Our presence and scale along with our strong brand value are our strengths.
– Ashwin Reddy, Managing Director, Aparna Enterprises
From a humble beginning as ceramic tile distributors, AEL has carved a niche as one of the most innovative and respected building materials producer. What do you think the factors behind the success saga?
We attribute our success majorly to our customers. Customers were the factor which gave us motivation and inspiration to adapt and bring into existence products which were accepted and addressed the actual requirements. We are a quality driven organization and keep our quality standards to the highest. To ensure a good quality output and timely supplies, we did backward integration for many products like Ready Mix Concrete (RMC), tiles, uPVC windows and doors, aluminium window and door systems. Because of this, we are able to deliver the quality commitment and timely supplies at very competitive prices we offer to our customers.
What has been the impact of covid-19 on the building materials industry, and as a solution provider in this space, how your company’s performance has been impacted?
Covid-19 has created a huge dent for entire construction industry; the lock down halted our production processes across all product lines. The production was resumed after the lockdown was lifted, but still labour availability is not up to the required levels. Adequate labour availability is critical aspect for the industry to come back to normal operating levels given the fact that production processes in this industry are not fully automated and require lot of human intervention.
What new measures have you implemented to contain costs and optimize operations amid this pandemic?
We have scheduled our operations to increase productivity to maximum extent. Started working more closely with our customers to properly synchronize our productivity with their requirements so that the maximum output/value is achieved. We are trying to get back the workers by paying some mobilization advance and offering free transportation from their native places to the work place. Also, we have improved the facilities at their accommodations to make them feel safe and stay healthy.
Brief us on the measures taken to support your customers during this crisis and what innovative, value-added products / service support you have added / aim to add?
Covid 19 taught us a new way to live our lives and interact with other people. Being a manufacturing organization, our people are of utmost importance to us as they interact with various customers on daily basis. All of our premises across the nation are regularly sanitized. Especially the showrooms where customers visit, are sanitized multiple times during the day to ensure safety of our visitors. The manufacturing and sales teams have been made available with sanitization gear and products to maintain their hygiene. The sales teams are constantly working on connecting with our clients as virtually as possible. Marketing teams also are focusing more towards digital efforts. We have made special teams across geographies considering the travel restrictions (both time and distance) to attend to the customer’s requirements in a prompt manner. Also, we are working on the modifications required for our products to make it more compatible to the changed environment.
What are the major challenges that you face in today’s context as a solution provider?
Apart from the demand issues which entire construction industry is facing, we are struggling to bring our production capacity to its normal stage – due to labour shortage. Resuming the sales and product supply is also becoming challenging in current times. Inter-district and interstate logistics also has become a big issue to deal with.
How do you assess the business scenario post Covid-19 scenario? What sort of change do you expect and prepare to in terms of production, supply chain etc.?
Covid 19 has shaken the entire economy leave aside any sector or organization. The construction and building material industry also got severely hit as construction projects got halted and are struggling to resume the pace they were operating at earlier. This in turn has affected the demand cycle for building material products. The situation will take couple of months to improve and resume the demand supply cycle like before. We expect that the industry will move towards more automation as the customer preference will move towards quality and affordable products. The automation will help the industry to reduce cost while increasing the quality. Also, we are expecting a consolidation in the logistics industry.
What are your plans on leveraging the edge of using digital platforms?
We believe in adapting quickly as per customer requirements. We are incorporating digital platforms for client interactions. Virtual tour of our product showrooms and video sales discussions are few steps which are already incorporated to ensure customer’s convenience. We are focusing more towards digital platforms for product marketing through SEO, SEM& SMM.
Are there any plans for more diversification in product lines, also in expanding the geographies?
We are planning to make some of our products such as tiles, uPVC profiles to be available on PAN India basis. Also, we will be introducing new varieties in the existing product lines.
When do you expect a turnaround in the business?
We are expecting that the complete turnaround will happen by Sept’ 20.
Why a buyer should come to you? Brief us on the core strengths and competencies?
Our strength lies in the quality of our products and post sales service. Our customers have always realized and appreciated the range and quality of products which we offer. We have been at the forefront of adapting some of the best technologies available globally, in our manufacturing processes, to bring world class products to our customers. Our presence and scale along with our strong brand value are our strengths. Quality and customer service are our core competencies.