Lead Story

Waiting for the next big leap

Lasting tie-ups with international players, besides innovation, have kept this chlorinated PVC market leader going

Soumik Kar

Sandeep Engineer likes to narrate anecdotes from his own life to explain his belief that big stories have their origins in very small ideas. One such instance goes back to 2002 when the Brihanmumbai Licensed Plumbers’ Association was holding its annual meeting. On an impulse, his company, Astral Poly Technik, decided to become a sponsor for the event. The attendees at the day-long function were largely plumbers, accompanied in smaller numbers by architects and contractors. As a sponsor, Engineer was asked to address the 300-strong audience and over the next few minutes, he spoke about his company and the benefits of installing his CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) pipes. “It was apparent nobody had ever taken the effort to speak to the plumbers,” he recalls. As he stepped off the dais, Engineer was inundated with requests from plumbers to visit their sites and offer advice. The next day, he visited the Hiranandani Gardens site at Powai, a north-east Mumbai neighbourhood, with snacks and complimentary T-shirts branded with the Astral logo. “It became an event of sorts and it was really the first time the plumbers were interacting with a company,” he says.