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What is Sunmica Laminate

By Abhijit Phadke

on 06-May-2013


Sunmica is a popular brand of laminates in India. It is a decorative laminate sheet that is generally used as an overlay over wooden furniture. There are also other companies which manufacture and sell laminate sheets in India, however Sunmica was an early entrant in the Indian laminates market, and its dominance for several years in the market, has been such that today for most Indians the words Sunmica and Laminates have become synonymous with each other.

Laminate Sheets
Rolls of laminate sheets kept for sale at a plywood and laminates shop in Navi Mumbai, India

This confusion becomes apparent from the fact that when customers in India walk into retail plywood and laminates shop they ask for Sunmica catalogues and Sunmica shades instead of asking for the entire range of laminate brands available. Search queries on the internet from Indians related to Sunmica are no different.

Online queries for phrases such as "Sunmica brands" or "Sunmica Companies in India" serves as further proof of the blurred distinction that Indian customers have in their minds between the two words Sunmica and Laminates.

This is like going to a grocery shop and asking for Kellogg's cornflakes when what you actually want is just cornflakes. Or it is like asking for Colgate when all you want is a tube of toothpaste.

History of Sunmica

The Sunmica laminates business in India has its origins in the year 1963-1964. Initially the business was in the form of a joint venture between Formica International Limited and Bombay Burmah trading company. This company was known by the name of Formica (India) Limited and it had its manufacturing plant at Akurdi in Pune.

Of the two Joint Venture partners, the Bombay Burmah Trading Company had been established by the Wallace brothers' long back in 1863, and later the Wadia group had acquired it. Bombay Burmah had several businesses and was probably most noted for its tea and teak business. On the other hand its partner Formica International was the pioneer of the laminates industry, having started operations in the US and had later spread to Europe and Asia.

In 1975, in accordance with the then prevalent Indian Government policies on foreign business investments in India, Formica International made an exit from the Indian market, and the Formica unit then became a wholly owned part of the Wadia group owned Bombay Burmah Trading Company Limited. By the year 1978 the laminates unit came to be formally known as the Formica India division of Bombay Burmah Trading Company.

Further down the road in 1998, the company introduced a new brand of laminates called Sunmica. The laminate sheets of Sunmica brand were of 1mm thickness, whereas the Formica brand had laminates of 1.5 mm and higher thickness. Sunmica setup a new laminate manufacturing plant at Rudrapur in Uttaranchal (Uttarakhand) in 2006-2007, and after the new plant became fully operational the old plant at Akurdi was shut down.

Sunmica Laminates Manufacturing Unit Address:

Plot Nos. 23 to 26 and Plot Nos. 46 to 48,
Sector 5, IIE Pant Nagar Industrial Estate,
Rudrapur, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttaranchal -253153, India.

Recent Developments

Sunmica is now Sunmica AICA:

More recently in Aug-2011, the Wadia group company BBTCL (Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd) announced the intention of selling off its Sunmica division for Rs. 100.30 crores to AICA Laminates India Pvt. Ltd. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Japanese company AICA Kogyo Company Ltd. The Japanese firm is a listed company that is into the business of producing and selling laminates, adhesives and other building materials. Accordingly, the Sunmica acquisition by AICA India was completed by 31-Oct-2011.

Formica re-enters Indian market:

Formica International that had made an exit from India in 1975, has now re-entered the Indian market, and has acquired a manufacturing unit at Ahmedabad in Gujarat. It is now producing and marketing its own brand of Formica Laminate sheets in India. In the year 2007, Formica was acquired by the New Zealand based company Fletcher Building Products Limited.

Sunmica Product Range

Sunmica laminate sheets are available in several designs, patterns and colour shades, and the name has a very high brand recall amongst Indian customers when it comes to buying laminates. Sunmica sheets are available in over 456 colour shades and various textures to suit the taste of Indian customers, and are now manufactured in the thickness range of 0.6 mm to 1.5 mm.

The company has an ISO 9001:2000 certification and adheres to I.S. (Indian standard) as also to International standards such as the B.S. (British Standard).

External Links and References:

Article related to Sunmica acquisition by AICA India

Aug-2011 document related to proposed sale of Sunmica

Website of AICA Kogyo Company Ltd

Disclaimer:

This website is not associated with any of the companies mentioned on this web page, and the information is only listed as part of our research about the Laminates Industry in India. Information contained on this page may be inaccurate, and have errors or ommissions, or may be outdated. Readers are advised to check with other official sources for verifying the information contained on this page.