Ajay Kanekar, Vice President, Operations, Labguard, talks about the company’s leadership position in fume hood and laboratory furniture market, in an exclusive interaction with Sachin Jagdale
How will you describe the role of design in the success of your fume hoods and laboratory furniture business?
Design plays a vital role for fume hoods and laboratory furniture. The entire performance of fume hoods and laboratory furniture depends on the design. Good design increases the efficiency of fume hoods whereas for laboratory furniture it increases the life cycle even in extreme conditions. Labguard products are backed up with expertise of designers who have experience of more than 30 years in sheet metal business. We as a registered member of the SEFA, USA (a prestigious association of global Scientific Equipment and Furniture manufactures) and the only company having fume hoods being tested as per ASHRAE110 and EN14175 norms are committed to bring world class quality fume hoods and laboratory furniture. Design needs to ensure that it should be easy to install, easy to operate, user-friendly and the most important thing is safety and protection of users. Labguard products have earned a reputation in each of the above features and this has really helped Labguard to accelerate our business with an annual sales growth of 30 per cent last year.
Which new designs were launched by you and how unique are they?
As a company of designers, we understand the importance of well designed lab furniture and reliable fume hoods in ensuring smooth work flow and productive work environment for customers. The key to our successful innovation is to constantly listen to our customers. Guided by their needs, our dedicated automation and research team has developed and incorporated a number of useful features into our products due to which we were been awarded ‘India Design Mark-2014’ award for ‘Inventa’ series fume hood. The award is conferred by India Design Council (a joint initiative between Govt. of India and NID, Ahmedabad in co-operation with Good Design Award, Japan)
We have also launched two back to back new fume hoods which are,
Polypro fume hood: These fume hoods are made from imported polypropylene UV protected sheet. We are the first company in India to manufacture a fume hood in PP structure. These fume hoods are made keeping in mind of highly corrosive environment like API, formulation, jewellery industry, mining industry, commercial labs etc. It has altogether opened a new sector for Labguard. Apart from being safe in highly corrosive environment it is safe to use and also cost-effective in terms of longer life.
Adventa series fume hood: This has recently been displayed at PMEC Exhibition – Mumbai. We have launched our new series of fume hood that is ‘Adventa fume hood. These are made considering the work space required by users inside the fume hood. They are easy to access in terms of their utility and electrical points for maintenance and servicing.
For furniture, we have launched ‘Flexis+ series’ of furniture. These special series of furniture have attracted attention in the market, The cabinets are movable in entire length and easily removable without disturbing the worktop, leg space can be adjusted with the help of movable cabinet. In simple words, we can simply remove the cabinet, which is not required and insert the ones which we want to use at our work place.
All these above innovative products have made revolution in our kind of business. Customers now have a wide range of products to choose for their labs.
Do you have case studies to explain how your products are beneficial?
We do have lot of innovations that has helped our customers to get benefited. Some of these are:
Customer required C frame with glass work top and under bench modules can be easily placed by user where required during the reactions:
A) C-Frame furniture with glass work top and mobile under bench metal units – The under bench units are easily removable in this kind of furniture as those are on castor wheels. We can have easy access to utility lines and electrical cables for maintenance. It can also be used as individual table which is also one the additional features for this kind of furniture.
Customer required entire C frame which can be easily shifted along with the modules fixes in it:
B) C- Frame mobile furniture – In this series of furniture, C- frames are provided on castor wheels with individual table of length 1500 mm and the under bench cabinet is fixed below the worktop. Advantages of this furniture is that we can easily move the table with the help of castor wheels which having features of levelers in it. They could be moved to any required position when needed or could be fixed to the position with the help of levelers.
What is the approximate number of fume hoods you manufacture every year?
We are currently manufacturing 800 fume hoods in a year.
Which markets do you cater to?
R&D Centers, QC labs of pharma/ chemical companies, educational institutes (Eg: IIT’s, IICT, UICT, colleges and schools etc.), Government originations (Eg: BARC, IISc, JNSCAR, AIIMS, IIIM, etc)
Tell us something about your team?
Team Labguard is guided and mentored by our MD, Prakash Sansare with Sales Heads Shyam Singh and Janardhan Mudaliar. A team of engineers having a vast experience in their respective fields and committed to the excellence with their exceptional products, have been the biggest brand ambassadors for Labguard.
Where do you see Labguard in the next three years?
Labguard, an ISO 9001: 2008 certified company and one of India’s leading manufacturers of fume hoods and laboratory furniture, due to our consistent focus on quality and innovation. We have grown to become one of India’s most respected fume hood and lab furniture manufacturers, with products on par with the best in the world. We are heading with a goal to be the world’s best company in our sector and are working on new innovations and designs. A lot more new products will be launched in near future.