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2019 was so uncertain that people are scared to remember. We at Ply Reporter, our colleagues at other magazines SURFACES REPORTER and FURNITURE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY, never anticipated such a weak year for industry and trade as 2019. Putting all hopes pinned on 2020, there are so many questions floating everywhere. When will demand improve, payment scenario ka kyahoga? Will economy stabiles or continue to remain weak? In fact, the recent past has been so slow that the top industrialists too are hesitant in putting across their thoughts on markets. With GDP growth slowing to 4.5% during July-September quarter for 2019-20, manufacturing activity contracting, private investment drying up and the industry is desperate for improvement in demand and cash flow.

2020 is expected to be very good for few organized players and I have no doubt on it. With right process and systems, brand image, regional plant set up, adequate cash flow and plenty of government spending’s coming up, there is no point uncovered that does not extend advantage to an organized brand. I personally hope big from Century, Green ply, Merino, Greenlam, Action Tesa and Royale Touche. The highway to bigger market capture is clear for organized players like Green Panel, Rushil Décor and Stylam, so 2020 is certainly going to bring decent growth for them. The emerging organized brands like Virgo, Alstone, Austin, Amulya Mica, Airolam etc will also have lot to gain with added capacities and new product categories.

The mid-sized players will be facing another spell of hard work where they have tofocus on best quality and right marketing policy. Around 40 such companies from North and Gujrat are there who could be performing well despite of shaky scenario during 2020. The raw material prices e.g timber, chemical, fuel; and taxation will rise up in 2020 so there is only way forward is to work in right manner. The producers of calibrated plywood, or balanced planned laminate design brands with right strategy, team and channel partners will have bright 2020. The unorganized segment of plywood and laminate may continue to remain under pressure with not much happening residential real estate front. The PVC board segment will see stability with quality stabilizing around 450 density zone. Overall panel industry will have a growth bound phase this year but for few.

There are high expectations from government to offer some stimulus e.g. reduce income tax rates or extend some benefits but what happens and what impact will come up, is not worth guessing. Even the biggest of the market pundits have failed in 2019 so let’s be cautious yet optimistic for 2020 as this is what is the strong characteristic of India’s smart and Jugaad generation.

The over all panel industry is expected to do slightly better this year. But growth will come for only those, who have crystal clear road map of action with logicalplan. 2020 could be good for focused, planned player. Year ahead is going to be very sluggish for unorganized and un-informed companies hence, stick to knowledge, stick to right mindset people around who work in tandem with the markets. Avoid too much time on social media and focus on right content of learnings. 2020 is the turning point for entire things we have in surrounding. Let’s pray for a prosperous, peaceful and eventful 2020 for entire trade.

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