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Plywood Maker eyes TS, AP markets

Barely three months after acquiring Uniply Industries Ltd, investment banker Keshav Kantamneni is ready with a multi-pronged growth plan, one to improve capacity utilisation at the Chennai plant, reduce the cost of capital and focus on marketing. The BSE and NSE-listed Uniply Industries, of which he is the CEO, is in discussions to acquire plywood making units in north and western regions to improve market access. Mr.Kantamneni, who addressed presspersons here on Wednesday, said he saw a huge market potential in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the former particularly in view of the new capital proposed and associated developments. The firm was evaluating plans for a plant in coastal Andhra Pradesh with an estimated investment of Rs.30-35 crore. Proximity to seaport and Chennai plant were factors to influence the choice of location. The plan, for a 7,500 NA (notional area) per day capacity plant, however, would depend on the fiscal incentives offered to new investments in Andhra Pradesh, he added. The company was also planning to double the dealership in the two States from 12 to 30 shortly.

One aspect certain and making Uniply look for new capacities was the demand, which he explained, was bound to only increase as the trend now was to change interiors once in five years. Goods and Service Tax, he added, would be a game changer for the organised players in the Rs.20,000-crore industry by bringing those in unorganised sector under the ambit. Quality and not cost of the product would be key differentiator then, he said. On the acquisition, he said it was a Rs.138-crore deal for the company, which posted Rs.172-crore turnover in FY 2014. Mr.Kantamneni, who acquired 36 per cent equity and had made an open offer for another 26 per cent, said in July a new product line complying with global standards was to be unveiled. The company, he said, would invest Rs.20-25 crore to acquire plywood plants in north and western regions.

After Dropbox and Instagram, Geremia Design Tackles Figma's San Francisco HQ

Dropbox and Instagram are among Geremia Design’s roster of boldface digital clients in San Francisco. Now there’s Figma, creator of collaborative interface design tools. And its 5,000-square-foot headquarters is refreshingly analog. A simple envelope of white-painted walls and maple floorboards is punctuated by plywood banquettes, wool or cotton rugs, copper planters, string lights, and works by such emerging talents as Sabine Marcelis, Elise McMahon, Katie Stout, and Chris Wolston. Not that the digital is entirely absent. Commissioning a mural for the reception area, Lauren Geremia asked graphic designer Sofia Clausse to develop her concept with Figma software.