A. R. Parsuraman
We have today Mr. A R Parsuraman with us of Allied Solutions. Sir, I would like to go through a series of questions with you regarding the Indian Plastic Industry and Allied Solutions.
Plasticsinfomart: To start with, I would like to know your background first; bit of your educational background and how you started to where you are now?
A. R. Parsuraman : I am in and out plastics man, having almost about 48 years of experience in polymer industry right from production of polyolefins, processing of polyolefins, manufacturing of specialty products, laying of PE pipes in the country and also marketing and general management. I in fact had a service of 38 years in MOSIL, polyolefin industries, Mafatlal’s greenfield project of petrochemicals in the country started in 1967. I superannuated from there, but my retirement was only for two of days. I got a division from them under a Plastic processing division at “Cola”. I became the Vice President over there, and then later was responsible to start a trading company for Mafatlal, named Metibol International.
So my experience has been more or less focused in the plastic industry. For the last three years, I have taken over the chairmanship of my own son’s company, Allied Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. The professionally organized marketing company, which deals with Plastic equipments, technologies, and the latest developments in the country.
Plasticsinfomart: So was it a family business or your son started as an entrepreneur?
A. R. Parsuraman: Son started, he is a first generation business man. He started this business from his bedroom when he was doing his final year of computer engineering. And in fact he wanted to go in business right from secondary education, but I persuaded him to have a professional qualification before getting into this and he abide by that and it is his own creation. I have actually joined him only for the last three years because I would like to have his own identity in the marketing field and which he has created. Today Allied Solutions has been brought up over last twelve years by the able leadership of Mr. Chetan Mehta who is our business manager. So, it is not a family company, it is a pvt ltd company but 100% professionally managed. It is an entrepreneurship. And our theme is actually bringing the latest technology to the country and transfer it to the customer and create the value addition. From his level of happiness we want to enhance it to level of delight. That’s our motto.
Plasticsinfomart: What actually made him to start this venture?
A. R. Parsuraman : He got inspired only because of me because i have been speaking plastics, breathing plastics, professing plastics, throughout his younger days he has observed me only that. Because i was in the marketing division and i have been traveling in the country participating in the various bodies. So the inspiration came actually because it was the sunrise industry at that time, which now has become resentment, it has become a mature industry. He discussed with me what kind of business we can do, and he wanted to put up a manufacturing unit which required lot of finance. I could not provide him that kind of ability of finance. So I advised him use your own brain and give services to the industry. If u can create real value addition then there is always a place in the industry and that’s how he started. His name is Mr. Ramesh Parsuraman and he is managing director of Allied Solutions.
Plasticsinfomart: You are one of the largest Plastic Solutions provider in the country?
A. R. Parsuraman : We are one of the main important solution provider in the country an agency house which runs actually in a very professional manner . Today the world leaders of technology and machinery people come to us whether we can assist them in representing them. To that extent this organization has been brought up and we are proud of our business manager and his team who has made it possible.
Plasticsinfomart: Would you like to shed some light on the key hurdles you faced in achieving this success?
A. R. Parsuraman: Well, one of the major hurdles is the internet operation which has become very widely has created mushrooming of the indenting people, entrepreneurs starting from the net only in their bedroom. Everybody will boast that we can do everything but then what happens is the real transition of the realty does not happen in the marketplace. Also, because of the globalization and the clear understanding of the window opening of the global industry in India, there is a very likelihood a principle will find room to open his own office and he probably will not look at a middle man and agent or a representative which is incorrect. But the only way to avoid that is to create innovation in your service, to create an impact of value addition to him and to the customer, and then you can survive. And of course the ruthless competition coming from various countries like china in a very ruthless way because many a times apple to apple comparison doesn’t take place and it goes in the price and value. And the European principles are not prepared to reduce the price to that extent as sometimes as an agent you’ll have to work with very low margins. That’s another threat I see here.
Plasticsinfomart: DO you believe that budding machinery manufacturing industry in India could be a threat for your business?
A. R. Parsuraman: Innovation and experience in terms of new designs and talent governed by or rather ruled by second generation businessman in the country are definitely capable of manufacturing products equivalent to international standards. And certainly, I would not consider it as threat, it will be considered as an opportunity where we do not have to go to Europe and USA to represent. We will represent locally the Indian companies. Marketing and manufacturing are two different disciplines and we believe marketing requires a kind of talent which we possess.
Plasticsinfomart: What is your view about the Global Plastics Industry as of today in terms of processing machinery you are dealing in?
