After working for more than 34 years in the PVC industry, K Muralimohanan decided to start his own PVC pipe manufacturing business, with an aim to provide world-class PVC products to customers in India and other countries. He set up Selfshine Polymers India Private Limited in 2011 in Thrissur, Kerala. The company is a part of the Selfshine Group of Industries, also started by Muralimohanan.
He says, he wants to be a pioneer in the Indian PVC Pipes industry by being consistent in delivering the best quality products to the customers. Selfshine manufactures and sells PVC pipes, flexible hoses, machinery fixtures and specials, etc.
The PVC manufacturing industry is witnessing a steady growth in the recent years. A report by Allied Market Research shows the PVC Pipe market in India is expected to reach $85,565 million by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 7.9 percent from 2016 to 2022.
Muralimohanan has so far invested around Rs 60 lakh in the company and witnessed an annual turnover of around Rs 7.65 crore from 2017-18. Currently, there are nearly 100 people working in different units of the company and around 150 workers are engaged indirectly in various outsourcing centres.
K Muralimohanan holds a graduate degree in Chemistry and a diploma in Journalism. Before entering the PVC industry, he worked as a journalist with the Mathrubhumi Daily for a few years. He also founded the Sun Plastic Industry in 1984, but resigned in 2009.
Later, he decided to start the PVC pipe manufacturing business and started Selfshine Polymers, putting his decade-long experience into use.
The company manufactures a wide range of products of such as PVC pipes - from 20 mm to 250 mm - of both ISI and commercial types. Commercial pipelining does not require digging trenches or excavations and the ISI range of products covers different classes of PVC pipes. Selfshine has plans to diversify into various classes of CPVC and ASTM pipe segments in the future.
“We are continuously trying to bring improvement to the PVC industry through our research and development and market updates. We offer products at reasonable prices and our motto is to provide utmost client satisfaction.”
The company caters to a large client list, which includes the Kerala Water Authority, SIDCO Kerala Limited, Plantation Corporation Kerala Ltd, Kerala State Ground Water Department, Kerala Agricultural University and other government agencies and semi-government departments etc.
“We have a team of well qualified and highly experienced personnel to take care of the service needs of our clients. We try to maintain a long-term alliance with both the national and international clients and we take all necessary steps to meet the client’s expectations,” he adds.
Having an in-depth knowledge about the products and complete dedication and commitment, along with hard work are the few qualities needed to survive and excel in this business, he says.
Talking about the current challenges in the industry he says,
“In this post GST era, Kerala has become a dumping ground for leftover materials. Also, with high production costs and overhead expenses, MSMEs and other small-scale businesses are unable to compete in the market as they lack sufficient funds.”
Another challenge, he says, is that a few companies are trying to sell sub-standard and inferior quality materials, and the customers are unable to recognise the spurious products and are getting duped easily, thereby creating an unhealthy competition in the field.
Muralimohanan wants the government to give at least five years tax exemption to the new MSME units, along with 25 percent of subsidies on the capital goods, irrespective of the product made by the MSMEs.
“The PVC manufacturing industry is very dynamic and even though many changes are coming in the market, the general demand will always be there because of the nature of the product and its use. Only when advanced technology, modernised scientific techniques and quality training programmes, especially for the entrepreneurs, are arranged by the central and state governments, only then the production process will speed up, the output will increase and new employment opportunities will be available to the people,” he says.
(This story is published in partnership with the MSMEs Ministry to showcase success stories of SMEs)