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Firm sells glass for indoor and out
[May 07, 2006]

Firm sells glass for indoor and out

(The Nation (Thailand) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)Eco Coat Ltd, a new Thai-German company, made its debut during Architect '06 this week by launching coloured and transparent glass for outdoor and indoor home decoration under the Betoglass brand.

Eco Coat has spent Bt10 million building three plants in Bangkok with a total of 3,000 square metres in space. Total production capacity is 100 square metres of glass per day.

Despite a slowdown in the real estate industry, the company is confident that it can etch out a niche for itself because there are no other companies in the decorative glass market that focus on both indoor and outdoor products. In addition, the glass market is large - one million square metres last year - leaving a window of opportunity for Eco Coat.

Eco Coat's Thai partner holds an 80-per-cent stake and the German company Betoglass Deutschland GmbH owns the rest, according to Warasak Nopparad, assistant market and sales manager. The company has Bt50 million in registered capital.

Warasak said the glass items the company creates are emotional products, where appearances usually influence purchasing decision srather than price.

The company hopes to generate Bt50 million in sales this year.

He said the company used production technology from Germany to produce a glass coating called polytransmitter that works as an adhesive agent enabling glass pieces to connect with other glass items, or even different building materials. In addition, polytransmitters release tension between cement walls and glass, preventing the outdoor glass from cracking, giving it a durability of more than 20 years.

The company currently offers 20 standard colours, though customers who want other colours or special graphics can ask for tailor-made items. The cost of standard colours is Bt2,500 per square metre, with an additional Bt1,500 per square metre for graphics.

Since the product is new to the Thai market, the company in its first year will emphasise educating both end-users and professionals such as engineers, architects, and homebuilders. It will also exploit various media channels including tie-in advertisements with television shows, direct mail, and e-mail. The main target is high-end customers. The company will allocate 3 per cent of its expected sales for marketing and advertising.

Eco Coat expects to gain a 5 per cent share of the glass market. The German partner has already introduced Betoglass in South Korea and the US.

Nitida Asawanipont

The Nation

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