K R SHIVSHANKAR | Managing Director & CEO | Inovar Floors India Pvt. Ltd | India
K.R. Shivshankar, Managing Director and CEO, Inovar Floors India Pvt Ltd, has more than three decades (out of which two decades as CEO) of hands on experience in Building Materials industry and today he is considered as an authority on flooring segment. Currently he has been associated with Inovar Floors India Pvt Ltd, a specialist wooden floor covering company, and a subsidiary of Inovar Industries SDN BHD,Malaysia. In an exclusive interview with Sawdust he shares his views about Indian market, trends and vision of his company
Since how long Inovar Floor has been in India and what has been your experience so far?
Inovar came to India in 2009. We have been present in India since 1997, as OEM suppliers to few leading brands. Experience has been pretty good and we have firmly established ourselves as a serious player in this sector. We have strategically built our range of products, by concentrating on offering solution to all your floor, wall and ceiling requirements, for internal and external applications.
Do you have any special designs for Indian market?
Yes, that’s one of the key advantages of Inovar, we are a leading player in Asia and hence our range is suited to Asian tastes. We also find that the design choices vary from North to south, we have been able to cater to those requirement too.
Why are you emphasising ‘water resistant’ laminate flooring while all laminate flooring are water resistant?
Flooring is function of beauty and functionality. Water is an enemy of wooden flooring and hence, we need the flooring to be very water resistant, as we wet mop the floors, every day. The core, we use are from Malaysian hardwood chips, and our unique patented core guard, gives us that superior water resistance. While our floors give a water swelling of less than 8%, our European competitors test above 12% in water swelling.
On what basis you claim Inovar Floor products are eco-friendly?
The floors are entirely recyclable, and we have Green Label certification and other industry certifications.
In a tropical country like India, tiles and marbles are preferred over laminate flooring. What is your comment on this?
Yes we love our stone floors! Wood is fairly neutral, so it neither gets hot or cold. The look you get by installing a wooden floor is very different, since the floors are part of design, looks are pretty important too…There is no disadvantage of installing a wood floor, due to any climatic conditions.
Don’t you think having a manufacturing base locally would have given an edge over your competitors? What are your plans regarding this?
I don’t think so, the range and the finishes are so wide that no one factory can fulfil the needs. Moreover the factories abroad cater to a wide global markets and hence innovation are cost effective. This is not true with Indian factories catering to small local markets and practically no export market. They will at best be a popular segment player fighting on price and speed of delivery.
What is trending in laminate flooring in India?
Designs, rustic and, better surface textures which look more like natural, etc. are trending in the laminate flooring segment.
Indian market is cost conscious and where does Inovar Floor stand in terms of cost and durability?
All markets are price conscious, across the globe. Customer sees a value in your product and will pay for that, not a penny more. In terms of our prices we are on spec to spec basis, very well priced, we are not in the low & below par quality segment. We expect all our products to give a good performance for over 10 years.
What are your India plans in the coming months?
We want to be amongst the top five in the next couple of years in wood and floor covering Industry. We are an expert wood flooring company and would like to deliver that quality and service to our customers. We will, in the coming months, further expand our presence by getting deeper into the geographical segments we work in and by adding depth to the range of products we carry.