Kansai Plascon : Forward-Thinking Manufacturing

Tom CullumEditorial Team
Tom Cullum - Regional Director Editorial Team

Kansai Plascon can look to the future assured by the strength of its past. Since 1889, Plascon has been the force behind the production of top quality coatings with innovative and ground-breaking technologies, making it southern Africa’s leading coatings manufacturer.


Given the rapid company growth over the years, in 2012, the company formerly known as Plascon South Africa was renamed Kansai Plascon, after a merger with Japanese company Kansai Paint, the world’s sixth largest coatings company.

Boasting over a century of manufacturing firsts, in November 2014, the Company received three prestigious awards for its forward-thinking point of sales executions at the annual Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) awards in South Africa; nominated as finalists in three separate categories and going on to win gold, silver and bronze.

Moreover, Plascon is known in the market for its memorable advertising campaigns including the iconic 40-year old Double Velvet brand, which is one of the longest advertised brands on South African television today.

“These innovations show the brand’s commitment to providing customers with the very best service and top quality products. As such, Plascon has once again been recognised for marketing excellence by the greater industry,” said the Company.

Today, Kansai Plascon continues to champion the Plascon brand as it expands into Africa as the continent’s number one coatings company; incorporating the best of Kansai’s 90-year international reputation for innovation, with Plascon’s 125-year reputation for South African brand leadership. The Company continues to drive innovation and excellence in the retail, trade, industrial and furniture coatings markets in southern Africa from three strategically placed manufacturing sites in Mobeni, KwaZulu-Natal; Luiperdsvlei in Krugersdorp; and Epping in Cape Town.


Plascon received a much-coveted gold award for its ‘custom colour creation in mass retail’, as part of the short run category of paints (under 50 units). The Company worked on a paint display that was tailor made for a special project with Builders Warehouse store in Rivonia – a small township in South Africa. The stand was showcased in a high-end mass retail environment that introduced revolutionary displays and areas within a mass space “where all shoppers can experience and be inspired by the brand”.

As a retail environment that is often associated with a dominantly male customer base, Plascon used this opportunity to engage with prospective female shoppers and create the environment for a more couple-friendly experience.

In order to do this, the Company created the ‘Plascon colour experience zone’, a paint stand that bears resemblance to a cosmetic display, including elements such as LED backlighting, high-gloss black Perspex and paint-filled colour forecast jars which helped make the display not only eye catching, but user friendly. “The zone was manned by trained consultants to ensure the customer service offering matched the aesthetics and colour offering. The zone has been a success not only boosting sales in the store, but in terms of the concept and design, receiving international and local attention,” explained the Company.

This one-off execution with Builders Warehouse demonstrates Plascon’s ability to strategically position itself within the market and take advantage of local partnerships that have the potential to benefit both parties. “Winning the gold award for this project set the benchmark high for other companies in the paint manufacturing sector,” said Plascon’s Channel Marketing Executive, Michael van Harmelen.

“These awards only serve to prove what our customers have known all along, that Plascon is the brand to trust. But we’re not content to rest on these laurels. As a marketing team, Plascon is already looking ahead to future trends and to further innovation this year,” added Harmelen.


September 2014 marked the achievement of a level 3 B-BBEE status for Kansai Plascon, confirming its position as a recognised value-add supplier.

The Company highlighted: “Our B-BBEE procurement recognition level has increased from 110 percent to 137.5 percent. Combine this with our value-add supplier position and we are a strong contender when tendering for projects as the preferred procurement choice.”

Having increased from level 4 in 2013, Kansai Plascon’s new score of 80.27 points cements its position as the coatings industry market leader in southern Africa.

“Consequently, companies that purchase from Plascon will improve their own procurement scores thereby improving their own B-BBEE ratings,” the Company added.


As a company with a proudly outh African heritage and a strong sense of social responsibility, Kansai Plascon is actively committed to investing in local communities and upliftment programmes across the country, as well as providing ongoing employee education on environmental and health issues.

Known globally for high standards of performance, Kansai Plascon integrates into the communities in which it operates so as to create a sustainable environment for the future generation. “Our strong foundations enabled us to think about a more focused, deeper agenda for a sustainable future together with our stakeholders. Our aim is to create long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments.

“We acknowledge that healthy societies, communities, labour forces and environments provide the necessary foundation for a healthy business. As such, we are interdependent on the societies and environments in which we operate. To this end, we integrate sustainability into the very core of our business strategy,” emphasised the Company.

In addition to brightening the lives of thousands of children by supplying paint and in some cases, funding, to various schools, children’s homes, orphanages and crèches, Plascon’s involvement with the free CID University in Johannesburg has helped to train and employ many students to carry out building and maintenance work on the campus.

“Furthermore, our support for the National Council of the Blind has helped to restore the eyesight of more than 600 people by providing much-needed annual funding for cataract operations,” added the Company.

In summary, Kansai Plascon has 125-year long history of leading quality assurance, superb formulation and trusted performance; and now, the brand has also secured its position as the market leader in South Africa, which reinforces the Company’s standing as a coating company you can trust to deliver high quality, innovative and premium-quality products, backed by leading technical expertise and excellence service.

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