NextGen Summit 2023: Industry leaders discuss roadmap to industry’s expanded growth

NextGen Summit 2023: Industry leaders discuss roadmap to industry’s expanded growth

Focus on innovation, digital transformation and sustainability remained at the centre of deliberations at the inaugural session

  • By Rahul Koul | July 14, 2023

Stalwarts of the Indian chemical industry has gathered at the ongoing NextGen Chemical and Petrochemical Summit 2023 in Mumbai on July 13-14, 2023. The two-day event is themed- Innovation, Self- reliance & Sustainability.

The inaugural session, ‘Indian Chemical Industry: Transforming Potential into Reality’ witnessed intense deliberations on what should be the roadmap towards industry’s growth and expansion.

“I must say Innovation is a way of life. While most of the top companies allocate 30% of their budget to innovation, the rest of the industry must follow and continuously focus on innovation and research as it is a gateway to self-reliance. Govt agencies mostly fund the publications and applied research. Self-reliance will come through innovation and research and it has to be based on collaboration. When it comes to sustainability, it has a time factor to it. There is a time zone for a CEO under which he will promote it for a period of time but not beyond that. The time factor is critical to the long-term sustainable solution,” said Prof. Aniruddha B. Pandit, Vice Chancellor, Institute Of Chemical Technology, Mumbai.

Prof. G. D. Yadav, Emeritus Professor of Eminence, ICT Mumbai pointed out how net zero and sustainability are the two big words that are being talked about globally. “We won’t have crude oil by 2050. The green chemistry and engineering, catalysis will play a big role in the future as India and other countries are looking at decarbonization. As the nation turns 100 very soon, we must focus on greener options. All our energy must come from non-carbon sources. There is no doubt that India is going to be a huge exporter of green hydrogen. 40 giga tonnes of carbon has been emitted by 2020 and we have to bring it down to 20 giga tonnes. Sustainability has to be practiced and chemical industry has to play a huge role and chemical engineers will have great scope.,” said Prof. Yadav.

 R. Mukundan, MD & CEO, Tata Chemicals laid emphasis on India’s growing onus on innovation. “India has already embraced innovation. There is an ongoing effort to further create a better ecosystem. Also, the digital is going to play a pivotal role in accelerating our business growth. This is a wonderful opportunity for India to seize the moment as we are going to witness humungous growth. We already have a forward looking and enabling environment. The Indian government is first to release the green credits and it is a unique program. Industry must join this initiative. Also, India has a large pool of conscious consumers and a responsible industry. All the elements point out in the direction of huge growth in the future.”

Rahul Tikoo, Managing Director – South Asia, Huntsman Corporation laid emphasis on disruptive innovation and not just incremental innovation. “We must focus on disruptive innovation and not just incremental innovation. The industry must embrace the change and let the disruption begin. Sustainability will be a key focus for the industry going forward, and we are committed to developing new raw materials that are both high performing and environmentally responsible. The chemical industry remains a consistent value creator and has potential to remain attractive even in uncertain times,” he said.

“For the chemical industry, a fruitful G20 would means increased production. This industry is a backbone of all the sector and part of our daily lives. We expect the industry to sustain the growth momentum by enabling self-reliance and import substitution. Export of chemicals is driven by low-cost production and we must ensure it. Policy support is highly required from the government side. It is up to us, the chemical industry, to rise to the occasion to boost the indigenous production. Chemical industry is at the cusp of becoming a global industry and let’s work together to make sustainability a cornerstone,” said Aditya Shriram, Dy. Managing Director, DCM Shriram. 

“This is India’s moment, and we need to put our best foot forward and pivot the opportunities to move ahead of the curve by merging our industry’s ambitions with its need for enhanced and best-in-class infrastructure and research in fundamental segments. A vision of Responsible Chemistry is a must to power the Indian Chemical & Petrochemical sector to continue its growth path and its undisputed title of Emerging Chemical Champion in the new global scenario. The Net-Zero Carbon footprint, focus on creation of Integrated Industrial Hub infrastructure, policy measures to boost the sector and shifting to sustainable Energy sources like Hydrogen & Fusion will help the sector be self-reliant and grow collectively,” said  Maulik Mehta, CEO, Deepak Nitrite.


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