A. R. Parsuraman: Plastics Industry globally is growing very fast. The per capita consumption is almost about 46 kg today as world average whereas our consumption level is only 6kg per capita. The growth of machineries is taking place in number in quality up gradation and essentially because there is a mecca media of plastics industries in Dusseldorf Germany. Every third year you have an exhibition K in Dusseldorf. Once the exhibition is over the next exhibition, what kind of innovation what kind of automation what kind of robotic what kind of technological up gradation can breed that is you see there. It is amazing to see every alternate year new things are coming not only in the field of machinery in the field of raw materials in the field of additives in the field of new plastics new polymers and in the field of designs and molds and in the field of processing techniques. So there is a total innovation and improvement is happening and the capability to translate and assimilate this technology contemporary makes you competitive.
Plasticsinfomart: Is Allied servicing Indian Plastic Industry or outside India also?
A. R. Parsuraman: We have certain representation in neighboring countries like Bangladesh Pakistan Sri Lanka but essentially it is catering the Indian industry. and we also represent some of the Indian companies. We also export products of some of the Indian companies as well. In some fields Indian companies are very competitively technologically innovative and can put a good fight across the imported machines and we represent them and resell also. We don’t just act as commissioning agents; we act as a value added solution provider.
Plasticsinfomart: So you are in a technology transfer also?
A. R. Parsuraman: Yes, suppose if somebody wants to have feasibility, we do feasibility. We create and make him understand what the end user is selling, specifications building up and we make him feel that right from the first day he has a break even achievement in terms of business; assist him to get the clientele; assist him to have the technology transfer so we are actually creating a kind of a value which cannot be measured under dollar and cents on first day. So he has a greater faith and we have a kind of a welcome in his plant floor without any bias otherwise an Indian converter is not normally willing to take you in the plant floor. Business is transacted in the managers cabin or Md’s cabin, but here we have a capability or we have the confidence of the customer that we can walk in to the plant floor. This way you retain the confidentiality and give value addition in terms of assessment of his plant and technology.
Plasticsinfomart: Do you believe that the rapid growth of Chinese plastic industry could be an alarming situation for India?
A. R. Parsuraman: Well, the role of growth of Chinese industry not only in plastics but other fields also cannot be a threat but what happened is the quality if it is not in concern with the quantity, which will be a threat. Because today the china is exporting even medicines under the brand name of Indian manufacturers name, that’s going to be a threat. But the customer is also becoming the deserving customer. He knows today what he wants, and he is identifying the product in terms of quality. He has a fair amount of technological skill and knowledge to differentiate good product vs. the bad product so before selling in price you sell in product. So make him understand that he has got an ability to distinguish which is good and which is bad. Because in china the catalog of average supplier is equivalent to any European catalog. It will speak much more than of what they can offer, but it is your wish and desire to go into a deeper and analyze and then consider it as a threat or opportunity. Not all Chinese manufacturers are bad quality either.
Plasticsinfomart: Do you see a possibility of European plastic machinery manufacturers to move to china for setting up their manufacturing units?
A. R. Parsuraman: Today India has become one of the major sourcing destination for the European and US companies. One of the distinguished features of India vs. China is India is considered as a safer country. Safer in the sense, respect to the patent law, respect to the quality sustenance and respect to the values which are in an agreement therefore the affinity and bias will be towards India. India is becoming more and more technologically qualified; therefore I don’t consider it will be a threat for our Indian industry at all. Particularly the second generations of the Indian businessman are really keen in keep updating their knowledge and the levels of techniques and innovation tendencies.
Plasticsinfomart: Do you believe that global economic slowdown has actually impacted the Indian plastic industry?
A. R. Parsuraman: Well when you talk about global recessionary tendency, it for the last one or two years now we are talking about is mainly for US and the European countries. It is not so much impacted India. All these countries are import dependent (considering plastics), whereas India is a unique place where India itself is a market for its own manufacturing. You don’t have to sustain your life exporting to US; our exports are much lesser when compared that way. So India is a unique country where it has got its own market. Its own market is increasing by two digit. The growth of plastic industry by twelve percent growth happening is essentially from the indigenous requirement and demand. The lifestyle change, one of the classic example I tell you today, what you see in the automobile industry, what you see in the telecoms industry, what you see in the white goods industries. Until 15 years back I remember we had only HMT watch we had a quartz technology, but there was only 1 watch we had HMT and one time keeping watch. But today the same person has got more than four watches, one for morning one for evening one for afternoon one for a luxury item. Because the market here positioned is resort instead of a timepiece. So the same technology when it is positioned and upgraded and that is what i say the younger generation second generation is capable. They have talents to make the industry move at a faster pace. So I don’t think the India will get affected with this recession in a bad way at all.
