 100% post-consumer recycled aluminium with a near zero carbon foot print. So you can say that it’s a patented alloy that has a lot of advantages, especially on carbon footprint and helping the Indian construction industry to achieve their zero carbon targets by 2070. We keep innovating and there are certain products lined up for launch in this year.

New Product - ARTLINE sliding system
New Product – ARTLINE sliding system

You will see a lot of new products and new launches for the Indian market in the coming year. We have enormous growth plans for the next five years. Research and Development is the key to Technal.

Please tell us about your company’s manufacturing facilities and structure.

We are vertically integrated with our own in-house innovation and testing centre. We continuously work on innovations, research and developments. We have our own testing laboratories where we test each component required for a system. In each of our systems, 30 to 40 components are used and each component is tested and confirmed of having standard quality requirements, which will add to the performance of the system. We are giving continuously training to our fabricator partners on these aspects.

SOLEAL NEXT - integrated juliette balcony
SOLEAL NEXT – integrated juliette balcony

Each component is having a purpose. In all our systems and devices, we make sure that they perform best considering all aspects like water and air tightness, sound and thermal insulation, etc.

We have the perfect solutions for all these. We test and certify our full catalogue with our software support, and help our fabricators to deliver the same quality, and that’s how we build the systems and our structure works. We design and supply our system to our fabricator partners, who are already trained by us, and they learn and deliver quality products to end customers.

Tell us about the iconic projects in which your products are used.

TECHNAL HQ in Toulouse
TECHNAL HQ in Toulouse

Talking about iconic projects, if you go pan India to any corner, if you ask for a project reference, I’m sure that we will be able to show you. Domal is the first system that came to India, and that has brought the system concept to the country. So all our old projects (I will not like to take any name) will showcase the quality of the Technal system. Most of the prominent builders in all cities have used Technal. Certain products that we installed 20 to 25 years back in projects are still surviving very well.

workshop and test center in Belgium - credits to Hydro
workshop and test center in Belgium – credits to Hydro

Our customers are very happy and we keep getting repeat business from the same customers. It is the same with the fabricator partners, and most of them are associated with us for the past 20 to 25 years. Many system companies have come to India in the recent past. But our fabricator partners are happily supporting us.

Profile Extrusion
Profile Extrusion

Please tell us about the testing and certification methods done on your products.

Altair - residential building in Colombo
Altair – residential building in Colombo

Testing and certification are the core ethical properties of Technal. We don’t sell any system which is not tested and certified. All the products are tested against each parameter. Sometimes it depends upon the requirements. Either it is American (ASTM), European (EN ), NZB, and you name a code, and since we are in India, we are following the National Building Code (NBC) of India also. Very soon India is coming up with its own codes for the Indian market. We sell only tested certified and genuine systems.

Customer satisfaction and safety are of prime importance for Technal, and wherever we go, in each country, we always try to either follow the local codes or try to comply with or upgrade the technology and look at enhancements. We do transfer the technologies to those countries and develop the product for local use.

We have a wide range of products and our customers can choose products based on their requirements. Maybe one product is not suitable for all the windows in the same house because the living room requirement is different from the bedroom or kitchen. It also depends on the number of floors, or height and width of the projects. I can say that Technal has the largest range for the Indian market, against all the other competitors, or system companies operating here.

Casa Opulence - private residence in India
Casa Opulence – private residence in India

How do you choose windows and doors for projects based on functionality and categories, standards, testing, etc.? How do you gauge the quality?

As I told you, we have a very strong technical team. Our sales team is aware of the technicalities of the system. In the industry we are operating, the same product will not fit every project. It is not the same solution we recommend. So whenever we get a work, we would love to engage with the project as early as possible, because, with our technical support and expertise, we can recommend certain changes at the initial stages to the architect or client. With a minor change, we can save a lot of money. We will always own the project. So we recommend the right product and the right typology. E.g., the required glass thickness is recommended based on the thermal or ECO parameters.

