Build, Bond, Protect –mantra growth

Build, Bond, Protect – the mantra for growth

9:30 AM, 28th September 2016
Build, Bond, Protect – the mantra for growth
Rohit Aggarwal, vice president and managing director, Huntsman India.

In an interview, Rohit Aggarwal, vice president and managing director, Huntsman India with Chemical Today magazine talks about the latest trends of adhesives and surfactants industry in India and opens up about the measures that need to be taken for the growth of the industry.

Give us an idea about the adhesives industry in India?

Looking at industry statistics in the country, the total adhesives industry is approximately $1 billion. Some of the sectors that will further fuel the growth of adhesives in India are electrical, wind, transport, woodworking to name a few. Moreover, with advances over the years, some of the prominent trends seen in this industry are hybrid adhesives such as PU/acrylic, MS polymer etc.

What are the latest/advanced materials used for manufacturing of adhesives?

The Araldite® adhesives range contains a selection of adhesives from the latest epoxy, polyurethane and methacrylate technologies to meet the great majority of high-performance bonding applications. We also have innovative aerospace products offering high strength combined with low weight – allowing to save energy and to improve safety. For instance, the EPOCAST syntactic and adhesives used for the fixing of inserts. With recognized expertise in research, development and processes, Huntsman offers a unique and wide range of innovative solutions to new challenges, including the global demand for alternative energy, environmentally sound technology and eco-friendly processes.

How has the personal care market evolved in India?

The Indian personal care market has evolved significantly over the course of time as more and more specialized and niche personal care products are being accepted by the Indian customers. Added to that, the rise in purchasing power of the middle-class, forming the majority of the population is also helping to grow this market. Moreover, with access to information and awareness regarding personal care and hygiene, people are now willing to invest in high-end personal care products.

The industry has moved from basic products such as soaps and hair oils to functional products like cold cream, shampoos and now to specialized products such as sun block lotions, body exfoliating creams and skin whitening and anti-ageing products. Personal care industry has grown steadily in India with the increasing usage of specialty ingredients for formulations used in personal care products.

What are the recent trends in surfactants related to the personal care industry?

The personal care industry was traditionally using the commodity surfactants. With product innovation as the key driver for growth for most of the FMCG companies in India, specialty surfactants have made a foray into the personal care market and will continue to drive sales in these segments. Specialty surfactant- based products are increasingly replacing traditional products because of ease in using the product, its cleansing ability, and ease in customizing the product. Multifunctional surfactants are likely to gain widespread acceptance.

Today, there is a selective approach from customers to move to using mild surfactants. But we see a wide spread shift happening to mild surfactants in India over a period of time as the personal care market evolves. Mildness is a key trend in bath and shower, and hair care, while still maintaining the effectiveness of the surfactants. Regulations and non-toxicity would be the main factors that would drive the usage of bio-based and green surfactants over a course of time.

What are the latest advances in the intermediate chemicals related to the personal care industry?

The key focus for the beauty and personal care industry is sustainability. Sustainability is the key concept considered during product designing, manufacturing, packaging and distribution management. The key issues that sustainability covers are protection of the environment and renewable supply. Ingredients companies are making great efforts to develop products that target these issues. There is an increasing concern about the chemicals used in everyday consumer products due to the current “green” movement.

Consumers are becoming more aware of the potential harm that some chemicals may have on them and their families driven by increased knowledge from the internet and social media.

The functionality of products in beauty and personal care is rapidly changing. No longer are bath and shower or hair care products just about cleaning, but products offer a multitude of benefits depending on needs and requirements. FMCG companies launching the “free-from” ranges in beauty and personal care would lead to elimination of potentially harmful ingredients in personal care formulations over a period of time.

In Asia Pacific, there is more demand for green solvent-free adhesives. How is huntsman planning to adapt to this growing demand?

