Nippon Paint’s ‘Mastercraft’ Blends Artistry, Craftsmanship For Enduring Experience

T Murrali
12 Apr 2024
08:51 AM
3 Min Read

Mastercraft represents an endeavour to craft an exceptional experience for its customers, akin to treating a car as a work of art.


Sharad Malhotra, Director and President of Automotive Refinishes at Nippon Paint India, candidly shared his personal experiences, including three 'mid-life crises.' Two were of a personal nature, while the third involved a desire to enhance the aftermarket, particularly in the realm of automotive refinish, to better serve discerning customers with top-notch quality service.

This desire made him to introduce Nippon Express to address the needs of the aftermarket. Although it began modestly before the onset of the COVID-19, unfortunately, it began vanishing during the pandemic itself. However, Malhotra's resolve only intensified, fueling his determination to create a consumer-centric automotive body and paint repair service brand. This vision gave rise to 'Mastercraft,' which he describes as the upgraded version of Nippon Express. Mastercraft promises to deliver exceptional body and paintwork, car decoration services, and swift repairs, all backed by Japanese precision and cutting-edge technology. Positioned as a luxury lifestyle brand for car collision, repair, restoration care, and detailing services, Mastercraft offers comprehensive solutions under one roof.

Sharad Malhotra and Lewis Taylor

Collaborative Efforts

Mastercraft represents an endeavour to craft an exceptional experience for its customers, akin to treating a car as a work of art, he emphasised. 'We believe that patrons who value meticulous car care will find their way to Mastercraft,' he said. However, it's crucial to note that Mastercraft isn't positioned as a competitor to OEM services; rather, it aims to elevate industry standards to new heights of excellence. 'We look for collaboration with OEMs committed to providing improved service. Together, we can curate unparalleled experiences for their customers,' he added.

Leveraging Cutting-edge Technologies

Mastercraft's primary distinction lies in its ability to provide swift repair and painting services through innovative technologies, a feature that Sharad believes will raise industry standards. Embracing an open innovation model, he expressed, 'We invite all stakeholders to collaborate; our innovations are meant to benefit everyone.' One notable innovation is Mastercraft's use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for colour matching. By converting colorants into algorithms interpreted by spectrophotometers, Mastercraft ensures seamless coating by accurately matching the car's existing colour. We aim to streamline skill-based activities through AI-driven processes.'

Additionally, Mastercraft offers sustainable paints with low VOC (volatile organic compound) levels throughout the paint system, not just in the base coat. Another breakthrough is the introduction of 'velocity repair,' enabling swift repair of minor damages involving two or three panels in less than hundred minutes—a capability previously unavailable in India. This innovation drastically reduces vehicle downtime, enhancing customer convenience and satisfaction, Sharad explained.

Elaborating the objective of Mastercraft, Malhotra said, 'This is a declaration; we're endeavouring to redefine the norms in the automotive paint industry. At Nippon Paint, we pride ourselves on being masters of expanding possibilities. And this ethos extends beyond just premium vehicles—it's for every car owner who cherishes their vehicle as a beloved companion. It's for enthusiasts who meticulously attend to every aspect of their car. Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari, the founder of supercar Ferrari, declared that a Ferrari isn't just a car; it's a work of art. Similarly, at Mastercraft, we aspire to treat our customers' cars with the same level of dedication and meticulous attention that a true masterpiece deserves.'

Lewis Taylor at work

Technology & Training

Lewis Taylor, Technical Consultant at Auto Refinishes Nippon Paint Group who have been in India for around seven years, remarked that he hadn't encountered a refinish centre offering all coatings VOC-free until now. While the base coat utilises waterborne technology (an environmentally friendly surface treatment that uses water as a solvent to disperse the resin used to make the coating or paint), the primary and clear coat are still conventional. Aligning with European regulations, Mastercraft's VOC-compliant coatings not only enhance productivity and cost efficiency but also optimise the uptime of the paint booth. Taylor emphasised his primary goal of swiftly elevating the skills of Mastercraft technicians to the level of seasoned craftsmen.

Furthermore, he outlined additional operational enhancements at the outlets, aimed at streamlining workflows based on time availability. These measures include expediting processes such as masking, painting, baking, and bringing the vehicle out within 70 minutes, thus saving approximately 20 minutes per service.

Expansion Plans

The Gurugram centre will offer cutting-edge technology and environmentally friendly solutions, with the capability to repair approximately 2,500 cars per year. Nippon Paint is actively planning to expand the footprint of Mastercraft outlets, both within India and internationally. Therefore, the next centre is slated to open in Dubai, recognising the unmet needs of customers in the refinish market in that region. In India, the upcoming outlet will be established in Noida, with additional centres planned for key locations in southern India. Establishing each outlet in India will require an investment of approximately INR 2 crore, Malhotra signed off.

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