Fire resistance testing
Fire resistance testing

We always work very closely with the other ecosystem of the project like the glass providers, fabricator partners, etc. We can also recommend the right fabricator partners for the right type of projects. As I told earlier, we have a wide range of products. So we will suggest the right system, whatever is the most optimal solution for the project. The customers have certain requirements and have limited knowledge of the range of products available. We extend our support and suggest the best without any obligation or commitment.

What do you see as the main challenges faced by the façade and administration industry?

The main challenge is the lack of awareness among people, because unfortunately in our engineering or architecture colleges, we don’t have an elaborate course on the fenestration. Our experts go as guest lecturers to colleges and transfer knowledge to upcoming, young architects, or engineers.

Acoustic studio testing
Acoustic studio testing

We do organize a lot of seminars related to our field so that people would know about the right products, best practices, and the latest in technologies. They should be able to differentiate between the quality of a local product and that of a product from Technal which is highly advanced.

The need for each project is different. E.g., the water tightness requirement for a 50-story building and a 70-story building will be different and it depends on the topology of the township, the number of towers, the shape of the towers, the location, the height, and many other parameters. Our technical team supports the façade consultants, architects, and customers to get the right fitment, and the right specs for their projects, thus providing the right solutions.

Tell us about your channel expansion strategies in the market.

Channel expansion is a very important factor for this industry. As a company, we don’t want to downstream ourselves to become a fabricator or hit on the business of our fabricator partners. There is certain expertise required for doing every job. For example, a system company will be having exposure and experience in designing, developing and supplying systems.

Test Centre in Toulouse
Test Centre in Toulouse

And of course, we have exposure to fabrication installation and its procedure. But if we start doing everything, Then the ecosystem will collapse. Our fabrication partners will do their job. A lot of companies who were appointing fabricator partners now want to become fabricators themselves. That’s actually killing the ecosystem.

Burj Vista, Downtown Dubai, UAE
Burj Vista, Downtown Dubai, UAE

We, being a part of Hydro, have a punch line with 3 Cs: Care, Courage, and Collaboration. 1. We care for our employees and customers, and fabricator partners. 2. We have the courage to collaborate with our fabricator partner while developing a lot of new products we don’t hesitate in innovations, and we provide all types of solutions, whatever the customers want. 3. We have a strong innovation team who can collaborate and develop whatever the project requires, and these products will meet the architect’s needs to convert their imagination into reality.

We collaborate with our partners, fabricators, and vendors, and develop innovative products. And we keep growing with them. Once their team changes, or whenever they need technical learning, we help with that. In India, it is difficult to learn about new technologies. So we bring our global experience and transfer our knowledge to these fabricator partners. We train our fabrication partners frequently.

Uptown Tower, Dubai, UAE
Uptown Tower, Dubai, UAE

Whenever a new system replaces the old system, we support them at every step and help them to grow their business. We want to grow together. We welcome all ethical fabricators with open arms to associate with us if they desire to work and grow with us. And that’s how we are very strong, I can assure you that you will not see any bad references or any unsolved challenges.

We have a very beautiful experience centre in Bangalore and have very aggressive plans to implement for each city. Business ethics and commitment to our customers are the key points to

What keeps your company ahead of its competitors in terms of services offered?

As I told you, it’s the era of the service industry, not just the product industry. At Technal, we are having in our project management division to manage all our projects extremely well and we have the service engineering divisions too in place. So whenever our products get delivered to the factory of the fabricator, our project service management team goes there and they train them theoretically and practically – hands-on – with the help of experienced hands.

Even if the owner of the company or their design team is very strong, the labourers need training since they are untrained or come with a background in working with Aluminium or wooden fenestration products. Hence this training is important. We are providing all types of service training, providing guidelines, 3D catalogs, videos of the fabrication installation, etc., and we are constantly working on this.

Novotel, Kolkata, India
Novotel, Kolkata, India

Similarly, the experience of customers comes from the touch and feel of a Technal window installed. For the installation support too, my team goes on the site, they do an audit of all the installations initially. In a few phases, they will train the concerned team on how to do a proper installation. Even if silicon is not our product, we train them in its applications, since the proper application of silicon on the periphery, on end joints, and the interface with the other metal are very important. We do guide the fabricators on all these aspects.

