Bhavana Bindra: Catapulting REHAU to new heights
Bhavana made her mark in the male-dominated industry as the first women leader of businesses focused on Automotive, Mining, Construction, Railways and Power Generation, among other markets. Creating global benchmarks, while spearheading unprecedented levels of growth and profitability, she has also been a sponsor and proponent for workplace diversity across organizations. A leader par excellence, she was recognized by a prestigious media group, besides being among Corporate Dossier’s “India Inc’s Rising Women Leaders”.
A graduate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, Bhavana completed her Economics Honours from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Bhavana has worked across industries, starting with Boston Consulting Group where she focused on financial services and pharmaceuticals, and then moving to a US-based multinational company, Cummins, an engineering and manufacturing major. Bhavana worked in several roles at Cummins, before moving to lead some of their biggest businesses. She is also serving as an independent director on the boards of several public/listed companies.
Talking about her current association with REHAU Polymers, one of the leading global players in Furniture and Building industry, Bhavana remarks, “I believe change is inevitable in nature and is for good. It brings in newness and innovation in the organisation which is necessary for growth and a brighter future. I would call them growth initiatives rather than changes. Yes, as a brand REHAU, we are taking huge growth initiatives from upgrading DMS to bringing in ‘LaserEdge’ banding technology in India. We shall be the bringing in a complete new product offering for our customers and an opportunity for our partners to gain more revenues from their association with us.”
In terms of potential for growth and innovation, South Asia, especially India, is one of the most dynamic regions for REHAU. With three plants across the country and four offices currently, REHAU has been ensuring production of goods for the Indian market, while also catering to exports. Meanwhile, it’s also constantly looking to augment its presence in the region.
For more than 70 years, REHAU has been working on making polymer products lighter, more comfortable, safer and more efficient. The company is a solution provider for various industries from construction to automotive. REHAU’s commitment to India began in the year 1997 and moving ahead with great pace, the company set-up its first manufacturing facility in the country at Pune.
In terms of deeper market penetration, REHAU has been constantly looking to augment its presence in different regions ensuring production of goods for the Indian market, while also catering to exports. Currently, REHAU has more than 300 dealers and over 1100 points of sales, and it’s already present in all major cities while at the same time, it’s looking to appoint franchisees across the country to give shape to its broader expansion plans.
Further, it also plans to appoint a special retail team which shall work closely for expanding its reach, as with an extensively growing product portfolio it looks forward to expand its distribution network wherein the focus shall be on retail counters in tier-II-III cities.
Meanwhile, REHAU is celebrating 50 years completion of RAUKANTEX brand globally which is an uPVC edge bands solution. “With RAUKANTEX, we brought in the German engineering to India which blends aesthetically with all kinds of furniture and is a perfect solution for kitchen cabinets, cupboards, table edges and countertops for offices. It won’t be wrong if I have to say that RAUKANTEX is the future of edgebands in India as with it you can do almost everything from creating stunning furniture and interiors with solid colours and decorative designs to glass effect, metal effect, translucent and 3D looks. RAUKANTEX uPVC edgebands are eco-friendly, non-toxic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, heat resistant and DOP free, which makes them a perfect choice for our customers,” elaborates Bhavana.
She adds further, “Bringing in Innovation is our vision and that drives us to keep reaching out to a larger segment of the market, while I say so my team is working relentlessly to bring new products and solutions for the market which shall bring REHAU closer to the end customers.”
Like every other industry, polymer-based solutions have also experienced challenges in the pandemic times. Starting from raw material costs being impacted across the globe to disrupted last mile operations, the industry has learnt a lot of lessons in this phase and realised the need of “Make in India” and the acceptability of localisation among the customers.
“Remaining connected to our customers/end consumers shall be the biggest change in our business category. While I do have some good news for our customers, they shall soon be able to bring home the successful German technology, as we look forward to enter in B2B2C business, by providing solutions ranging from floorings to ceilings,” informs Bhavana.
She adds, “As it is difficult to survive with rigid distribution model, we have adapted multiple models to ensure maximum market dissemination. Being a B2B business, we cater to an extensive demand of our customers through OEMs and dealers (who caters to OEMs). For any distribution model to be successful, it is important to have a customer demand.”
For REHAU, making in India has been part of the strategy for the region and its current focus in this regard is to expand its third rail business which will be catering to various upcoming metro projects across several cities in the country.
Bhavana says, “India being such a highly unorganised and diverse market, it is critical to establish brand trust and reliability among our customers to retain the number one position in the industry and REHAU has done that successfully in last so many years. We are excited for our initiatives in bringing Make in India projects, while the customers have to wait a little before the story unfolds.”
REHAU is a manufacturer and supplier of third rail system to the Indian metro authorities. The ministry of Urban Development has set up two- million population as the basis for any city to become eligible for an investment on a metro rail project. In most of the metro rail system, the power to the train is supplied by the third rail system.
“As we talk about getting closer to the customers, our Industrial solution is also bringing in some remarkable technology in the country. With our third rail business, we have successfully completed project with Kolkata Metro. As a long- term strategy, we foresee to pursue the dream of our respected prime minister and bring in Make in India solutions in various product categories,” observes Bhavana.
REHAU’s venture into third rail metro system in India, in the meanwhile, has turned out to be its biggest strength in industrial solution segment. Elaborating further on the company’s future plans in India Bhavana says, “Our current focus in this regard is to expand our third rail business which will be catering to the various metro projects upcoming across several cities in the country. We are proud to be bringing German technology in serving the citizens of our country. The third rail metro rail system in Kolkata uses REHAU third rail system.”
REHAU already enjoys a momentous position in furniture components and edgebands segments in the country. Creating a distinct competitive edge in the industry, the company has recently launched a series of products equipped with anti-fingerprint technology, combined with anti-bacterial, moisture resistance and thermal healing properties. For example it has come up with “RAUVISIO Radiant Front Panels”, a permanent solution to the issues of stains and finger marks on any furniture. This one-of-a-kind product line is also equipped with anti-bacterial, moisture resistance and thermal healing properties.
REHAU’s presence in the furniture and industry solutions business has been moving from strength to strength under the inspiring leadership of Bhavana Bindra. Apart from having a significant presence with Edgebands, REHAU has also been rapidly expanding across the value chain. With the objective of reaching the end-customer with offerings across the value chain, REHAU is now looking at entering into the premium kitchen segment.
Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content