The company wants to be a complete window and door solutions provider and offer channel partners an attractive business proposition
UPVC window and door systems major Fenesta, a part of the DCM Shriram Group, has diversified into the system aluminium window and door category. In August this year, the company had launched a system aluminium range for residential and commercial applications. For the time being the products are being offered to institutional customers pan India and retail customers in the NCR, but soon the range will be rolled out nationally.
In an exclusive interaction with Sourcing Hardware, business head Saket Jain explained how Fenesta is transforming into a total window and door system provider, from its earlier ‘only UPVC proposition’.
“We are the largest organised UPVC window and door solutions provider in the country. However, we aim to be the leader in the entire window and door market. Considering that aluminium still rules with a more than 60% share, it was natural for us to look at that market as well. For us, this change is an organic progression.”
It is estimated that aluminium accounts for 60-70% of the window and door market in India, UPVC has a 10-15% share, and the rest belongs to wood, etc. However, the bulk of the aluminium market is still unorganised, while system aluminium accounts for a mere 5-10%.
Fenesta’s UPVC window fabrication facilities are located in Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Hyderabad and Chennai, while the system aluminium range is being produced at Bhiwadi. “We are in expansion mode since we are operating at more than 80% capacity. We are producing more than 2.5 lakh window units a year as of now. But given that we have been witnessing a 25% growth in business annually, we need to augment this capacity.”
Jain says that change is a constant at Fenesta and the company tries to remain ahead of the curve with respect to market developments. Explaining why the company shifted focus from projects to retail a few years back, he comments, “We had recognised the potential of the retail segment and decided not to depend entirely on institutional sales, which had been the mainstay of our business till 2012. At that time, most of our business was coming from builders. We took a considered decision to widen our customer base by focusing on the end-user segment. Today the situation is quite different, as most of our sales are contributed by retail.”
According to Jain the market in metros and T1 cities is maturing, as the growth of new construction and renovation is stabilising. “Fenesta still receives the majority of its business from mature markets, but we see increasing traction in T2 and T3 cities, similar to what’s happening in the auto, paints and bath fittings sectors.”
Interestingly, Fenesta’s marketing team has assessed that the demand for system aluminium windows grows with the increase in aperture size. “In Punjab as well as Mumbai we have found that windows are 2.5m high and more. In such cases system aluminium is better suited. Besides, architects too have a preference for the material.” Fenesta has a service presence in 327 cities across India through 190 channel partner showrooms, and by the end of 2019, it aims to add another 15-20 partners.
“We are engaged in adding more depth to the reach of the Fenesta brand. Since we are a brand to reckon with in this segment, we find that many dealers and distributors engaged in the building products sector are keen to partner with us. The window and door segment provides an added dimension to their business, while we benefit from their established customer-base and goodwill. With our portfolio expanding to system aluminium, we are confident that our channel partners will find it rewarding working with Fenesta.”
Jain explains that window and door is a unique business category since the end product is entirely customised, and partners do not have to manage any inventory. “A drive to sell, great local connect, and a showroom in a high street is all that’s required to become a Fenesta channel partner. The 365-day Fenesta customer care centre, which helps with lead generation, and a structured learning and development program that helps in onboarding channel sales executives are some of our key initiatives to support channel partners.”