AkzoNobel’s India Startup Challenge seeks startups with disruptive tech to unleash opportunities in the paint industry

The India Startup Challenge is looking for digital solutions that can transform the journey for consumers. Applications close on May 31, 2022.

Over the years, digital transformation has become the buzzword across industries. The pandemic has also been instrumental in furthering its adoption, and if this trend continues, the future is nothing short of promising. While digital adoption is common in certain industries, not many understand how it impacts the painting and coating industry. The penetration of digital tech like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), VR (virtual reality), Internet of Things (IoT), metaverse, image recognition, big data and analytics, and more are helping transform the paint consumers’ journey.

Taking this further, AkzoNobel, a leading global paint and coatings company (the maker of Dulux Paints) has launched the Paint the Future initiative. The challenge that came into existence four years ago is deemed the world’s largest collaborative innovation ecosystem in the paints and coatings industry.

Their India Startup Challenge, which is open for submissions till May 31, 2022, focusses on enhancing Dulux consumer experience through digital solutions. For many homeowners in India, the decorative painting process is considered to be time-consuming, unorganised, and complicated. That’s why AkzoNobel is asking startups to share their disruptive tech solutions. The aim is to discover a solution that is technically feasible, and can digitally transform the painting journey of consumers, be it in planning, painting, post-painting or all the stages.

Paint the Future’s India Startup Challenge is looking for digital solutions that can provide but are not limited to:

1. Immersive digital experience to homeowners during the planning stage so that they get inspired and visualise the best look for their homes. The solution should be able to provide a wholesome experience of AkzoNobel products, colours, patterns, and texture visualisation to determine the best ‘look’ for consumers’ homes, through new-age tech like Metaverse and Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc.

2. At the painting stage, computer vision, image processing, and AI technologies can support homeowners to monitor the progress of their decorative painting project. Tech solutions can help homeowners overcome the mistrust and lack of transparency while their painting job is underway. Possible opportunities can be to validate the actual materials purchased vs materials consumed (quantity), the price at which it was purchased, specifications of products (quality), timeliness of the project, and actual labour hours.

3. Across the painting journey, homeowners seek reviews and credential checks to validate their decisions. The objective is to find solutions through which homeowners can get a professional’s credentials verified. The solution could involve setting up a “creditworthiness-agency” style program for professionals in the industry.

4. Homeowners value advice given by trusted sources — automated solutions through voice-bots/chatbots or workflow-based communication aids can bridge this gap. The solutions must help homeowners identify the extent of work required, select painters/contractors, create timelines, make intermittent payments, move residences if needed during the project, etc. The objective is to find automated communication tools that can provide support, product, and service reassurance, feedback, and other assistance to homeowners throughout the process.

5. IoT and image processing solutions that smartly assess wall health and make maintenance decisions easier for consumers is another opportunity. The objective is to find solutions that can help determine wall health, create wall health reports, identify the nature of the problem, and also suggest remedial measures or interventions required by the homeowner or contractors/painters.

For startups with disruptive tech, now is their chance to submit their solutions, get experts to enrich their submissions, and literally Paint the Future.


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