uPVC Windows and Doors, as a segment, has firmly established itself in the Indian market. This category in the fenestration industry has come to define standards, something which never existed in the market. Features like the tilt and turn windows, options in casement windows, quality sound insulation, etc. caught the fancy of the customers in India. Buildingandinteriors.com caught-up with Mr.Manish Bansal, Director & CEO, Window Magic, to understand how the segment is growing and what are the challenges that still remain.
B&I: uPVC windows and doors is a fast-growing segment. However, it does face stiff competition from wooden and aluminium windows. What are the challenges you face in this segment? What has been your strategy to mitigate these challenges?
MB: You put it very correctly. It’s correct to say that uPVC windows face stiff competition from wooden and aluminium windows. It’s mainly due to the fact that wooden and aluminium windows have been in the market for a longer time than uPVC windows. Still, most of the potential customers are not aware of uPVC windows and its advantages. But what is interesting is that in recent years, the awareness about uPVC windows has risen significantly.
The problem with wooden windows is it’s susceptibility to termites and moisture (as is the case in coastal areas) and the high maintenance cost due to the need for regular polishing. These factors, if not controlled and addressed, reduce the life of a wooden window quite dramatically. Aluminium also has its intrinsic limitations in terms of the window designs. uPVC windows, as an alternative to wooden and aluminium windows, are highly customizable. In terms of the window life, it is long-lasting, eco-friendly, heat and noise-resistant.
Our strategy so far has been to make people familiar with the advantages of uPVC windows so that they can appreciate and switch over. People get an option that is safe for the environment, not like wooden doors and windows that leads to massive deforestation. uPVC windows are very appropriate in the current pandemic situation, as it makes the rooms airtight when closed. Today, the construction industry pan-India accept these windows. This is increasing their future acceptability.
B&I: There are many uPVC window fabricators operating in the market today. Given the fact that the price of uPVC window systems varies over a wide range, how can a consumer identify the differences in the quality of the uPVC windows?
MB: The first and foremost step is that the consumer should go for a market survey. Despite many fabricators in the market, the reputed ones are just a handful. Window Magic has a market value and name because of its quality that is supplied. A consumer should consider a few factors to pick the best quality- Lead-free (Eco- friendly), UV Stable, Wind and fire resistance, thermal and sound insulation, and impact resistance.
If one finds all these factors, then you’re going for the right choice and top quality.
B&I: India is a typical country with varying weather conditions across geography. How do uPVC windows perform in such diverse, extreme and fast-changing weather conditions – hot, cold, humid?
MB: We all are aware that India is a country with diverse weather conditions. uPVC windows are the only option available right now in the market that can practically withstand all this. Being eco-friendly is a major plus point in these windows. Its UV stable so it has longevity and is not harmed during high temperature. It is water and wind-resistant so there is no need to worry about it during monsoon even if you’re in the coastal area and can easily stand heavy rains, like the ones seen in Mumbai. Broadly looking at all the factors, we can see that uPVC is not affected even in adverse weather situations. It is a highly recommended, world-class product among the fenestration consultants, a material which is not only durable but also stylish.
B&I: Which are currently the strong markets/pockets for window magic in India and how do you plan to expand your operations?
MB: At one point in time, one used to struggle in finding a material that was not too expensive, good quality and could withstand all weather conditions. At Window Magic, we have worked hard to build a strong market position. Our brand positioning in the hotel, construction and commercial industry is strong. uPVC is a highly recommended option in these industries as it solves all their problems with thermal insulation, water tightness, sound-resistance, durability, longevity and looks. For our expansion, we’re going to the grassroots level making it available for people who want to redo their home and offices.
B&I: What kind of promotion strategy you will have in the coming years to establish your credentials as a top-notch brand in this segment?
MB: As a company, we are already in the lead as the top option for uPVC windows and doors in the market. Taking into consideration the announcement of 100 smart cities, we can foresee a rapid growth in infrastructure, FDI and middle-class segment, which will result in a market for uPVC windows and doors. Our target market is also a bit diverted towards people who are looking for renovation and construction of their homes and offices in metro cities where the problem of noise and pollution is rising. We are going for promotions that will target the new housing constructions that will give us a push in the market.
B&I: Do you think online selling would be a viable medium for uPVC window systems?
MB: In my opinion, it can be an option of course but we’ll still stick to the existing medium – the touch and feel. There is a simple reason behind this. To satisfy the psychology of Indian consumers, it is important that they see it in person and observe the quality. We can display the options online wherein they can pick out their choices. Also, physical form is important for its perfect fitting and customization. We already have a fully developed website for people to explore their options but we are planning to make it a bit more personalized for the future.
B&I: uPVC as a material has not seen any significant improvement over the years. Any derivatives of uPVC that are likely to disrupt the industry for good. If yes, how far are we from that scenario?
MB: The main issue in the Indian doors and window market is that it is unorganized. Due to this, there are no guidelines and specific standards set. The growing market is enabling many local companies to emerge. Chinese companies are growing too but that results in low quality of goods as their main motive is profits. This tarnishes the image of the product in the market. So, big and reputed manufacturers get this responsibility on their shoulders to provide standardized and quality products. This will create a win-win situation for both manufacturers and consumers. The consumers will get the best quality of products and the manufacturers will be able to go on with their business with positive competition and influence as the companies that provide low quality good will not have any place in the market.
B&I: Can we leverage new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, IoT etc. to enhance the product value and /or user experience?
MB: I would say that AI and VR will definitely play a key role in enhancing the product value of uPVC windows as technology enables better promotion. People will be able to see the outcome of their imagination/visualisation in a better way. They will put together their ideas on a virtual platform and see how exactly their place will look, what designs they actually want, which colour will suit the most etc.
UPVC Windows has revolutionized the game of windows and door systems. It is a topic…