Customising plastic design with high endurance

Vinayak Sankolli aims to diversify and consistently create value additions to the product line of his company.

By Ramrai Naik

Vinayak Sankolli
Vinayak Sankolli

For Vinayak Sankolli achievement means “starting point of stagnation”, hence he believes in setting new goals as he moves along. That has driven his FRP business at the Davico Composites where they also believe in “Quality and Service to Delight the Customer”.

Owner of two other companies, Life Science Automation and Skytech Caps and Closures. Vinayak Sankolli, by 2018 plans on increasing his facilities by 50%.

Vinayak Sankolli has an academic training in Tool Engineering with plastics as his major. Further, his professional career began as Plant Head at Guala Closures in Harvalem, where he worked for an extended period of 8 years. At that point, he visioned that Fibre Reinforced Plastics (FRP) gives business opportunity to cater to industrial as well as architectural fields.

Eventually, Sankolli began his entrepreneurial journey at Life Science Automation in 2007. A year later, he started the design and manufacturing of FRP products under the banner of Davico Composites at Madkaim Industrial Estate. He recalls the struggle he has undergone to secure the plot in the Industrial Estate at that juncture. He states, “Everybody is aware of the difficulties that we have to go through in order to secure a piece of land in IDC. However, I hear that things have improved now.”

    “Our prime focus is on developing our own products. We don’t rely on job working for other companies, as having our own products helps us in commanding a reasonable price.” Vinayak Sankolli

Sankolli elaborates on the early steps into his business, “At Life Science Automotion we used to make automation modules for pharma companies as well as manufacture diagnostics kits for various diseases. Within a year, I thought of getting into FRP and then I started Davico Composites. In the first year, we were only supplying to industrial units in Goa. Eventually we started supplying to companies in Belgavi (Belgaum then). One of them was Vega Auto Accessories.”

Davico Composites has a long list of product line which includes roofing systems, urinary partitions, play systems, traffic sign board, DaviPlay range of Dustbins, fibre glass reinforced doors and windows, eaves, gutters, skylights, domes, false ceiling tiles, cabins and shelters, decorative planters etc.

Davitech range of Industrial products are Automobile parts, Ticketing Kiosks, Industrial Storage Pallets, Cable trays, Motor Canopies, Electrical Junction Boxes, Shipping Cowl Vents, Fire Hose Boxes, Battery Boxes, Sign Boards, Traffic Signs, Anti corrosive coatings, Chemical tanks, Mould for Concrete products, Gratings etc.

Davico Composites’ biggest clients are Zuari Industries Ltd. and Pentair Water (India) Pvt. Ltd. Sankolli feels that slump which was caused by mining ban in Goa is taking a longer time to recover than the one caused by demonetisation. Davico Composites regularly supplies to GRASIM Industries Ltd Karwar, SHOFT Shipyard, Gujarat. Supplying all over India becomes a tough task for Sankolli as “as transportation of goods is a big challenge”.

“Our focus is mainly on developing our own products. We don’t rely on job working for other companies, as having our own products helps us in commanding the reasonable price. In job working, they (companies) decide on the margin that we should get which is not fair most of the time. Sometimes it is not economical, but we supply it to create and establish our presence,” says Sankolli. For instance, Davico Composites used to supply to a company who then supplied their products to Tata Motors. “Over a period of time they kept on squeezing us for the price. With that client, our profit margin was very thin, but we continued the partnership as being sub vendors to a Tata brand, which gave us an edge in the market. However, we could not operate for long because of the financial terms,” he says. Vinayak Sankolli informs that Davico Composites’ industrial turnover is 70% while their architectural products line consist of the remaining 30%.

Davico Composites plans on putting a pultrusion machine at their Madkaim plant which will then enable them into making long profiles of fibres. Sankolli says, “There is a growing demand of long profiles of fibres as in most projects, metals are being replaced with FRP.”

In terms of marketing, Davico Composites have their distributors spread across Goa and neighbourhood states. Sankolli sees huge potential for his architectural products in Karnataka and his marketing focus would be in the respective state.

For Sankolli, recoveries of payment is an uphill task. He says, “Clients do not abide the payment periods and delay on their financial committments. Legal course is long drawn and virtually non-existent. This is the biggest challenge for small industries.”

Vinayak Sankolli dwells on the path that lies ahead for local entrepreneurs post the reforms in taxation structure of the country. He says, “GST can help only if there is some competition in Goa itself for us, that won’t happen soon as I don’t see a huge market for FRC products in a limited market of Goa. However, I see huge opportunity from pharma companies as there is lot of packaging that needs to be done. That includes bottling, caps, tablets. All of which comes from outside Goa. Also most of their customers are from outside Goa. Local entrepreneurs can approach the big pharma companies that they are ready to supply as per the needs of the pharma industries.”

Sankolli adds, “I am definitely ready for upscaling as I believe that I have got the required experience in this business. We have started a unit in Dharwad which supplies materials for the liquor industry. Production has started 3-4 months back. We are in partnership with another 3-4 directors. GST coming to Goa will be a huge boost for the vendor based industry. When you have a support industry coming up which revives the economy, it is a significant boost for small businesses. Big companies are required, but it is the group of small companies which contribute the most to the state exchequer.” On expansion areas Sankolli says that he is looking forward to increasing capacities by at least 50% by 2018. Vinayak Sankolli believes that growth of Davico Composites will be the growth of the quality of life of its 23 employees. Sankolli says, “It matters when the local sales of the products is high as there will be lot of reduction in transportation cost. More and more benefit will be extracted by players who are close to the market.”

Davitech range of Industrial products are automobile parts, ticketing kiosks, industrial storage pallets, cable trays, motor canopies, electrical junction boxes, shipping cowl vents, fire hose boxes, battery boxes, sign boards, traffic signs, anti-corrosive coatings, chemical tanks, mould for concrete products, gratings etc.

Davico Composites are ready to supply for the needs of smart city, “We have just launched modular toilets. We are also supplying lot of dustbins in FRP. So far we have not received any communication regarding the requirement of anything related to the Smart City project. However, we will definitely benefit if the government wants to support  local entrepreneurs. Many a times, the government procures goods from outside Goa even though there are many suppliers of those particular items in our state itself.” He adds, “Goa has a requirement of modular toilets as we are a tourism driven state. The government has to provide opportunities to local industrialists who manufactures them.”

Sankolli foresees a much cleaner economy after the demonetisation recovery. He comments, “Demonetisation has been effective as there was a parallel economy running. There was lot of movement going on in terms of black economy or the cash market. That market was significant enough, whether it was 30% or 40%. That portion has suddenly collapsed and there is a feeling of a slowdown even though the market is definitely there. It was not coming into mainstream due to it being functioning through black economy. There was business happening but it was never a part of the tax net. We are definitely recovering soon from this, as business is growing and now it will only convert to white economy.”

Vinayak Sankolli strongly advocates that if local entrepreneurs receive support then they can do wonders for the state economy as he aims to diversify and make consistent improvements in his product line.

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