TPT March 2023

from the down cycles that any one segment may experience from time to time. But at the same time, this move proved to be one of the most challenging responsibilities of my career. Although challenging, the merit of having a healthier mix of both institutional and retail-based businesses, to ameliorate the

What are the future plans for your company? Do you see a lot of potential for growth? In our polymer business, we are playing an active part in the growth of the country’s PVC pipes and fittings market, which is anticipated to register a double-digit CAGR of approxi mately 14 per cent by revenue. To give you some context, India is an expanding economy, in terms of population, urbanisation and industrialisation, which makes the require ment larger than any other country in terms of volume. Given this, we are delighted to contribute to India to meet its requirement for an efficient water supply system. Through our polymer business, we would like to keep contributing to government initiatives: the Housing for All, Nal se Jal, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Swachh Bharat Mission. In the coming years, the demand is set to grow phenomenally and India will strengthen its position as an investment hotbed. Solely in the polymer business, India presents a collective opportunity of Rs35,000 plus crores for large and organised players like us. Going forward in this direction, we are investing in a superior customer experience through a range of high quality products and solutions in the markets. What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job and working in your current role? At Skipper, we are determined to become an enduring ‘growth performer’. We believe that we can invigorate our growth rate by focusing on both the short-term and the long-term. If the past six quarters are to be seen closely, it’s evident that our implemented programmes have shown excellent results for long-term momentum. Our foray into adding the polymers business, as an additional platform to our established engineering business, was the culmination of this approach. Today, this approach is creating a promising future for Skipper. When we started our Polymer business 10 years ago, there was a conviction and a belief that with the launch of these additional verticals, new revenues and drivers of growth will follow. While we understood that this would be an extended journey, we were well prepared to build long-term value from this business. Once this foundation was laid, everyone at Skipper became committed to it. In trying to change our growth trajectory through our polymer pipes and fittings business, we invested, created and are now performing. Today, we have been able to scale up this business to have a visible presence as a leading national, branded player. As we scale the polymer business to become at par with our existing mature businesses in size and stature, I enjoy each day of the process. What is the toughest aspect of your job? For me, the toughest aspect of my job would be how we need to keep reinventing ourselves or differentiate ourselves through superior quality, a reputation for high reliability and technically modern water plumbing solutions each day. The domestic polymer industry manufactures a wide range of products and is very heterogeneous, with a good mix of large enterprises, multinational companies and small and medium companies. Diversifying into new products and service lines can provide an effective path to sustainable growth, and de-risk oneself

inconsistencies of long gestation and institutional-based B2C business proved to be a boon for Skipper, especially in the post-pandemic world. I enjoy each and every day being in the decision-making position for Skipper. What’s the most exciting or challenging project you have been involved in during your career so far? The most exciting yet challenging part of my career was to make Skipper a state-of-art manufacturing facility with a strong team of design engineers and draughtsmen who continuously develop innovative, construction-friendly and cost-effective designs. We strive to make Skipper a sustainable manufacturing hub that is founded on the following four activities that help the environment across its entire supply chain with activities that are identified as: energy use reduction, water use reduction, emissions reduction and waste generation reduction. At Skipper, most of our optimisation of processes is done regarding minimising the impact on our environment and at the same time reducing machining time or machining cost. Our costing models are constructed in alignment with environmental compliance. In addition to improving and optimising the existing processes, Skipper also focuses on developing new processes that use less harmful materials and generate fewer emissions, which can then be considered as green processes. One example is our strong focus on CPVC over regular PVC as raw material. Sustainable manufacturing is an important aspect and is considered by Skipper in its manufacturing processes, not because it is a fad but a necessity as an obligation to the world we live in. Product life cycle analysis has become a crucial tool of choice being used to establish the environmental impact of the products that we produce. I have made it my personal mission to build a greener and more sustainable company over the next few years. What is the worst crisis you have faced – or your proudest moment during your career so far? The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak affected the overall business of Skipper. The national polymer sector also experienced a significant impact. Major raw material orders that were commissioned faced delays. Moreover, the rising prices of raw materials along with sky-high freight charges made manufacturing difficult during this time. These effects are still visible in the sector although things are now quickly



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