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uPVC Windows & Doors are the Best Bet for Your Projects
By: Sanjay Meela
Please tell us about your company Sudhakar Group and yourself? How long the company has been in the uPVC profiles for door and window business in the Indian market?
Sudhakar Group was established in 1971 at Suryapet erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, now in Telangana by Shri. Meela Satyanarayana. Today, Sudhakar Group is a 50-year conglomerate, with a diversified product range of pipes and fittings, wires and cables, and uPVC profiles for windows and doors. I am the third generation from the family and associated as the Director of Sudhakar Marketing Agencies Pvt Ltd. I am wholly involved in sales, marketing, branding, production, operations, and the supply chain of the two new verticals, Sudhakar Wires and Cables and Sudhakar Profile Systems. We started with the fabrication of uPVC windows and doors in 2015. Later, in 2017 Sudhakar had launched its extrusion unit with a state-of-the-art facility at Gudur, Andhra Pradesh, to supply class-leading uPVC profile systems for windows and doors.
When have you joined the organization and what kind of impact have you had on the company?
I have started my journey with Sudhakar Group by introducing two new products into the house – wires and uPVC profiles. Like many brands and organizations, Sudhakar had many advantages and disadvantages attached to it. I was able to take advantage of the scale, managerial capabilities, and an existing brand to launch two new verticals. I was able to break the existing barrier of being only in the southern states and having marketing and sales in the rest of India. We were able to compete with new products in domains where larger national brands have existed in the last 3 to 4 decades.
Like any brand, even Sudhakar had many hurdles initially, in terms of customers accepting our new products. Now, with the efforts of a complete team, we turned out to be one of the leading brands in the fenestration industry.
What are the product categories offered by Sudhakar Group?
Sudhakar Group has three major product lines – pipes and fittings for all commercial, residential, and agriculture needs; wires and cables for domestic and industrial applications; and uPVC profiles systems for windows and doors, for residential and commercial projects. uPVC profiles are available in both sliding and casement systems. Sliding comes with heavy-duty window sash sections with 68mm and heavy-duty door sash with 88mm, in 2, 2.5, and 3 track outer frames, and Casement is of 3 chamber system with 60mm construction depth. We also do offer a premium color range in our profiles which are laminated and UV resistant.
Please tell us about your company’s manufacturing facilities for uPVC doors and windows and the company structure?
Sudhakar has nine state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Odisha. For uPVC profiles, we have an extrusion unit at Gudur, Andhra Pradesh with world-class imported machinery. We make use of European technology in Sudhakar profiles extrusion. We have a strong team working tirelessly to make Sudhakar a successful brand in the fenestration industry. The quality team ensures that every batch strictly adheres to the standards, the R&D, and the application development team is continuously developing solutions for newer fenestration requirements, Sales and marketing team ensures that our product is installed and services are delivered on time.
How do you see the fenestration industry evolving in India?
Standardization is the name of the game. Currently, there are no standards that exist for uPVC profiles or uPVC windows and doors. UWMDA has been working very hard to get a standard that will be consistent throughout the country, regardless of the material being used. The base raw material such as wood, aluminum, or uPVC might change according to the preference of the customer, but the performance of the window, door, or profile will all be the same. In a price and quality sensitive market like India, uPVC profiles will be the product that will bridge the gap between aluminum and wood hence it will take the major chunk of the fenestration industry in the near future.
What has been your or your organization’s contribution to bringing about the current revolution in the fenestration sector?
Being one of the leading PVC raw material consumers in the country, our betting on uPVC profiles is a testament to the current success and future growth of the product in the sector. We stand on the shoulders of giants who worked hard to get this product successful in our country.
As per your view, how can we assure the right selection of fenestration products and installation in a project?
Location of the site being installed, customer’s daily usage patterns, and energy usage levels give us a clear idea of the type of products to be used in the project. For instance, the use of high-performance glass will allow more natural light to enter inside while keeping UV and heat outside.
Do you think the decision-makers are aware of the availability of the various window and door products, their functionality & categories, standards, testing, etc? And how do they gauge the quality and functionality of the same?
Indian window and door industry have had a revolution in the past decade in terms of quality, performance, and safety. Earlier none of the decision-makers were aware of different available products. Over time they have caught up and are learning about the advantages of these products. But even now, there is a huge gap while selecting the windows and doors that are being installed. But as a profile supplier, we must make them understand the advantages and disadvantages of each product.
What is the emphasis laid on R&D, especially for the Indian fenestration market?
We are currently having a pipeline of products that will enhance the performance of the window and the usability of the window for Indian conditions. An Indian customer’s needs cannot be compared to the needs of a European customer. The requirements of a city dweller are different from a person living in a town or a village. Our application development team makes sure they understand the needs of every customer and that we have a product for every need.
What do you see as the main challenges faced by the industry?
Lack of standards and lack of awareness of the quality of different products available in the market is the biggest threat that is being faced by the industry. In short term, a huge increase in PVC, aluminum and other product prices may cause the customer to select a lower quality material.
Tell us about your channel expansion strategies in the market.
We currently have a presence in the south, east, north, and northeast markets. Shortly, we will be aggressively expanding to tier 2, tier 3 towns, and pan India. In long term, we want to create products that we can export to other countries.
What keeps your company ahead of its competitors in terms of services offered?
In today’s scenario, there is hefty competition amongst the brand to stand out as the best. Even we are striving hard to service our customers in the best possible ways. We try to respond to every customer, and our team is not only involved in selling the product but sharing more of the product knowledge and educating the customer. We are a system provider for every customer’s needs. The ease of reaching us directly through different mediums has given us the advantage to be in touch with the product users.
How do you see the fenestration industry evolving over the next 5 years?
The fenestration industry is growing year-on-year and by 2026 we may expect a growth rate of an average of 15-20% every year. There have been many developments in past one decade in terms of design, quality, and use of materials. Even the pandemic has caused the market to slow down affecting the business growth. For sure, there is a brighter future for the industry and we may see many newer brands entering the market.
Director of Sudhakar Profile Systems
Sanjay Meela is the Director of Sudhakar Profile Systems. His strong entrepreneurship skills are leading the organization towards growth. Being 3rd generation entrepreneur from a family which has a legacy of 50+ years in the PVC industry, Sanjay carries vast experience with proven accolades in sales and marketing, supply chain and operations, strategic business planning, product management, and development.
Sudhakar Group was established in 1971 at Suryapet, Telangana, and is one of the leading pipes brands in India with more than 3500 dealers and distributors network. The company has a wider product range of- pipes and fittings, wires and cables, and uPVC Profiles for windows and doors. The vision of Sanjay Meela is to be a leading profiles brand in the fenestration industry, and service tier-2 & tier-3 markets effectively. Additionally, developing innovative products and scaling up the production capacities to meet the supply demands. In a dialogue with WFM Media, Sanjay Meela explains his journey with Sudhakar Group, the products and services from his company, his company’s association with the fenestration industry in India, and their contribution towards the growth of the sector, and the company’s future expansion plans.