Mario Schmidt, managing director of fenestration major Lingel Window & Door Technologies Pvt Ltd, shares his assessment of India’s most industry-defining developments, as well as the innovation that his company is introducing in the domestic market.
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
RERA: New Market for Standardised, Quality Products
The industry will benefit as there will be governance and transparency, and the Act will ensure that buyers are getting the quality of housing that they have been promised. RERA will also ensure that the projects are delivered at the committed time. Ensuring quality and timely delivery will create confidence and credibility for both the developer and customer.
The effect of this new regime will be that builders will be bound by a warranty period as well as a specified timeline for resolving quality issues of their customers. In turn this will create a market for building products that will last not just for a few years but at least a decade. Usually a building should stand for about 50 years or more, and for this to happen high quality products should be used. We are happy that the Indian real estate sector is gradually adopting international standards, quite like what is practiced in Germany. Since our products and methods already adhere to the guidelines of international standards, we are in a strong position to take on the completion.
Housing for All: More Work for Us
Housing for All is a great initiative from the government. More houses surely mean more work for us. Lingel has been in the Indian market for more than 10 years, and we are hoping that the superior quality of our products will be appreciated. We have been assiduously manufacturing window systems using the processes and materials that we have developed in Germany, and which are sturdy enough to withstand the Indian weather.
GST: Some Pain, Some Gain
The biggest impact will be that countrywide there will be a uniform system, and it will be applicable only once for the product. Currently there are various taxes and a lot of paper work, which we are hoping will cease.
Also we are looking forward to the end of the C-form era. As a supplier, today, we have the responsibility to ensure that our dealers and customers file their local VAT returns on time, which is actually completely out of our control. We know that C-forms can be issued only on a quarterly basis after filing of the VAT return. In case a customer defaults, the form will not be issued to him, and this will put us into a situation where we are not able to issue the forms to our suppliers, and we end up paying the balance tax. This usually leads to a huge loss every year.
The industry is happy that the GST rate is 18%. We are in competition with the huge unorganised fenestration industry, which includes on-site fabrication using wood and low-end aluminium, which thrives by not paying tax. It is hoped that this segment of the industry will have to shape up and compete on quality, or vacate the space for the organised players.
Also, the customer will experience a uniform tax regime and transparency in pricing. I’m sure that there
will be no negative impact for the consumer.
Innovation: Bringing ‘Breakthrough’ Tech to Indian Market
We have introduced Smart Li aluminium window system and internal doors that are mobile-controlled. For the first time in India we are using uPVC hardware for aluminium windows. This initiative is considered as a milestone, since the synergy of uPVC and aluminium is taking the end product to an unmatched higher level. This will be a breakthrough in technology for the fenestration industry. The window has special features and can receive information about weather, fire etc on the phone.