Plasticsinfomart: Is Indian government taking the necessary steps to support the plastic industry in this crucial time?
A. R. Parsuraman: Well India is taking the necessary steps because I myself have witnessed the fifteen years back 240% duty when the product was hardly available, the products were being sold at premium because Indian economy always have believed in shortages and we have distributed poverty over the years. But of course there was sound reason for political people because we were an agriculture economy, the priority were setup in a different way. But today it’s a globalization, India is no more an isolated country in the world, and therefore it is translated, I won’t call it protection, an apple to apple comparison and kind of treatment an entrepreneur is getting the same development as the industry in rest of the world. Today no entrepreneur needs subsidy; he needs infrastructure which was not understood 10 years back. But today the government has understood that so infrastructure development happens and that makes thing happen in a much better way.
Plasticsinfomart: Are Indian Government policies supportive enough for growth?
A. R. Parsuraman: It is good enough and they have moderated today and the Indian plastic industry has considered the future issues, including much later stage Europe and us addressed the recycling systems, environmental issues; but the Indian plastic industry and the government concerned are already addressing these issues thought the impact is yet to be seen but certainly government policies are adequate enough to do it. But mind it India is a very wide country, it’s like a continent. Implementation of a law and rule needs lot of preaching of Christianity because by law and force you can’t institute it but it has to be by education and by mind set change. Because today what is not happening probably, the recyclable product is simply burnt, toxins are created and unnecessarily the kind of a bad myth impact is made by the environmentalist talking that plastics are Eco-terrorist. On the contrary plastics are the most Eco-friendly product which actually saves the Eco but that is not being translated fully because of the wrong approach of some negotiations and some movements. There the government should become little stronger with the industry leaders and come out with the measure so that what is suffered in Europe, should not happen over here.
Plasticsinfomart: Would you like to share any three applications which you see as the growth prospects for the Indian plastic industry?
A. R. Parsuraman: The highest growth i will remunerate as plastics packaging industry. Packaging industry will be number one. Telecommunication which we have seen white goods and the infrastructure industry, and the automotive industry.
Plasticsinfomart: What about the defense and aeronautics?
A. R. Parsuraman: Well it comes in the hi-tech, of course it will.
Plasticsinfomart: Will it be a possibility of opening of defense and aeronautics sectors of India for Indian plastic industry?
A. R. Parsuraman: In the defense, it is a very secluded and secret oriented rather it has a very exclusive applications which will definitely be brought. But the numerical growth on base of tonnage will be minimal. But there will be certainly percentage wise growth happening everywhere.
Plasticsinfomart: As Allied is a first generation business, would you like to share any thumb rules for the budding entrepreneurs who can make or break success?
A. R. Parsuraman: Any entrepreneur who comes over should have his focus not on the product but focus on the customer. Because today’s customer is totally different from yesterday’s customer. Today’s customer is a deserving customer. He has a wider choice, he has greater ability to understand monitor and search internet wherever it may be in the globe. And therefore, entrepreneur should be capable of giving value not in terms of words but in terms of reality and the customer immediately asks if you to go with a new project, what is the pay back . Earlier it was not so. Your housewife today if you take her to a TV shop for purchasing a TV. 10 years back my wife used to ask shopkeeper what is the size and color combination, wide screen or flat screen. But today the same housewife wants what is the resolution. Because what has happened is the ability to understand greater things has become deeper. Therefore a deserving customer requires a greater talent to reciprocate so the budding entrepreneur should be capable of assimilating them latest technology, translate it and transfer it to the customer with the real value addition. And the transparent business will only have a sustainable growth. Unethical approach will not have, it will be one time. And all the effort should be done to make sure your one time customer remains with you forever. However small or big he is, he should remain with you. Bringing a new customer is easy, by default it can. But retaining an existing customer is more difficult because, you have to go to a second level of happiness i.e. delight. So that kind of a service orientation should be there for any entrepreneur who comes in the service industry particularly. That’s my verse.
Plasticsinfomart: Any one thing particularly you would like to change about plastic industry what it would be?
