PLYWOOD INDUSTRY IN INDIA
By : Vikram Dahiya
WHAT IS PLYWOOD ?
Panels comprising of at least three layers (or ‘plies’) of thin
wood bonded together with an adhesive. Each ply is usually
orientated at a right angle to the adjacent layer in order to
improve strength and reduce the probability of shrinkage.
The outer layers of the board are commonly referred to as the
‘face’ and ‘back’ and are graded based on quality. The
intermediate layers are collectively known as the ‘core’. Plywood
glue is graded for suitability for internal or external use.
Plywood is a manufactured wood panel made from thin sheets
of wood veneer. It is one of the most widely used wood
It is flexible, inexpensive, workable, and re-usable, and
usually can be manufactured locally.
Plywood is used instead of plain wood because of plywood's
resistance to cracking, shrinkage, splitting, and
twisting/warping, and because of its generally high strength.
INDUSTRY OVERVIEW (1/2)
The history of plywood industry in India is
recent about 75 years ago.
Plywood industry claims bright future like
other manufacturing industries in the country.
The industry is producing more plywood than
they have in the last 20 years.
Plywood industries is the major consumption
of composite wood in India.
INDUSTRY OVERVIEW (2/2)
The market for plywood and allied products in
India is estimated to be about Rs 12000cr.
(USD 2.50 bn.) with 70% dominated by a
multitude of mutely players in unorganized
sector, the organized sector has been growing
at between 25% and 30%.
The Uttarakhand Plywood Manufacturing
Association (UPMA) believes that the industry
will grow 25 per cent this year compared to last
• Future growth rate
at 10% p.a.
THERE IS A SHIFTING TRENDS IN
CONSUMERS CHOICES FROM NON
BRANDED TO BRANDED PLYWOOD.
PLYWOOD COMPANIES AND BRANDS IN
While the top selling plywood companies form the bulk of the plywood market in
India in the organized sector, this business also has an equally large unorganized
sector that consists of several manufacturers who make and sell locally made
The price-points of local brands is quite low compared to the cost of plywood
sheets manufactured by the bigger companies, however at very low price-points
there is a chance that the quality may have got compromised.
From the point of view of a customer, it is very difficult to know the quality of any
plywood sheet just by looking at it. And hence for those who want to be assured
of quality, the best plywood brands to choose from, will be those that have an
legitimate ISI mark, which is a symbol of trust for quality. IS specification numbers
are also printed on the boards just above the ISI mark. e.g. IS: 710 means Marine
plywood and IS:303 means MR and BWR grade plywood.
SOME OF THE BIGGER PLYWOOD COMPANIES IN INDIA AND THE BRAND
NAMES OF THEIR PLYWOOD ARE LISTED (IN RANDOM ORDER) IN THE TABLE
Company Major Brands Company Information
Kitply Industries Ltd.
Kitply Gold, Kitply Curvy, Swastik MR
grade, Vista (MR and BWR grade)
Kitply is a one of more famous plywood brand in India.
The company started its operations in 1982. Other than
plywood the company also manufactures blockboards,
decorative laminates, and it's 'KitCol' brand of wood
The company also manufactures blockboards, veneers,
laminates, MDF and Prelaminated Particle boards.
Greenply plywood, 'Green Club
Premium Ply, it's 'GreenLam' brand
of decorative laminates and others.
GreenPly is a multi-national interior infrastructure
company and has operations in several coutries. The
company also makes blockboards, laminates, and
decorative veneers, and MDF.
Brand name: 'National plywood'
The company manufactures plywood as well as
DuroPly, DuroFlex, Duro-PumaPly as
well as several other brands.
The company manufactures plywood, decorative
plywood, blockboards and flush doors etc.
Mayur Plywood Mayur ply
The company has a Pan-India presence and also makes
decorative plywood, veneers and doors.
TYPES OF PLY
It is the lower ranged ply for general
purposes, glued by the U.F. bonded i.e. Urea
Formaldehyde Bonded ply resin.
It is not water proof in nature and the
durability of the plywood is considerably
lower than other water-proof plywood.
This type of plies would be suited best for
interior locations only.
SEMI-WATER PROOF PLY
It is the medium ranged type of plywood for
the interior locations and furnishings.
It is glued by M.R. Grade i.e. Melamine Urea
It possess the better water resistance
properties compared to U.F. resins.
It can bear the optimum temperature which
makes it best for interior furnishings.
WATER PROOF PLY
It is the higher ranged plywood used for
interior as well as exterior uses for
It is glued by P.F. bonded i.e. Phenol
It is the best resin used as a glue line for
plies and woods.
It gives the best qualities of water resistance,
durability, long lasting gluing effect,
unbreakablility for quiet a few years.
PLYWOOD MANUFACTURERS IN THE WOOD INDUSTRY VALUE CHAIN
Major demand for tea chests plywood, marine and aircraft plywood.
Apart from these there are specific demand for the following
articles from the consumers:-
1. Shuttering Plywood
2. Packaging Plywood
3. Plywood drums
4. Flush doors
5. Commercial & Decorative Plywood
6. Block Boards
7. Moulded Plywood furnitures and chair seats
8. Laminated picking sticks for cotton and jute textile industry
9. Sliced decorative veneers of walnut, teak, rosewood etc.
10. Compregnated wood veneers required for heavy chemical
industry and electrified railways.
Carpenter/ Architect channel
Retail Stores channel
Government Offices channel
Real State / Builders channels
SAMPLE DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL
Here I have used Greenply (as a brand) and Bihar (as a state) to study sample
distribution channel in Plywood industry.
