Can Sudhir Peter who runs a small South-based paint company Sheenlac revive the iconic Jenson & Nicholson brand?
Getting the trademarks transferred for just Rs 6 crore from the listed entity Jenson & Nicholson (India) Ltd to a 51:49 joint venture with Sheenlac Paints, the Peter family plans to take the brand that once stood for innovations like Instacolour, nationally over the next two years.
While brand Jenson & Nicholson along with its sub-brands like Robbialac and Special Effects are being launched across the southern, eastern and northern markets, plans are being firmed up to enter the western markets by end of 2017-18, said Sridhar K, group chief executive officer, Sheenlac Paints.
“The brand pull is still phenomenal, particularly the tagline which goes ‘Whenever you see color, think of us’. The challenge now before us is to ensure that production and supplies are consistent and regular with no disruption. That’s what we need to do following the feedback of the dealers,” Sridhar said launching the brand in the eastern market.
The joint venture, Jenson Nicholson Paints Pvt, aims to achieve a turnover level of Rs 350 crore on a conservative estimate and Sridhar indicated that if targets are met, Sheenlac might take control of the joint venture.
Sridhar claimed Sheenlac has a strong presence in the wood coating market in South and it would now transfer its small presence in the decorative segment to the joint venture.
Sheenlac, in fact, would be using its management expertise to ride piggyback on the Jenson & Nicholson brand to get a national foothold in the decorative paint sector.
“We already have an existing active dealers’ network of 11,000. To manufacture the J&N branded paints, we would be using our three existing plants in south plus the Sikandrabad plant taken on lease from the listed company. We would add more dealers of about 2,500 and take up contract manufacturing,” he said.
The investments, of about Rs 50 crore, has come mostly from Sheenlac for its 49% stake while 51% holding of Jenson & Nicholson (India) is in lieu of the trademark and copyrights of the brand.
“The entire operations have been handed over to Sheenlac management and we have decided on a clear roadmap for the next five years as to how the joint venture would progress,” Sridhar said.
As per disclosures made by the listed entity, it has invested just Rs 16.50 lakh in the capital of the joint venture.
All investments in near future would come from Sheenlac whose management might rope in outside investors to meet further funding needs.
Incorporated in 1922, Jenson & Nicholson went into the hands of domestic promoter Shailendra Prakash Sinha in 1973.
Since then, the company had several firsts to its credit, like India’s first plastic emulsion paint under brand Robbialac, first to launch powder coatings and also Instacolour where paint shades were created in a retail shop using own tinting machines.
The company, however, fell into bad times, turning sick and then in June last year the promoters transferred the brands to a wholly-owned subsidiary Jenson & Nicholson Paints Pvt Ltd which has now been turned into a JV.