ORAFOL INDIA is just over a year old in the country. But it has managed to make its mark as one of the top-performing Reflective Sheeting manufacturers in the country servicing the road safety sector with an impressive performance. Raunak Kumath, General Manager, ORAFOL India talks about the company’s fast track growth and strategies for future.
Within a short time, you have established yourself in the road safety sector in India. What has been the key points for Orafol India’s success?
Orafol India started its commercial operations in Q1,2020 alongside Covid-19 which was a big challenge. It was difficult to make connect with the market. But persistent effort with new age solutions like web meetings, e -mailers and phone calls gave visibility to us. Germany has always been known for its best quality and engineered products. The market knew about Orafol Europe existence and always waited for its presence in India. I am the first employee of Orafol India and I started this journey with WFH style and built up the team which has given us pan India visibility. We are a total of 10 sales/marketing professionals with similar industry background now leading this show. Our India head office is in the heart of Delhi, in Connaught Place which helps in connecting with customers and the warehouse facility at Gurgaon to stock goods for faster supplies.
Orafol Group has a vast range of products in its reflective portfolio. What are these categories, applications? You may like to tell us more of the Oralite series.
Orafol Group has vast range of products in reflective portfolio under brand name ORALITE catering to the global markets. In India, we have introduced few categories considering the current market demand which majorly includes reflective sheeting, road furniture, Conspicuity tape, personal safety tapes, application tapes, overlay films, screen printing inks etc.
Our major emphasis is on ORALITE 9910 Brilliant Grade Premium (Type XI as per ASTM & IRC) which has emerged out as the best Type XI Reflective sheeting against all the competitors. In the last few months, this sheeting has been tested at multiple projects of NHAI, PWD, Municipal Corporations, Smart Cities etc for its reflectivity and has been appreciated for its performance. The source approvals have been received at a few NHAI & NH PWD projects where Type IV & XI Reflective Sheeting has been consumed. We are providing 12 years of warranty for Type XI reflective sheeting against IRC standard of 10 years. We have already attained Calcoast, ARAI, WRA, CE reports for ORALITE 9910 Brilliant Grade Premium.
Since you service the safety sector, you might be catering to many government road infrastructure projects.
Yes, we have been working on various National Highway Projects and for PWD in many states, for signages through our converters. Apart from these sectors, we have done signboard projects for Railways, Private Municipal Corporations, PMGYS etc. We have supplying reflective vehicle wrapping material for Emergency Rescue/Rapid Vehicles in various OEMs and in aftermarket too. The Vehicle Conspicuity tape and Rear Marking plate have been approved by various state transport departments.
Orafol Graphic products have already been in the market. Can you tell us more about those?
Orafol came out with the first self-adhesive graphic product in 1976. ORACAL. ORACAL, ORAGUARD, ORAJET, ORAFLEX, ORABOND are brand names for Graphic Innovation products. These are available in India since 2009 through a dedicated distributor but now these products are introduced into Orafol India. The major win in this sector is with Dr.Lal Path Labs, Dr.Path Kind labs, Patanjali, Livguard etc where printable or coloured vinyl has been used for branding purpose. Orafol is also into manufacturing of adhesive tapes and these have already been introduced in the market.
What according to you are the market demands in India? What are the challenges?
Talking about market demands, India is the growth engine in every aspect and have best opportunity for raw material suppliers especially in road industry. The Indian Road network is growing at an amazingly fast pace and Indian government is giving a lot of emphasis on this. The market demands best quality with competitive price. I always believe that market is for everyone, and the new entrants will only ensure that end customer is supplied with superior quality, best price, and service.
Talking about challenges, reflective sheeting business has been dominated by two big multinationals in India. There have been problems when it came to timely delivery of the project or completion of the required paperwork. With Orafol, we are ensuring that we are giving out best quality product, ensuring all paperwork in terms of test reports, reflectivity testing before and after installation of signboards and issuance of warranty certificates as per IRC and ASTM standards. German products are known for their scientifically innovative nature and always give customer an enhanced experience.
The reflective signboards or related road safety products are integral part of safety standards. These applications ensure that all the road users are safe and have proper visibility on the road. Education plays an integral part in this. At Orafol, we are also planning to conduct few seminars and work closely with NGO’s to ensure CSR initiatives.
The Global Group
ORAFOL Europe GmbH is the global headquarters of the ORAFOL Group. Located in Oranienburg, just outside the city of Berlin, the Orafol Group has been in the business of adhesive films for over two centuries. It follows the highest standards in quality, innovation, service, and environmental responsibility. Highly qualified and ambitious teams in research and development, production, and technology, as well as in sales strive to meet the demanding challenges of an international dynamic market with responsibility and expertise.
Orafol came out with the first self-adhesive graphic product in 1976 under brand name ORACAL. 2011 is the year when the group started investing in Reflective products by acquiring Reflexite Corporation, USA and its subsidiaries worldwide. Currently, the Group has customers over 100 countries and employs 2500 people worldwide. The product portfolio includes Reflective Solution, Graphic Innovations, Adhesive Tape Solutions and Advanced Polymer Films.
Dr. Holger Loclair, who is the Managing Director of Orafol Europe GmbH, stated in an interview that Orafol intends to invest at least 85 million euros in Oranienburg over the next two years. Along with the ambitious expansion plans at the Oranienburg facility , the Company has great plans to expand its business in the US and also to meet the global demands. There are big expansion plans with 100% own Subsidiaries in Australia, India, and Russia.
Orafol India was incorporated in 2019 and started operations in March,2020 with Reflective Solutions. After one year, Orafol India has a big team on Pan India level. The team is catering to the requirements of road, automobile, safety, and various other sectors through its highly competent product quality. The major focus is on road projects by NHAI, PWD, Smart Cities and Automobile OEMs. In 2021, Orafol has done significant projects in NHAI at NH 83 & NH 44, won tenders in UP PWD, emergency vehicle branding with most superior reflective material and installed Conspicuity tapes in commercial vehicles in various RTOs.