KOLKATA: Nanotechnology-enabled paints that have been indigenously developed in the city will soon add sheen to highrises in the Gulf. Innovation Centre for Applied Nanotechnology (I-CanNano), that has developed a range of water-based hygienic paint, tied up with Dubai-based Van O Mark LLC to manufacture and market paints developed in Kolkata. Van O Mark trades in construction chemicals.
“Over 60 multinational companies have signed up with us for supply of paints that last at least three times more than what is available in the market. Given that our paint is 10% cheaper than competition also worked in our favour,” said I-CanNano chief executive Arup Kumar Chatterjee. Though the company has developed a dealership network, it has not yet advertised its products with over 70% of the revenues generated from institutional sales.
Paints and coatings manufactured at the in-house R&D centre and manufacturing facility is being used by Indian corporates like Godrej & Boyce, Mahindra, Parryware Roca, L&T, Shapoorji Palonji and Tata Motors in a range of applications.
Mahindra’s real estate wing and construction majors Shapoorji Palonji and L&T are sourcing I-CanNano paints for their projects. Its insulation material is used in Godrej Eon refrigerators. Parryware Roca, that makes premium sanitary-ware, uses coating developed by the firm. Tata Motors has entered into MoUs for development of nano paints and coatings for use in cars. The tie-up has led to a quantum jump in sales of I-CanNano paint with the turnover set to increase from Rs 20 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 400 crore in 2011-12.
“The joint venture in West Asia will catalyze our expansion drive that began with setting up of a Rs 300-crore facility in Mumbai with Shapoorji Palonji. During the year, we plan to enter into JVs with Chennai-based construction firm Hallmark and a Delhi-based company to set up similar facilities. The capacity of the 900 tonne/month Baruipur plant will be enhanced to 4,000 tonne/month. The combined domestic capacity will be 16,000 tonne/month in two years with investment pegged around Rs 1,000 crore,” Chatterjee said after signing the pact with Van O Mark LCC senior official Gopinath Kottayi.
From October 1, the company will begin exporting paints to West Asia and hopes to ship 3 tonne of paints worth Rs 30 crore in 12 months. “Once the manufacturing facility is in place, it will meet the local requirement,” the CEO said. Next on line will be a JV in Russia where I-CanNano will be the technology supplier.
Paints aside, scientists at the Baruipur facility have also developed, tested and patented a jute-based composite to replace plywood in furniture and aluminium used in building facade. The high-strength, water resistant and fire retardant material is 10 to 15 times stronger than plywood and is termite-proof. Also on the anvil is a nano battery unit of up to 5 kw for use in inverters. The company is scouting for a partner for the Rs 100-crore project.