Mahesh Gupta says Mr. Mahesh Gupta, Managing Director, Shri Ram Panels NBMCW November 2015
NBM&CW November 2015
Could you please tell us about the milestones that Shri Ram Panels has achieved since its inception?
From over two and a half decades, Shri Ram Panels Pvt. Ltd. is continuously catering to the needs of construction and infrastructure industry. Initiated its operation by supplying materials to local dealers, the company has now become a leading supplier of formwork and shuttering products to the topmost infrastructure companies including L&&T, DLF, Gammon India, and other renowned entities of national repute. Over the years, we have added quite a few products catering to the requirements of varied industries, and have improvised our offerings so as to meet the specific needs of our valued customers.

Our extended product portfolio includes production pallets for various industries, metal reinforced truck flooring, chequered plywood, high abrasive truck flooring with eco friendly jute surfacing impregnated with E1 glue and Aluminium-surfaced transport-friendly flooring for bus, commercial vehicles, trains, ships, etc. Lately, we have augmented our list of offerings by adding laminated veneer lumber (LVL) for construction, transport, and interiors-related applications. Besides, we do supply densified veneer lumber (DVL) for door frames, etc. Additionally, we have also added 3D-surfaced all purpose doors, container flooring as per international standard, birch plywood for interiors, besides offering high-quality construction formwork.

What are the application areas where your products have been widely accepted?
Magnus Plywood
As I mentioned, we cater to the requirements of varied industries so are the application areas. For instance, in the construction formwork sector, our products are well-received and are widely asked for their maximum utilisation owing to the larger panel sizes offering better precision, fair face finish, and maximum number of repetitions. And when it comes to industrial and interiors sectors, we are receiving very good response for our BWP, BWR, MR-grade plywood, block boards, flush doors, and decorative plywood due to their being fit for every possible interior applications.

Similarly, our wood-based panel products are widely accepted and are used extensively in transport sector, especially by those involved in manufacturing commercial vehicles, public transport, private coaches, designer luxury vanity coaches, fishing boats, luxury yachts, and last but not the least is ships.

How do you see the prospect of LVL in the Indian construction and housing sector?
LVL plays crucial role in construction and housing sector worldwide. The testimony of the fact is that it is produced and used comprehensively in all the developed countries since long-time. North America alone produces more than 49.47 million cubic feet (1.39 million cubic meters) of LVL in 18 different facilities, saving millions of dollars in natural resources.

Similarly, there is huge market potential for LVL in India, provided a well-thought off strategy for creating awareness regarding its plentiful benefits, and of course, the availability of such products, are developed and followed. For instance, it is now indigenously produced and will help save the natural resources as it extensively substitutes the use of conventional forest timbers including the Silver Oak and Pine. Since our LVL is produced with FSC certified plantation timbers, it will go a long way to conserve forests. Going forward, LVL is a highly cost-effective and reliable building material that provides many of the same attributes associated with large-sized timbers. India is importing 61,200 cubic meters of wood/timber worth Rs.11,489.24 crore ($1770 mn). By replacing this imported wood with LVL/DVL, we can save millions of dollars.

Laminated Veneer Lumber

What, according to you, are the engineered features and USP of LVL that makes it more preferred over conventional wood?
There are quite a few such features that make LVL superior to the forest wood. The first and foremost feature is that being a cross-laminated engineered pole, LVL is dimensionally stable with multidirectional strength unlike wood, which naturally has unidirectional strength as it grows northwards. This makes the former much superior to the later.

Also, when it comes to size, LVL is almost defect-free unlike wood. LVL is precise in comparison with the conventional wood, which is always available in 'chor' size or rather under-sized. Further, easy availability in desired dimensions with lengths up to 2.95 mtrs makes LVL more suitable for any job that can be done with conventional wood. What's more, conservatively LVL can be used 8-times more than wood thus drastically bringing down the cost per repetition cost in the long run.

In fact, LVL is manufactured by compressing multiple layers of thin wood. It is much less likely than conventional lumber to warp, twist, bow, or shrink due to its composite nature. Being highly stable dimensionally, stronger, straighter, and more uniform, LVL can be suitable for various applications including shuttering, supports, beams, header, edge forming door frame, concrete formwork, scaffold planking, window frames, architectural roof trusses, doors, external cladding, flooring, framing, interior stairs, windows, and construction with wood.

What are your preparations for this Excon?
Shri Ram Panels is fully geared to make its presence felt in the Excon, this year. The highlight at Shri Ram Panles, would be our newly launched Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), which is of great importance for the masses across the construction and infrastructure sector. Visitors would be made aware of all the applications of the product. In fact, complete information pertaining to the product would be provided to them. We want to instil this belief in the minds of our valued customers that LVL is a sustainable and durable framing product made for superior performance. It can be used in place of traditional lumber for greater consistency and design flexibility. Based on all this, we hope to receive huge enquiries from trade visitors.

The market is dominated by low grade products. How does Shri Ram Panel position itself to beat the competition and capture major share of the market?
We, at Shri Ram Panles, always believe in bringing up innovative ideas, which will obviously outclass the low-grade products. Our repertoire of products, catering to different sectors, is the outcome of our thorough brainstorming and uninterrupted innovations. Our customers-base is rapidly expanding irrespective of industries, and to serve their specific needs, we will keep introducing new products. This will also help us enhancing our share in the pie and thus maintaining our leading position.