Nippon Paint, the world's fourth largest paint producer by sales, is looking to expand its exports from India in the automotive refinish, wood coatings, and light industrial coatings areas. African countries, in addition to Indonesia and Australia, have been targeted for export.
Aside from that, it is also targeting several West Asian markets for the time being, at least until its Sharjah manufacturing plant is completely operational. The Sharjah plant, which is a strategic manufacturing collaboration with Best Paint Factory, is set to begin commercial production next month.
According to Sharad Malhotra, President, Nippon Paint (India) & Senior VP NIPSEA Group, following Covid, the business began examining the subcontinent as a prospective export option, with supplies aimed to Africa, Australia, and South East Asia. The similarity of offers (between India and these nations) was deemed to be the most significant benefit.
Initially, supplies were made to wholesalers, but Nippon now intends to extend its presence in these markets by establishing its own subsidiaries.
"Outside of India, there is a big market for vehicle refinishing and wood coatings, particularly in regions like Africa. Overall, the car industry's prospects appear strong in the long run, and there will be more demand when supply difficulties, notably chip shortages, are resolved," Malhotra said in an interview.
In Africa, the firm works through a distributor in Kenya, and based on the results there, it plans to expand into other African markets. South Africa, by the way, is one of the region's largest auto-refinishing marketplaces.
Nippon's car refinish and related verticals (wood coatings and light industrial coatings) are worth $300 crore. The car refinish business, on the other hand, is a 3,000 crore area in India.
"As you can see, there is possibility for us to develop here in India as well," Malhotra said, adding that Nippon was "open to acquisitions as well" provided the criteria were met.