There are total 206 Dealers are available in Bihar region, in which
80 are Direct Dealers.
In respect of Bihar, there are 8 to 10 Distributor offices present
which gives a considerable amount of returns compared to others.
There are around 3 Dealers are working strongly in
Muzaffarpur(Patna 2) and alone Shree Ram Sales gives 23% of
sales over total amount of sales overall and rest amount is covered
by other dealers.
There are total 80 counters in Bihar in which 55 counters are from
RSD (Rural Sales Distribution) or Rural area.
There are total 6 factories in all over India which manufactures
different product lines of Greenply Industries.
In Patna 50% of sales are Apartment based and in Muzaffarpur 75%
are Carpenter based sales.
There are total three levels of Distribution Channel
which works for ply industries.
I. 0 Level Distribution :
KAT Builders / Real
(KAT = Key Account Team)
II. Wholesale Distribution :
Company Wholesaler Outskirt Retailers
III. Dealers Distribution :
Company Dealers Carpenters
According to an Architect, things which they
look forward to are:
I. Quality of the product
II. Durability period of the product
III. After-Sales Services provided by the company
IV. Price of the product.
V. Company’s initiatives.
There are different categories of customers,
who seeks different variety of products:
I. Top Customers :
These customers are not price sensitive about the products.
They follows the quality features/benefits of the products.
They consults the Interior Decorators and Architects for the selection of
They seeks longer durability period in the products.
The return from this segment of customers are considerable for company
and for the customers as well.
II. Middle Customers :
These customers wants a blend of quality with a affordable
prices which should be matching there standards.
These customers requires quality with affordable prices and
higher durability period of the products.
In this category of customers, the products offered by the
company have more varieties and ranges.
These customers generally prefers the Water-Proof and Semi-
III. Lower (Economical) Customers :
• These customers generally seeks the low price range of products.
• These customers are price sensitive in nature and quality is the
secondary factor for them.
• These customers are generally found in rural areas of India.
• For these type of customers, company offers the economic range
(Ecotec) commercial plywoods, which provides lower quality range of
plywoods with affordable prices.
LIMITATION OF CUTOMERS
I. Preference of Vastu-Sashtra over Functionality.
II. Lack of awareness
III. Limited Spending Power
IV. Taste difference
V. Snop Effect (Copying Mentality)
VI. Culture differnce
VII. Lack of initiatives and individuality.
These are the suggestions given by the
I. Ask for Consultancy.
II. Better market exposure
III. Companies initiatives
IV. Culture growth
V. Growth of infrastructure
VI. Change in buying behavior of customer.
CHANGES IN THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Following changes in the business environment can lead to changes in operating
environment of plywood manufacturers
Renewable wood as raw material on the rise
Wood construction has a positive impact in terms of climate and environment. The increasing
popularity of ecological construction promotes the use of wood and wood products. Research on
the climatic impact of using renewable wood is in its early steps. The use of higher value-added
wood products, such as LVL, in building and the use of veneer-faced products and plywood in
interior decoration are on the rise. All this contributes to a high demand for wood products
Higher environmental awareness and tightening regulations
Consumers and customers require end products that are manufactured in an environmentally
friendly manner, cause a minimal load on the environment, generate low levels of emissions and
make efficient use of renewable raw materials. The traceability of raw materials and end
products requires standardizing of production processes. Higher quality demands placed on
manufacturing create new business opportunities for the suppliers of wood products technology
and related services.
More cost-efficient manufacturing methods necessary to face tightening competition
The demand for wood products is on the increase. They are manufactured in larger mills whose
competitiveness is based on a more efficient use of raw materials and lower unit costs than ever
before. The toughening competition between plywood suppliers leads to investments in new,
efficient production processes.
Energy prices up
The price of energy needed for the manufacturing of wood products will reach new heights, and
customers will demand energy-efficient solutions for their production processes. The
environmental impacts of the raw materials, such as glue and coating agents, are minimized and
attempts are made to better utilize the streams of by-product generated.
Emerging markets to play a greater role
The increasing prosperity of the emerging markets will boost construction volumes. As the
STRENGTHS OF THE BUSINESS MODEL
Easy Sourcing of raw materials: India has huge forest cover and
well developed chemical industry leading to easy availability.
Few players have a vertically integrated supply chain (they own
plantations as well) which helps them procure best quality timber
Marketing efforts focus on strengthening relationships with
network through relationship building programs help retain
Focus on key influencers by mapping their performance (namely
architects, interior designers, carpenters and contractors) and
rewards for their performance
Continuous innovation in product offerings: Innovations like
Engineered wood flooring and MFC(Melamine faced chip board)
help them stay competent in the international market
Capacity utilization has improved significantly during last few
years which has improved profitability
THREATS TO THE BUSINESS MODEL
Major challenge being faced by the plywood industry is the
monopolisation of certain critical inputs for plywood
manufacturing. Face veneer, which provides support and finishing
to the plywood, is one such product. Prepared from gurgan and
kuring woods imported from Burma and Malaysia, it is a
Another threat is invasion of Indian market by Chinese plywood
Threats from wood substitutes made from agro wastes such as
bagasse, rice husk and cotton stalk or from wood that cannot be
used as timber, such as twigs and small branches
Low operational efficiency in Indian plywood industry leads to low
Competition has lead to increase in the bargaining power of
customers making pricing cut throat