A Talk with Mr. B L Bengani, Chennai

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Mr. B L Bengani, popularly known as B L Jain has made a comeback in Panel industry by setting up a manufacturing establishment of NFC, Natural Fiber Composite Board at Chennai. During an interaction with The Ply Reporter, Mr. Jain claims that he has brought a first of its kind of technology in India to manufacture a revolutionary panel product that is actually a suitable alternative of Plywood. Mr BL Jain set to launch this product in May 2019 targeting plywood dealers in the country...

After several trial attempts in last 3 years of research and development eventually paid off when we successfully came up with our proprietary technology to manufacture what is a first - of - its - kind - Natural Fibre Composite Board, or 'NFC Board'. It looks, feels and performs like natural timber and plywood, and I believe it is a new generation panel Product.

Q. After exiting Uniply around three years ago, you are back in Panel products manufacturing, Is there anything specific?

A. Having spent 30 + years in the plywood and panel products field, it was hard for me to just withdraw myself out of the industry. My passion for panel industry was the reason I wanted to be involved. Getting out of Uniply allowed me to introspect on 'what had worked, what did not and what is needed to be changed for the betterment.

This is a new category of product. For example, during my time at Uniply, I was the first one to give a lifelong guarantee on plywood. Problem however was that, there was nothing proprietary in that category. Many peers followed what I had started. But with NFC, there is NO ONE who is making such a product at present. We are proud of our superior technology that is un - replicable so easily.

Q. What was Uniply’s formula that you think worked and what did not?

A. A never ending focus and desire of creating a highquality product, that exceed customer's expectations was the main mantra behind Uniply success. What did not work I believe was 'plywood is a natural product, and there were things beyond our control that would affect our products.' I thought about the need to change all thins by a unique and innovative product that is of best quality, but still completely immune to natural forces, eco - friendly and had numerous versatile applications. I started working for a Futuristic, Innovative and Sustainable product that could be an alternative to Plywood.

Q. What did you learn during last 3 years?

A. Immediately after divesting my company, I spent time traveling all over the world, meeting plywood manufacturers and distributors in Europe, South - East Asia, USA to figure out how do we solve the last point I just mentioned. Months of planning, crores of investment in customized equipment, lots of hardwork and some luck is what we needed to come up with an engineered solution, inspired by nature.

After several trial attempts in the last 3 years of research and development eventually paid off when we successfully came up with our proprietary technology to manufacture what is a first - of - its - kind - Natural Fibre Composite Board, or 'NFC Board'. It looks, feels and performs like natural timber and plywood, and I believe it is a new generation panel Product.

Q. Can you briefly explain us about NFC Board?

A. NFC board is a much better product than the best plywood you can find in Indian market. Primarily because of being 100 percent Termite proof, 100 percent waterproof and weather resistant and alsoFlame resistant. It contains high fibre content, and is density similar to plywood that provide strong nail & screw holding capacity.

Q. What is the basic raw material for the NFC boards?

A. It is a mix of synthetic ingredients that preserves the natural ingredients (fiber) for a long time. This product is made from Agro - residual natural fibers, natural minerals and non toxic thermos coupling agents and virgin polymer as bonding agents. So, there are no trees that have to be cut. In fact these boards are eco - friendly and recyclable, which makes our NFC Board truly a green building product.

Q. What are the other properties that edge over wood panel products?

A. Keeping in mind the lifelong service ability as termite proof and waterproof, as compared to bio - degradable Plywood, Particle Board and MDF, The investment in NFC is a true value for money. This board is not to be affected by problems like swelling, cracking, shrinking and termite powder etc. It is extremely easy to use and has unlimited applications in interior and exteriors like decking, CNC routing, wall cladding, sliding, facades, furniture around pool or gardens, pergolas etc.

Q. How is this to be called as new product category, because market already have such products?

A. This is a new category of product. For example, during my time at Uniply, I was the first one to give a life-long guarantee on plywood. Problem however was that, there was nothing proprietary in that category. Many peers followed what I had started. But with NFC, there is NO ONE who is making such a product at present. We are proud of our superior technology that is un - replicable so easily. There is only one company that makes something similar, but is NOT close enough. We wanted to keep that high - quality product extremely exclusive then , and with NFC we will do the same. We plan to have a few exclusive dealers and want to distribute this product to no more than 1 player per zone.

NFC board is a much better product than the best plywood you can find in Indian market. Primarily because of being 100 percent Termite proof, 100 percent waterproof and weather resistant and also Flame resistant.

Q. How do you cater the market demand of this product?

A. We are extremely excited for what we have created and are very sure that the end consumer will call buying NFC not as an expense, but a life - long worthy investment. We will be ready to launch the product on an exclusive basis to select dealers very soon, when the Brand Logo will also be unveiled.

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