Gala Imperia, India
Gala Imperia, India

Our experts will prepare the audit report and will monitor the work frequently, and suggest certain changes or upgrades, rectifications, etc. There will be challenges at any phase of the project, especially when they are massive in size. We are ready to support and find solutions for any kind of challenges faced by our associates at any stage of the project.

We are very particular about the performance factors and hence will provide certified, tested, and warranted products. These are the three things you can expect from Technal. With our service divisions, project management divisions, and technical divisions, we are expanding all these services to our customers.

How do you see the fenestration industry evolving over the next five years?

The adaptation for the system market has changed a lot in the past 10 to 15 years. And I can say that a lot of credit goes to our first series called Domal since this was the series that helped to differentiate between a local system and a system company in the market.

Gala Luxuria, India
Gala Luxuria, India

Now people have seen the difference and have experienced the change with Domal. We have multiple series, and multiple products now. Since the requirements have changed, and the architectural needs have enhanced them. We can see that instead of small windows that we used to see in houses, now the requirement is for three or four-meter-high glass windows/doors.

From single glass windows and doors, people are scouting for a DGU, which is laminated, and those with great sound acoustics, and thermal proof qualities. A lot of parameters have been added. Now, people don’t want to see simple designs on façades. They want complexity – like large fin integrated shading devices.

In Pune, you will find our project Ascendas, done with our fabricator partner, Glazium, which showcases a beautiful façade with an approximately 500 mm extended fin integrated with a unitized façade. In the first phase, we finished this beautiful installation. The client is very happy and now they have awarded us a second phase too. That also will have a very large fin integrated with the system. The façade will showcase massive complexity.

Urbana Towers – Kolkata, India
Urbana Towers – Kolkata, India

A lot of buildings we are doing now are with curves. With these possibilities, architects are very happy because whatever they can visualize, we can convert into reality. The future of aluminium systems is growing compared to other metals in the market.

Training provided for fabricators
Training provided for fabricators

Now people have realized that Aluminium is the only sustainable metal and it has the longest shelf life. Even after using it for 100 years, one can sell it and can make a profit. It is a sustainable product and its use in fenestration is growing a multi-fold. So the future is very bright.

TechDesign software training
TechDesign software training

India has set a very high net zero target by 2070. How is Technal aligning with this vision?

India is the fourth largest emitter of Co2, and our government is very passionate about the reduction of carbon footprints. Our government has promised to work towards Net Zero by 2070. Technal has the same vision for India, and we have a product called Hydro CIRCAL. This is manufactured by recycling post-consumer aluminium from the end-of-life dismantled windows, catering to the multi-fold reduction in carbon footprints with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)

Very soon you will see a big project with CIRCAL & other similar launches, which will help reuse & reduce a lot of embodied Co2 footprints, in line with the government’s promise or India’s promise to the world.

Ascendas International Tech Park Pune credits to DSP design
Ascendas International Tech Park Pune credits to DSP design

I’m very proud to associate with Technal. I’m sure, the Indian market will see the change. We have a very aggressive plan for the next five years and we are ready to rewrite history. I’m sure with the support of the team Hydro and our esteemed fabricator Partners we will able to offer world-class quality fenestration products to the Indian market.

Piyush Srivastava, Hydro BS India Private Limited

Country Head

Piyush Srivastava is the Country Head for Hydro BS India Pvt Ltd which promotes the TECHNAL and Domal brands in India. Piyush is responsible for leading the Indian operations of Hydro BS India. Piyush has extensive experience of about 2 decades in the façade and fenestration industry spanning sales, marketing, and organizational excellence. Prior to joining Hydro BS India Pvt Ltd, Piyush has demonstrated a proven track record of success in the Façade and Fenestration industry, which is an invaluable strength to support Technal Business Partners and its continued commitment to the Indian market.

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