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OK Play? A plastic money-spinner
Aabhas Sharma in New Delhi | February 10, 2006
OK Play, a small plastics company, is too full of energy to let anything constrain its growth.
'Plastics'- the word, as defining the future of fortunes, was immortalised in the Dustin Hoffman starrer, 'The Graduate'.
OK Play, a Delhi-based company that started operations modestly in 1989 as a toymaker, is a relatively recent player to have graduated beyond toys to the bigger arena of the "polyprop game" (from the short form of a polymer called polypropylene).
Mrigender Singh, associate managing director, OK Play, is clear about his company's business proposition. "We offer cost effective solutions which are cheaper than metal or wood products," he says, succinctly. "We design and develop attractive contemporary products for companies."
The big advantage: plastic looks so much better than the old-fashioned alternatives in so many things in modern life, especially in public places. Such as public chairs and tables. Even phone booths.
OK Play has started making plastic telephone kiosks for Tata Indicom and Reliance Telecom, and has entered the business of supplying seats for Volvo and Star buses.
Telecom and automobiles are two boom sectors that OK Play hopes to supply vast quantities of plastic units to.
Business has never looked so good either. About to close 2005-06 with a turnover of Rs 25 crore (Rs 250 million), OK Play hopes to touch a topline figure of Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) in 2006-07.
How much bigger could the topline get? It's hard to hazard a guess. The possibilities appear almost endless, as plastic replaces other materials in an ever-growing range of manufactured products.
This process, evident almost everywhere you look in urban India, is helped along by cost advantages brought about by the vast economies-of-scale enjoyed by the country's polymer industry (the "Reliance effect"). In other words, the broad market circumstances are favourable.
It's mostly a question of making the most of opportunity and scaling up manufacturing capacity and operations. Distribution is also being ramped up, says Singh, as also OK's participation in trade fairs and plastic shows.
Yes, there exists a fair degree of competition from other such plastic players. But to differentiate itself, OK Play makes the best of its design skills that have their origin in its toy making competence.
In fact, Singh sees OK Play as a leading-edge player in several new usage areas for plastic. Such as recyclable advertising glowboards, the sort seen at airports and other public places.
"We provide branding opportunities as well," boasts Singh, referring to the imaginative use that advertisers can possibly put his plastic to.
The moulds offer extremely high flexibility, allowing the signs to be reshaped as and when required, and this attribute can be used creatively for communication solutions.