Huntsman’s innovations in adhesives go beyond improving mechanical properties to focus on important features such as flame retardant, low smoke density and low toxic emissions. Leveraging a long experience working in the automotive, aerospace industry, the business continues to develop products that meet stringent FST safety criteria. Araldite adhesives offer excellent adhesion on metals and composites alongside the advantages of flame retardant properties that are UL 94 V-0.

Huntsman’s adhesives are set in a direction to improve their production processes, secure long-term performance and the safety of assemblies. This results in reduced maintenance costs, increased design freedoms and the development of lightweight structures for better energy efficiency and aesthetics – all important factors in making araldite adhesives increasingly attractive choice for all its customers.

Huntsman Global project is in progress on bonding solutions for future substrates mainly thermoplastics, specifically high performance adhesives, which requires minimal surface treatment.

There is a major emphasis on sustainability / green chemistry. How does huntsman adhere to the sustainable industry standards?

As a company we have been promoting products that are environment-friendly, for instance promotion of environment-friendly low volatile organic compounds (VOC) surfactants for paints and coatings.

For this, we have Jeffsol solvents, which are not as harmful as the conventional solvents. We have a major share in curing agents Jeffamines in wind power generation industry globally.

Mention some of the innovative products that you are currently working on?

Huntsman India took a big step and has acquired the coveted Responsible Care accreditation in Oct 2015. This places Huntsman in the list of India’s most credible organizations that conform to stringent Environment, Health & Safety Standards. All our products meet regulatory compliances-REACH, RoHS, SVHC eg. Huntsman’s Sustainability- Araldite epoxy resins help make newer generation aircrafts & automotive stronger, lighter & more fuel- efficient.

In textile effects, we are working on multiple levels to create more innovative and sustainable products. One of the key products we are working on is advanced range of fluorine free durable water repellent, which will provide rain protection and stain management to the garments. Another product we are working on is formaldehyde free fire retardant that delivers the flame and thermal protection. Fluorine free DWR and Formaldehyde free fire retardant not only complies with ZDHC norms, but also saves money through durability and longevity.

We are also working on enzyme chemistry for textile applications targeting scouring and finishing. On one hand this would result in effluent reduction, while on the other hand it will help in energy and water conservation. In performance products division, the energy & resources group is working on SURFONIC®& JEFFTREAT ®range of products to address the challenging problems faced in the oil & gas industry most particularly corrosion inhibition, foaming and acid gas scavenging.

The polymer and resins group is focused on developing applications in fast curing coatings, adhesives and decoupage markets using JEFFAMINE ® D230 JEFFAMINE® RFD 270. One of the projects the functional chemical group is working on is using TERIC® series products, developing novel solution like developing alkylphenolethoxylates (APEO) free surfactants to be used in coating. But the biggest challenge that we face is the absence of a level playing field between the unorganized sector and us.

What are the growth and strategy plans for huntsman in India?

Some of our future strategy plans are:

  • Under “Make in India”, to leverage our investments in manufacturing at Baroda, Ankleshwar  and Pune to bring world-class technology for both domestic and export markets.
  • Continue to selectively invest further capital and technology and as the Indian economy continues to grow.
  • Setting up of global R&D at Mumbai to take advantage of the human capital and expertise to develop products for both international as well as Indian markets.
  • Aim to double our business in 5 years.

The strategic cornerstone of the do-it- yourself (DIY) strategic business unit (SBU) is growth through the introduction of new products, which will add value both at a business level as also to what the Araldite brand stands for-Build, Bond, Protect.

What are the challenges faced by the company?

The need of the hour for us is:

  • Simplification of indirect tax regime to drive operational efficiencies
  • Infrastructure development for the chemical industry leading to more dedicated, integrated and sustainable chemical industrial parks
  • Environmental and safety standards enforcement across the board for a level playing field, and
  • Availability and lack of investments in upstream bulk chemicals to support growth in specialty sector.

© Chemical Today Magazine

See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg 16)

View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app



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