• Headquartered in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, the company employs over 15,000 people across its operations in the UAE, India Bangladesh, Iran, Europe, Australia and Singapore.
  • Business Insider SSA met with Sujit Singh, General Manager at RAK Paints during the Big 5 Construct East Africa, 2018 exhibition and he gave us a preview of the colourful world of painting and why they want to Kenya.

RAK Ceramics P.J.S.C is one of the largest ceramics’ brands in the world.

Headquartered in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, the company employs over 15,000 people across its operations in the UAE, India Bangladesh, Iran, Europe, Australia and Singapore.

RAK Paints a new dynamic enterprise from the RAK Group, manufactures high-quality solvent-based and water-based paints at it manufacturing facility in the emirate of RAS AL KHAIMAH.

Business Insider SSA met with Sujit Singh, General Manager at RAK Paints during the Big 5 Construct East Africa, 2018 exhibition held at Kenyatta International Conference Center in Nairobi who gave us a preview of the colourful world of painting and why they want to enter East Africa’s biggest market.

“Very receptive people want to try our paints actually people are right now ready to place orders they are like give me the price I order but we currently don’t even have stock here and are looking for distributors,” said Singh.

Here is an excerpt of our conversation.

BISSA: What attracted you to the Kenyan market?

Sujit Singh: In East Africa, Kenya is a vibrant country and has people who are ready to spend money and I think our products have better quality than what is currently offered in the market.

BISSA: So, what would you say is your marketing strategy for Kenya and East Africa?

Sujit Singh: Unfortunately, here, prices of quality paints and ceramics are not very friendly so Kenyans are paying a lot of money and yet they are not getting the value of it so we think we can be competitively priced and offering better products than what Kenyans are currently getting.

We are going to bring the products which is not available in the economy and we are not going to bring cheap products and compete on price but rather we are going to compete on value so that consumers can understand they have a choice too.

BISSA: Do you foresee any challenges in entering the Kenyan market?

Sujit Singh: Challenge is the same here as in most other parts, the paint industry is dominated by one name, one brand and one company so convincing people that they are other alternatives will take time so we have to do lots of education, lots of sampling, lots of marketing but I think there is lots of opportunity here as well Kenya has a young population and lots of young people who like to try  new things.

BISSA: Let me ask you a philosophical question, what would you say painting represents for you. For others, it's just something you order and apply on a wall and that is it, is painting bigger than that?

Sujit Singh: Much more bigger than that because painting represents where you and your family spend most of the time, you sit there, you sleep there, you breath there, what is on the walls directly affects your health for example lead is widely used in the paints manufacturing and its bad for your brain so if you are raising young kids in that house they will have mental disability and when they grow up they will be disabled so these are things people don’t know and in the process gravely endanger their health and families by just paying cheap paints.

BISSA: In the next 5 years where do you foresee RAK Paints being?

Sujit Singh: We want to be at least the product leader in the market we are not sure about volume, volumes take time you have 60-year-old companies sitting in the market but at least people see that this is a quality product so we should get that brand leadership recognition.

BISSA: Having been in this space for some time what are some of the most exciting trends you are seeing in the market now

Sujit Singh: One thing more people are starting to get aware is low Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) products, they are also becoming aware of the harmful pesticides and biocides contained in paints such as lead that is what people are looking for at the moment.

Right now, how products are approved first by the Dubai municipality, it took two years for us to get it done it’s a green certificate meaning our paints have low VOCs making it a green product.

Some paints are washable so the life circle is very high, we have paints which are specifically for exterior surfaces and environment that survives over 50 degrees Celsius without fading.

BI SSA: Parting words…

Sujit Singh: RAK paints is a quality paint they must try it, once they try it they will not leave it.