It’s time we tap the Indian market”, says Jason of Milliken, one of the world leaders in carpets and matting systems from the USA. Known for its eco-friendly practices, Milliken has manufacturing facilities all over the world and is extending its market in Asia, including China, Thailand and Indonesia.
“The Clean India Pulire show has been the right medium and the first step to enter into the Indian market. We have tied up with Aquair in Mumbai to commence our India operations. In fact, we realise the scope of this market and regret not having been here earlier.”
In a strategic move to understand the Indian market and the vast potential it offers, Jason feels the best way would be to initially observe the various opportunities. “We do not plan to concentrate on targeting any particular sector or industry immediately. We will first churn the waters and gauge the response before deciding on what is best. This will give us a clear picture as to whether we should go for distributors or trade directly and approach the companies.”
Milliken offers a range of floor mats, also directed to the Asia-Pacific market, especially to Malaysia. The latter has a big manufacturing sector. More than 60% of the floor covering is consumed by the manufacturing sector, 30% by building offices and 10% by restaurants. “India, with its strong manufacturing sector, is more like Malaysia. Hence, we have introduced special floor covering – the anti-static mats – that has been designed for workers who have to stand for long hours on the shop floor.”
Given the dust levels in India, floor coverings are of significant importance. In Europe, floor mats are common, but a floor mat that really works is new in this market, says Jason. “In fact, a floor mat that gets dirty is a good floor mat because it does its work. In India, floor mats get dirty very fast and we have special washable products that can be reused.”
Washing them is not a hassle because it is as simple as dumping them into a washing machine, but of course there are guidelines that have to be followed. “You need no special chemicals but just an industry laundry machine that can do the job.”
Besides manufacturing sector, Milliken products will find consumption in other sectors like restaurants and heavy traffic areas as well. Unlike the usual practice of ‘use-and-throw’, this floor covering gives the opportunity of a long lasting reusable covering.
India has to cope with a large traffic, especially in the rapidly growing malls sector. Milliken has a special floor covering to withstand heavy traffic. “It is sturdy, does not move and is not vulnerable to wear and tear.” The Nitrile base, thickness and static quality of the floor covering make it apt for such traffic. “In these areas, the floor covering should not move, that’s the key.” Besides, all products manufactured by Milliken are eco-friendly and can be recycled.
Says Jason, “This is a large and new market. There’s so much to explore and we have to see where it leads us. But for now, we will be treading in low waters and find out what is best for us.”