Aditya Birla Group has made its entry into the cut-throat paints business with the launch of three factories in Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Punjab, and expects to garner a revenue of ₹10,000 crore and turn profitable in three years.

Branded as Birla Opus, Kumar Mangalam Birla-led Grasim Industries plans to put up 1,332 million litres per annum (mlpa) of capacity, which will be higher than the current cumulative capacity of second, third and fourth players in the industry.

To start with, Grasim Industries has stared production at three units at Panipat (Haryana), Ludhiana (Punjab) and Cheyyar (Tamil Nadu) with 533 mlpa and expects the remaining capacity at Chamarajanagar (Karnataka), Mahad (Maharashtra) and Kharagpur (West Bengal) by end of next fiscal. The company has plans to increase capacity by another 500 mlpa at the lowest cost in the existing facilities.

The company’s paint products will be available in Punjab, Haryana and Tamil Nadu from mid-March and across all one lakh population by July and target distribution at over 6,000 towns by next fiscal year-end.

The company plans to register 50,000 dealers and distribute tinting machines free for 95 per cent of them. The company is targeting to get a market share of 9 per cent by end of next financial year and emerge the second-largest player in three years.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, said the three paint plants have gone on stream in less than three years and it is the fastest greenfield project execution in the history of the group.

“Distribution stands as our strategic bulwark. In the cement business, for example, we have achieved unparalleled reach down to every taluka pin code. We are now channelling this formidable expertise into Birla Opus. To replicate this expansive network within the inaugural year, and setting a new benchmark in rapid brand proliferation,” he said.

The thought to enter the paint business occurred three years ago and it was a natural extension of the white cement business, said Birla.

Enrolling painters

The company has already enrolled three lakh painters and contractors from across the country in just six months even before hitting the market.

Grasim has also launched Birla Opus Painter Partnership Programme ‘Udaan’, a cutting-edge Painter App and website to empower contractors to showcase their work and attract new business.

“I warmly welcome over one lakh paint dealers pan-India to join this transformative journey with Birla Opus. The company will also offer financing to registered dealers through Aditya Birla Capital,” said Birla.

World over, he said corporates are moving to consumer-facing businesses and the group is also getting down the value chain in the commodity business.

The correspondent was in Panipat at the invitation of the company