Homegrown paints major Shalimar Paints has emerged as a cheerleader for environmental sustainability in its industry. The company has been driving its business by rolling out eco-friendly product: low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emitting paints that are at the frontline of ‘green’ deals for customers.
SH spoke to the company’s vice president for growth, strategy & marketing Minal Srivastava to understand what sustainability meant to Shalimar Paints, and how its business was shaping up in response to this imperative.
By Mrinmoy Bhattacharjee
What does sustainability mean to you?
Paint products often use raw materials and ingredients that are hazardous to the environment and also emit unpleasant odours and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). People using products with high volumes of VOCs, as well as those in the vicinity of usage, are exposed to very high pollutant levels – something that has adverse effects on their health in the short and long term.
These effects can be mild, like minor irritation in the eyes, throat, nose or skin, or a major burning sensation. Headaches, nausea and dizziness can also result from exposure to the chemicals in conventional paints. What’s more, elevated concentrations of VOCs can persist in the air long after the activity is completed. This is the main reason why painting instructions advise that you only work in well-ventilated areas.
In the past few years, the focus of leading industry players has been on the development of a new range of environment-friendly, non-toxic paints that are specially designed to have lower levels of VOCs. Since eco-friendly paints are low in VOC chemicals, they’re much safer to use. The aim is to reinvent paints so that such severe implications for the environment and individual can be prevented.
How important is ‘sustainability’ plank for your business growth?
The industry is shifting to low/zero VOC paints, as paints manufacturers are becoming more environment-conscious. At the same time, consumers are also becoming more aware of the benefits of low/zero VOC paints and are increasingly buying green-labelled products.
Shalimar Paints has always been a socially responsible organisation with a strong commitment to creating a green and sustainable ecosystem for the generations to come. We are achieving this by manufacturing environment-friendly products and practices that are finding robust traction with our target consumers.
How are you integrating marketing and branding with sustainability?
Since Shalimar believes in creating a sustainable environment for future generations, we communicate this thought to the end-consumer as well as to other key stakeholders. We conduct branding exercises at various media touchpoints to spread awareness about the eco-friendly products in our portfolio amongst our target consumers.
These campaigns are also designed to encourage Indians to be more socially responsible and take steps to nurture a sustainable and eco-friendly environment.
How are you pursuing sustainability in your organisation and externally?
Shalimar Paints was established in 1902, and it has 117 years of experience and expertise in providing high-quality coating solutions. From mining the best quality pigments to using the finest packaging for the paints, we are ensuring that every process goes to make our business sustainable and responsible.
As an organisation, we also comply with the highest environmental standards on paints, especially in the area of VOC content. We promote water-based substitutes actively through our website and other promotional activities. Our products like Signature, Superlac Advance, and Stay Clean interior emulsions are all GRIHA-certified.
What tangible benefits are you deriving from sustainability?
Our range of eco-friendly products brings multiple benefits to the table. These products are long-lasting and provide superior environmental performance. They also help in the creation of a culture of sustainability and improve our brand image in the market.
Given how modern consumers are more conscious of their ecological footprint, it gives us a competitive advantage over products with higher VOC content levels.