Astral Pipes – A Household Phenomenon
While serving the plumbing needs of millions of houses since 1999, the company adds extra mileage to India’s developing real estate fraternity says Sandeep Engineer, Managing Director, Astral Pipes
In a short span of time Astral Pipes has become a household name, how has the journey been so far?
The journey so far was tough as the product was new for the country and was costly compared to the conventional product that is GI pipes (Galvanised Iron). When Astral launched CPVC, there was more than 60% import duty on the Fittings for the pipes. But Mr. Sandeep was very confident that once the concept would be accepted, the products will get fair acceptance and success in the market. However for a promoter with very thin capital it was difficult to accept the challenge hence after two years of operation the entire Net Worth of the company eroded and it was almost on the verge of closedown. However he had been confident of success of this innovative product and hence he went back again to USA and convince the USA based Collaborator for infusion of additional funds and that was the turning point for the success story of ASTRAL. Specialty Process LLC infused additional funds by way of Preference Shares in the company and pulled it (ASTRAL) from verge of bankruptcy. Since then, the story of success started in year 2001-02 in which company, for the first time registered cash profit in spite of the fact that it just had started its operations in the year 1998-99. Today, Astral Poly Technik is equipped with production facilities at Santej&Dholka (Gujarat), and Hosur (Tamil Nadu) to manufacture Plumbing systems, Drainage systems, Agricultural pipes, Industrial, Fire protection and Electrical conduit pipes with all kinds of necessary fittings. Within 17 years, Astral Pipes has more than 750 distributors and 22,000 dealers across India. Also present in more than 22 countries. In 2014, Mr. Sandeep had a big vision of entering in adhesive market and so Astral acquired 80 percent controlling stake in UK-based Company Seal It Services Ltd., which manufactures various types of adhesives and sealants, and also has acquired Kanpur based ResinovaChemie Ltd. which also operates in similar category.
What are the different kinds of pipes manufactured by Astral Pipes?
Plumbing systems, Drainage systems, Industrial systems, Piping systems for Fire Protection, Agriculture piping system, Electrical conduit pipes
How important is the role of product development in the pipes segment? What are the R&D efforts taken by Astral in this regard?
While serving the plumbing needs of millions of houses since 1999, the company adds extra mileage to India’s developing real estate fraternity. Astral’s contribution to the plumbing industry in the form of innovative products bears the hallmark of quality. The company has ultra-modern manufacturing facilities and a full-fledged research and development division to consistently upgrade its processes and materials. By incorporating international developments in to its operations, the company serves satisfactorily to the needs of its patrons. Astral always emphasizes on quality maintenance and product enhancement. And with highest certifications such as ISI, ISO, UL, IAPMO and NSF, the company stands way ahead of its competitors.
What is your market share in the Indian pipes segment? How has brand ambassador Salman Khan helped you to become a household name?
Our association with Salman Khan is in sync with our brand communication that highlights the strength of our products. We have earlier partnered with the movie Dabangg-2, where Salman actually used Astral Pipes in the film. Now, our association with him as brand ambassador will further strengthen the brand image and take it to the next level.
What is your outlook on the pipes segment in India? Which are the major sectors that will drive growth?
Astral Pipes has been showing rapid growth since past several years and the major reasons for the growth of this industry is increasing demand for pipes in the irrigation sector, oil and gas sector, industrial sector and also the real estate industry. The demand for plastic pipes such as PVC and CPVC is also increasing as these pipes are better in quality and durability. Infrastructure development, urbanization and the subsequent development of residential and industrial construction are facilitating the growth of the pipe industry in India.
A proper pipe installation ensures functional efficiency is attained? How do Astral piping specialists ensure the job is done correctly?
For proper pipe installation guidelines and to keep up to date with the market scenario and new technology, we keep conducting various knowledge seminars and dealers meet, plumbers meet and farmers meet etc.