Paint Industry People Express their views

Since the pandemic started, the ‘ Boycott China And Its Products’ has been in an important discussion but this call became stronger when we lost our soldiers at Galwan.

In this wake the government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications, including top social media platforms such as TikTok, Helo and  WeChat, to counter the threat posed by these applications to the country’s “sovereignty and security”.

On 1st July, the central government announced that India will not allow Chinese companies to participate in highway projects, including those through joint ventures. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced it on Wednesday amid border standoff with China.

Boycotting Chinese products won’t be easy because of its strong grip and deep pierced situation in the Indian market. Many sectors may struggle alot in making it up to the government’s order.

What does the paint industry speculate about the boycott of Chinese products – 

The paint industry is already struggling with sluggish real estate, lower construction and a dip in automobiles sales at one end and then the volatile crude prices and adverse forex movements on the other end due to the loss of their domestic raw material supply sources with the closure of the Indian mineral sands mines.

More than 60 per cent of the input costs of paint manufacturing is spent on getting raw materials and one of the extensively used raw material is Titanium dioxide.

If we talk about Titanium dioxide (Ti02) and its availability, Around 300 to 400 ingredients are needed for making of decorative paints. Out of this, the major raw material, TiO2, a white pigment, constitutes about 12-35% and is obtained from ilmenite.

Recent policies by the Government to feed the Make in India initiative has affected the local paint manufacturers. Ironically paint manufacturers depend on raw material imports of TiO2 from China.  Because of  a large expansion in recent years based upon their own domestic supply of ilmenite, China happens to be the worlds’ leading producer and exporter of Ti02.

In the world market, TiO2 has been undergoing immense volatility because manufacturers are developing mechanisms to stabilise the prices. Although India has ample Ilmenite reserves it finds itself wanting and lost when it comes to the derivatives from Ilmenite, particularly TiO2 and hence paint.

Now the question arises what will happen if India puts a total ban on imports from China? Obviously, it includes paint industry-related raw materials too.

With the aim to know the views of Paint Industry people, PAINTVISION organised a survey on ‘ How Boycott Chinese Products will affect paint industry.’

Below are some views people have put forward.

“Due to the pandemic & cross border situation created by them, the business has crippled. So to boost our Indian economy, we should reduce our import dependency on China. This will support our PM’s
vision as well as revive our economy faster. Maybe the cost might go up of RM’s but nothing much is going to happen.”

“All Paint raw materials, pharmaceuticals, electronics and automobile etc must be banned.”

“Yes, from TiO2 to all other chemicals, India must not buy anything from China.”

Many more entrepreneurs responded in the same way. Not even a single one took the side of China. Although all of them are mature enough to estimate the price rise in raw material or initial obstructions that may come in the way of production due to stop dealing with China at once. Still, all of them seem to be strict against China.

On being asked about the impact of boycotting China, all of them seem to be aware of the would-be problems but still, they are ready for the consequences. 

” The cost might go up of RM’s but nothing much is going to happen.”

” There should be no impact
absolutely as the problem is
in the mind and products could be
easily manufactured or imported from other countries if required.”

“We will get raw materials from other countries at a higher price.”

“No impact we will have as all will use made in India products, the slight cost is concerned.”

“Prise may get high, but that all
money will rotate in India only. Also got to fight against price because not anything is bigger than your country.” 

Although they are very few people they represent our whole society and even India. Not even a single voice, not any cry of pain or dissatisfaction emerged from any nook or corner of India when our PM decided to ban Chinese apps, although every second person was very much addicted to Tiktok. What does it mean? It’s clear that it’s not easy to boycott China. Many obstacles are to come in the way. May be initial incompetence, raised production cost, unavailability of raw materials initially or some legal problems, but eventually, India will overcome, India will win.

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