Manufacturing chemicals make lives more inspiring
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Manufacturing chemicals that make lives more inspiring

10:44 AM, 10th February 2017
Rajiv Rao, Director - Specialty Chemicals, AkzoNobel India
Rajiv Rao, Director - Specialty Chemicals, AkzoNobel India.

In an interview, Rajiv Rao, Director – Specialty Chemicals, AkzoNobel India with Chemical Today magazine opens up about the opportunities that India offers and the ways in which AkzoNobel aims to increase its footprint in the country with its new offerings.

By Shivani Mody 

AkzoNobel is known as a ‘Trend Setter.’ Trends that you plan to set in India.

AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people’s lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of speciality chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential colour to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet while making life easier.

Specifically, from the perspective of the speciality chemicals business, across industrial chemicals, polymer & surface chemistry, pulp & performance chemicals, and ethylene & sulphur derivatives, our products are used in diverse industries, ranging from building & infrastructure, transportation, to consumer goods. We supply high-quality ingredients and process aids for the manufacture of life’s essentials. At AkzoNobel, innovation sits at the heart of what we do. Whether we’re developing new products or services, we’re focused on making life easier for our customers, as well as contributing to their success. This makes us pioneers in many aspects.

Another case in point is the new product innovations developed by AkzoNobel to address some of the main challenges facing the crop protection industry in India. The company recently launched Adsee 1629 and Agrilan 788, which are designed to play an essential role in safeguarding food supply by helping herbicide producers to improve quality and efficiency while doing more with fewer resources.

Compare speciality chemicals requirements of India & China.

China has been the leader in the speciality chemicals space, but it is losing market share steadily due to environmental concerns and the advantage of lower labour cost is no longer applicable.

Over the past year with changing times, there has been a remarkable change in the structural dynamics of Indian speciality chemicals industry. Additionally, the government of India’s 'Make in India' initiative stands to facilitate the industry with common infrastructure and a consequent rapid flow of FDI into the sector which could deliver up to 30 per cent CAGR over FY13-15 to $ 2.67 bn, according to an estimate.

Growth projection for the Indian speciality chemicals industry.

According to analysts, India's speciality chemicals industry, which is valued at $25 billion, could well be the next big theme FY17. The industry accounts for a marginal 3 per cent of the global speciality chemicals market. In the next couple of years, India's large population base with lower per capita consumption of chemicals and relatively strong GDP growth outlook of 7-8 per cent over the next few years is expected to support healthy domestic growth.

Key drivers or growth factors for the speciality chemicals market.

Growth in paints & coatings, pharma, building & infrastructure, agro & personal care sectors are some key reasons for the growth of Specialty Chemicals market in India.  Improved spending capacities of the population positively affect consumption in paints & coatings and personal care sectors. Focus on improved agricultural productivity as well as consolidation of some global capacities in India is driving demand in the agro sector. India is known for its prowess in the pharma sector and is a key sector for the speciality chemicals industry.

Customer demands in terms of the speciality chemicals.

At present, the Indian speciality chemical segment is in encouraging stage and is characterised by substantially lower penetration against a user base that sees increasing globalisation and higher disposable income. Moreover, positive macroeconomic trends to are providing benefits to the speciality chemical segment.

Additionally, with the government of India’s 'Make in India' initiative facilitating the speciality chemicals industry with common infrastructure and a consequent rapid flow of FDI into the sector which could deliver up to 30 per cent CAGR over FY13-15 to $ 2.67bn, according to an estimate.

Speciality chemicals improve the functionality and performance of customer’s products.  Customers rely on AkzoNobel to provide world class innovative products which provide superior cost-performance options. These improvements can be in the customer’s manufacturing process and it’s environmental footprint or in their product formulations.

eg, AkzoNobel product offerings like Bermocoll & Elotex provide improved waterproofing, reduced shrinkage, self-levelling, improved colour intensity in building & construction & paints applications. Organic peroxide products are being used to optimise PVC manufacturing process, whereas metal alkyls are used in polymer compounding to improve flame retardancy of the products.

Overview of speciality chemicals business of AkzoNobel India.

AkzoNobel is a major producer of speciality chemicals used in diverse industries, ranging from building & infrastructure, transportation to consumer goods. We supply high-quality ingredients and process aids for the manufacture of life’s essentials.

Our products, such as speciality salts salt, organic peroxides, metal alkyls, ethylene and sulphur derivatives, pulp & performance chemicals, surfactants cater to a diverse set of needs of the industry. Eg, surfactants and ethylene-derived products cater to the oil and gas, metals and mining and agrochemical industries. Our speciality chemicals are either vital to the production process or are key functional ingredients in a wide variety of consumer durables and in consumer packaged goods for cleaning, dishwashing, personal care and pharmaceutical products.

Product requirements and plans for new products specific to India.

The product needs of the Indian market requirements are driven by the unique conditions prevalent in the country. These conditions are based on various factors like end consumer buying power, regulations prevalent, weather etc. AkzoNobel strives to tailor its offerings to the needs of the Indian market. Eg, the company recently launched Adsee 1629 and Agrilan 788, which are designed to play an essential role in safeguarding food supply by helping herbicide producers to improve quality and efficiency while doing more with fewer resources.

Challenges faced by the Indian speciality chemicals manufacturers.

Some of the challenges faced by the Indian Specialty Chemical Manufacturers are the lack of feedstock, high dependence on imports, modest infrastructure, lack of scale and high fragmentation of the industry.

© Chemical Today Magazine


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

https://www.worldofchemicals.com/digitalissue/chemical-today-january/14

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

http://bit.ly/21W5H0z

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