Lanxess, the German-based speciality chemicals-company said they are committed to India even with a lot of changes happening in the market. With a global presence and sales of 7.2 billion euro (Rs 56,188.8 crore) in 2018, the company is staying positive on the Indian market and have invested around 150 million euro (Rs 1170.6 crore) for capital expenditure including land acquisitions and other projects, recently.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Dr Rainier van Roessel, chairman, Lanxess India, said, “We believe the Indian market is excellent. The two sites we have at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh and the Greenfield site in Jhagadia is of global standards. We have a great platform and a strong team. We are aware of the situation here is not as easy as it has been, but with the great set up here, the team and our firm are committed to India.”
Globally, the chemical company has around 15,500 employees in 33 countries and has 60production sites worldwide. Their core business comprises the development, manufacture and sale of plastics, rubber, speciality chemicals and intermediates. It also supports its customers in developing and implementing made-to-measure solutions. India contributes around 50 percent of the global sales for Lanxess. This makes them stay committed to India. The recent digitisation initiative has been given more focus and they consider this as an important step forward. Be it in research or the use of predictive maintenance to reduce cycle time and reduce maintenance cost, digitalisation plays a major role. With more opportunities in the supply chain, sales and marketing the company is also present in a digital marketplace for chemicals.
Sharing his view on the outlook of the Indian market, Neelanjan Banerjee, vice chairman and managing director, Lanxess India, said, “We have both global and Indian presence and out target remains similar even with the downturn. We have a balanced portfolio and a varied presence across areas. Even if a few areas take a dip, others will help us in surviving difficult times. We are working on projects behind, which is a combination of potential organic and inorganic options. We recently acquired land for such projects and are completely convinced.”
The company is looking to grow further in the Indian market. It has around 350 employees at the Jhagadia site. This is one of a modern chemical plant in India. Also, the Nagda plant in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most sustainable plants in the country. It also has zero liquid discharge side effect, where most of the wastewater is recycled, which is a first in the state. Also, the recent investment in India also included sustaining projects.
“The plants in India are world-class and is competitive to our sites in Germany. These are very efficient and from an environmental standpoint, the sites are top-notch in India. And, we have worked strategically on exports too. Around 96% of our exports from Jhagadia has moved well. We have a varied presence in different markets and we are looking at the possibility to expand the business,” said Banerjee.
Across different sectors
The speciality chemical company has its presence across various sectors including automotive division. They have a wide range of products in the area and will be ready for future trends too. Be it the IC engine vehicle or new EVs, Lanxess will be ready with the required product. Also, the company is working with several automotive OEMs in India for various projects.
Pointing out an example, Banerjee, said, “Lubricants are important regardless of what the vehicle is. And, there are high-performance plastics. For example, the Mercedes Benz GLE’s front panel is very light and rigid. It is made of enforced strong carbon fibre and it is one of our top products. This replaces more steel parts in vehicles making them strong and lightweight. It is around 30 percent less than steel which is a major achievement for the whole automotive industry.”
About the trade wars between the US and China, Rainier van Roessel said, “The trade wars between these two nations has challenges worldwide. We are located in all the regions and our facilities are spread across various areas. We have 80% of our sales outside Germany and this trade war is not good for our business. But, we have production facilities at other sites too. Of course, we can manage, but this is destroying a fair competition. At the end of the day, we do not want to put pressure on the consumer as he will be paying the price.”