Astra Industries Limited (Astra) is by far one of the largest paint and protective coatings manufacturer in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed firm, a consistent performer with expertise build over many years of experience is a current holder of International Standard Organisation (ISO) 9001-2008 certificate. This comes as Astra in 2000 achieved ISO 9002 certification and in 2003 the company upgraded to ISO 9001 certification.

The company boasts of over 64 years’ experience in the manufacture and distribution of paints and coatings as well as allied products. Astra prides itself in the training and skills of all staff, amongst which are such skills as marketing, finance, human resources and paint technology for key quality control, development and manufacturing staff.


The company commenced business in Harare as Herbert Evans paint in 1947. Through the years, it merged with other paint companies like Titanium Paints to eventually becoming Plascon Paints, whose majority stake was then acquired by the government of Zimbabwe through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 1983. The paint concern was then renamed Astra Paints in line with the larger group, Astra Corporation.

Astra manufactures a comprehensive portfolio of products that can be broadly divided into four categories. Firstly, decorative paints used in the painting and decoration of homes and offices as well as associated ancillaries. Products include oil-based paints amongst them high gloss enamel paints, eggshell enamel paints, red oxide metal primer and zinc phosphate primer. Water-based paints are also decorative paints and these include super acrylic exterior/interior PVA, ceiling PVA white, super washable satin, double velvet luxury PVA and micatex textured coatings. Varnishes also fall under the category of decorative paints and include products such as clear varnish, wood coat clear varnishes and varnish stains.

The second category is that of industrial paints and coatings. These are paints used in industry for the finishing of industrial goods of high durability and include Baking enamels, powder coatings, drum enamels, Copon pipe and tank coatings and bitumen paints.


Furniture paints and coatings are all used for the industrial manufacture of furniture.Products include plaseal base coat, reaction lacquers, colour coats and ancillaries like wood grain fillers. Lastly, Astra also manufactures automotive paints as well as importing from Barloworld Coatings for the OEM and refinish markets. Brands include the glosskote enamel, fleetline enamel, grey surface primer, acrylic 2K auto range, Barloworld’s acryline 2K auto range and top of the range Herbert’s standox 2K auto range.

It is also noteworthy that Astra Paints offers technical services for all of these categories as well as boast the best project assistance service in support of their paint and coatings products. Astra commands a market share of about 40% with the main competitor being Dulux Paints. There are other small paint manufacturers mainly concentrating on the lower end of the market, such as Prestige Paints, Splash, Promac, Solid and Chroma paints.

Astra has got a technical agreement with Freeworld Coatings which is the largest paint manufacturer in Africa. Freeworld Coatings ranks as the top 35 coatings businesses in the world. Astra Paints is 80% reliant on imported raw materials, the balance being met by local supplies. Hardware stores provide a wide distribution network for Astra Paints’ products.

Further, it operates a fleet of vehicles in Harare and in Bulawayo that serves those two markets. Astra Paints’ customer mix who account for 80% of the division’s turnover can be grouped into three categories namely stockists or hardware dealers, general industrial and automotive.