Realply has launched its Calibrated Plywood with the setting up of a new line of calibrated plywood where they are producing around 70 to 80 MT of materials every day. The Calibrated Plywood has been a big hit since it was launched in December 2020. Now they have been utilizing their full capacity and are looking for further expansion for manufacturing. During an interaction with The Ply Reporter, Mr Abhiroop Agarwal, Chief Business Development Officer of the company says that he is continuously running on pendency because his product quality is superb. What the market has accepted the calibration in plywood is less than 0.2mm thickness variation that he meets perfectly at his production line. Here is a Q&A with Mr Abhiroop Agarwal.
What is the specialty of your calibrated plywood?
It is four times pressed, both sides calibrated. All the material we produce is 100% calibrated as we don’t produce any non-calibrated material. We also offer CARB certified plywood. We use matt ply technology in manufacturing, which results even surfaces within the core as well. We make sure that there is no core gap in our plywood and there is no core overlapping as well. Whichever or wherever on the plywood you make a cut can see limp core throughout.
OEMs and Kitchen manufacturers say that what flatness is in the birch plywood is not found in Indian calibrated plywood. To what extent do you agree with that?
I agree with that because the birch plywood has some technical specifications, which are natural and indigenous to that particular species of wood which is ‘Birch.’ The way it grows and creates specifications inside, it is easier and better to get the core from that particular tree. Whereas if we compare to our species for example Eucalyptus or any other wood for that matter, which is used in making plywood, it is more difficult to get the same level of flatness as what we get in Birch ply. Secondly, no Birch ply is manufactured in India. All of it is majorly imported, and they have their production standards which are internationally acclaimed. When they peel the core from the log you can get evenness in sheets out of that log, but when you come to peel logs in India, there will be gaps, or knots or holes inside the wood that create gaps when we layer the plywood in the cores for making it. I think the major difference arises in both of these is the quality of raw material we get for making plywood; secondly the natural specifications and the standards they use in manufacturing. Third would be the overall processing of the wood that we get.
What is the strength of India made calibrated plywood?
Indian calibrated plywood is meant for its availability as more and more factories are trying to manufacture calibrated plywood, which is increasing the supply for the same as well as there is increasing demand because more and more furniture manufactures want to use only calibrated material not the non-calibrated even for the massive market. For an international market obviously it is a necessity but the domestic market also prefers to use calibrated material.
When we talk about value added plywood which also have a huge market in India because lot of people are attracting themselves to gone about using different houses and other real estate developments and I would say that very soon, we will enter in this range of market for that most of our R&D is done and we just finishing some touches in the marketing of it. Hopefully in a couple of months, you would be seeing more value added plywood from Realply.
I would say that the cost becomes a huge factor because the birch ply that we import from countries like Russia would be more expensive than what is produced over here. The single point of differentiation which is flatness and somewhat the quality of product we are getting is not a huge problem. People are giving more attention to plantations nowadays and being involved in more backward integration stages, it is quite possible that in the times to come we might see better quality raw material emerging in the market and supporting the quality of plywood. This is obviously seen in increasing the prices but we will make sure that we get better quality plywood more abundantly.
You completed two and half years for Realply’s calibrated plywood, how has been the experience?
When we first launched in 2020, we had excellent response from the market and anyone and everyone that we talked to plywood used to ask for the same. We are doing well in plywood. We also have plans for expansion just seeing as the market is evolving and our resources are growing. We are distributing about 80 to 100 trucks every month and the capacity utilization is 100 percent right now.
Do you also offer E0 and fire retardant plywood?
Basically, when we launched plywood, we introduced it to our economical range brand that is Corbelo. Now when we talk about value added plywood which also have a huge market in India because lot of people are attracting themselves to gone about using different houses and other real estate developments and I would say that very soon, we will enter in this range of market for that most of our R&D is done and we just finishing some touches in the marketing of it. Hopefully in a couple of months, you would be seeing more value added plywood from Realply which would consist of Fire retardant plywood, E1, E0 plywood or Architectural grade of plywood, which is 10 x 4 ft in size and many more similar things.
Your plant is located in Delhi NCR. What are the challenges and what is the location advantage?
The biggest opportunity is that we can easily supply to a very big market which is Delhi NCR. This is such a market where we don’t have demand only for one particular segment but rather from different products. I am quite happy with where our factory is placed and we believe that it is ready to work out. The raw materials cost is little higher compared to UP and Andhra Pradesh based plywood units.