A. R. Parsuraman: Today what has happened is, in the plastic processing industry cost of polymer is almost about 70%. The value addition is only for remaining 30% by which he has to have a mould, he has to have additive, he has to have processing he has to have finance cost and repay, everything. So when a vital content of 70% being polymer, the prices of polymer today has become so frequent, morning one price, afternoon another price. it has become like a commodity exchange which certainly is not very appropriate and healthy to the plastic converter to the converting industry. Because what happens is he has got his end user customer who is not ready to pay morning one price and afternoon another price. He has to have validity at least for a min period of one week, one month something like that. So I think the time has come now to get into some kind of price validity. It is not that every alternate day the price is changing from the morning to the evening. That really puts lot of hardship for the plastic converter. Because of such wide fluctuations, the tendency to dilute the quality also happens. Because if the prices are too much away from the budget naturally the converter has the tendency to dilute the property and quality by using a lesser quality material. So in a way, i would say, there should be some kind of validity for the prices. I am not saying prices will be stable because market is dynamic, the global market is dynamic, but there should be some kind of validity in a place.
Plasticsinfomart: My next question is, what vision do you carry for plastic industry in 2020?
A. R. Parsuraman: In 2020, India is going to be the mighty giant in Plastic Industry. Because by 2020, the plastic industry will not only sized by the number of machines, number of products you make, but the amount of the element of skill labor what you have. The vocational capability of the skilled labor what we have from managerial to the operator level is tremendous. Secondly, our entrepreneurs in India today are the young group. They are of 25-35; they are already 25 years ahead of a sustainable improvement and entrepreneurial innovation. That’s a very healthy sign. Third, Indian plastic processing industry has a rule to have a spillage capacity, there is an alleged capacity built in any enterprise. Because of that any development which happens in machinery, any development which happens in the field of plastic, he is able to translate it quickly and put it back into the market. So this helps actually a lesser transition time in terms of the new development to get implemented in the country. And I would say India is going to be one of the leading one of the mighty champion for plastics industry in all fields, right from commodity to the medical plastics. It is going to be today artisans, the designs the kind of innovation what is happening, the kind of vision Indian plastic has brought and also India today is not isolated, it is a part of global plastic industry by name. Today an Indian entrepreneur goes to any world exhibition he is received well, he is considered as a good customer, because he has the ability to buy, translate and put it over. He doesn’t copy like rest of the Chinese or somebody, but innovate. And therefore he will have an equal relationship with his global partner in Europe. And what you see in plastindia foundation, the last exhibition in Delhi, you will see the growth translated in the exhibition, over 35 countries participated globally in that exhibition. Which shows that India is moving in the exhilarated pace by the end of 2020 India is going to be the mightiest partner in the plastic industry.
Plasticsinfomart: Would like to share a message with your clients and our other readers about allied solutions?
A. R. Parsuraman: Allied Solutions India Pvt ltd is dedicated actually to the plastic processing industry and technology. Our mission is to bring the latest technology, which is a future for next 20-30 years in Indian context. Bring it over, give it over in totality, provide technology relationship with the customer, and also if possible even partnering them with the supplier. By virtue of it, he has a complete hold on that. For example currently we have discussed with a company called Krau Germany, which are actually in the infrastructure development people for pipes. You would have heard polyethylene pipes in this country, today up to 1200 mm pipes are made, for pressure and non pressure applications. This company by its technology which is called as winding technology manufactures up to 4000 mm dia pipe. So ms pipes coated with polymers which are used now, which are susceptible to corrosion and also incrustation is completely removed and replaced by a plastic pipe which we call as krau pipe. We are in fact planning by end of this month to bring the German technician and make presentation at few places. And this is the continuation of our mission in terms of bringing new technologies to the Indian converter. And our appeal to the Indian customer is, be in the front floor to seize any opportunity and the opportunity should not be lost and by the cry of recession and the kind of a thing what is happening in Europe and America. Don’t get hurt and sit idle. Look at your own place, look at India. it is a magnificent country which provides ample provisions for growth. And the industry is so susceptible and still young; it is a very young industry which has got ample scope that is determined by the consumption patter of 6kg per capita. From there if you go to the global average of 26 kg, you need to grow 400% that itself gives you another 100 years of growth pattern. So, you are in a very safe industry and therefore you should be as enthusiastic and alert to not to miss any opportunity. And second generation should be replaced by a much more capable third generation and plastic industry is very safe in that matter and I wish them all success.
Thanks a lot for your time and the opportunity you have provided to us. I am sure it would certainly help lot of plastic entrepreneurs and growth in India.