Nippon reeling from virus
Firm pinning hopes on new partners
published : 18 Jun 2020 at 04:00
newspaper section: Business
writer: Lamonphet Apisitniran
Nippon Paint Decorative Coatings (Thailand) Co, Asia's largest paint maker, is struggling to recover from the severe impact of Covid-19, which caused its revenue to dive by 10% in the first quarter this year.
The company is joining hands with new business partners to launch new products as well as shift its target market to government projects to cope with the domestic market slowdown and weak purchasing power, said general manager Watchara Siriritthichai.
The domestic construction industry also contracted by 15-20% because of the pandemic, which forced many businesses to temporarily shut down.
"But Nippon still has a positive outlook for the second half this year because both paint and construction businesses are expected to revive based on state economic stimulus packages," Mr Watchara said.
In the best-case scenario, he said, the company may even manage double-digit growth this year if it adopts the right marketing strategy that aligns with the current atmosphere.
Mr Watchara said the company will focus more on government-sponsored projects as it believes the authorities will come up with various development initiatives following the outbreak.
"In the past, we focused a lot on the private sector, which accounted for 90% of our work," he said.
"That must be changed now."
Nippon has racked up revenue in the business-to-business segment by providing new painting technology and products to contractors, technicians and construction project developers.
Mr Watchara said the shift includes teaming up with three major construction firms to develop new products and coating solutions for its customers.
Nippon wants to match painting technology with construction businesses run by its new partners: Sweden-based Terraco Industry (Thailand) Co, US-based Craco Inc and Finland-based Mirka Ltd.
Mr Watchara described the coop- eration as unique, working together to develop innovative products to improve productivity as well as quality of life.
Darrin Raniga, acting general manager of Terraco, said his company is ready to help the team with technology know-how.
"We have innovations, while Nippon has the largest marketing channel in Thailand, with more than 1,000 dealers," Mr Darrin said.