Dr Rafi Shaik, Founder, Carbanio.com
The Quantico Group investment will drive business development and marketing, chemical manufacturers’ onboarding, deploying innovative technologies, and streamlining operational processes thereby taking the company to the next level.
2022 global trends in online chemical business and its implications on India?
As the chemical industry moves into 2022, there is a strong demand for both commodity and specialty chemicals. Chemical manufacturers are gradually adopting digital technologies across various areas such as manufacturing operations, product development, pricing, supply chain, and market expansion.
The industry will experience increased capital expenditure (Capex) as leading industry players are focusing on building capacities and expanding into growing the industry through both organic and inorganic routes. However, the industry could face margin pressures amid raw material cost inflation which will remain high throughout the first half of 2022.
What's the size of the online chemical business in India with respect to FY 2022-23 and areas where it is growing?
The pandemic shook the chemical industry just as it did other sectors and in H1 FY22, the majority of companies witnessed a slump in their operating margins and looking for a new opportunity in the wake of COVID-19.
According to market research companies, the digital chemical industry market size in India was valued at US $27.1 billion in 2021, and it is expected to reach US $162.7 billion in 2030, recording a promising CAGR of 21.4% from 2022 to 2030.
Asia promises to be an attractive market for specialty chemicals globally and India presents a growing opportunity for local players. Indian companies need to ramp up readiness to realize maximum advantage from the specialty chemical sector's growth potential, adding that the market in specialty chemicals is moving to Asia with strong tailwinds providing growth momentum across the forty segments that make up the market.
The specialty chemical segments in India - Agrochemicals, surfactants, specialty polymers, textile chemicals, and dyes are among the top segments expected to maintain relative leadership and further grow in line with market demand. Cosmetic chemicals, adhesives and sealants, flavours and fragrances, printing inks, food additives, and water management chemicals are a few emerging segments expected to grow fast through online sales and thereby increasing the market size in FY 2022-23.
What is the current product base of Carbanio? What's your future plan to increase product base to give it a pan-India presence?
Carbanio is India`s leading B2B chemical marketplace and we have all the categories of chemical products with respect to the chemical industry. We are focusing on adding more specialty chemical products from chemical manufacturers across India.
To achieve this, we are now digitizing all chemical clusters in India. India has excellent chemical clusters which lend themselves to digitization to create a bigger product base for Carbanio.
Recently, the company has raised US $1.3 million led by Quantico Group. How are you planning to utilize this fund?
Our recent funding adds more strength to our digital-led disruption in the chemical Industry. The Quantico Group investment will drive business development and marketing, chemical manufacturers’ onboarding, deploying innovative technologies, and streamlining operational processes thereby taking the company to the next level. With current funding, we are adding more team members and expanding our reach in Telangana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
When are you planning to raise the next round of funding? What would be the likely amount?
Carbanio, a leading B2B chemical marketplace has been growing strongly over the last four years, in particular with increased demand due to the pandemic, and has a strong value proposition. Our current focus remains on growth and maximizing its network effects. We expect to soon begin raising Series A funding for the next phase of growth.
How are you planning to leverage partnerships with educational institutes? Are you planning to sign any new partnerships?
As a B2B chemical marketplace, we have business users and academic organisations. Till now academic organisations are using age-old processes for ordering chemical products through enquiry, quotation, and negotiation process.
Carbanio now offers digital solutions to avoid lengthy process of enquiry, quotation, negotiation, and providing convenience to order chemicals 65% lesser than market price in a few clicks. With this big digital disruption now more than 1,300 research organisations including IITs, NITs, IISER, and universities are directly ordering chemicals through Carbanio.
You have launched CarbanioPlus. How will this product be helpful for research institutions and facilities provided to institutes?
CarbanioPlus is Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled custom manufacturing solution for niche and complex chemicals. CarbanioPlus, an extended arm of Carbanio.com is an integrated network of global manufacturers aligned with stringent processes using robust and advanced technology helping clients globally achieve the new chemical manufacturing in a shorter timeline.
Carbanio has millions of chemical products and thousands of trusted chemical manufacturers across India. Now we are leveraging their manufacturing capacity by using our advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI). Chemical businesses often require customized chemicals, however, finding the right manufacturer is always a challenge. CarbanioPlus, a technology driven integrated manufacturing network, offers one-stop solution for quick solution and custom manufacturing chemical needs.
Are you also planning to go international? if yes, countries and sectors where you are initially focusing on?
Yes, we are planning to go international soon. Before we start our international operation, we would like to reach all the chemical companies in India. Digital technology has established itself as a lever to enhance efficiency and productivity. Many companies worldwide are embracing digital potential; India’s companies could also tap into this opportunity to expand their profit margins.
In addition, India is the largest manufacturing hub for chemicals to global organisations. So, before we focus on the international market, we would like to strengthen our digital supply chain across India to provide uninterrupted support to global business.
Currently, we are having a strong network of global chemical manufacturers and clientele from 17 countries including, USA, Australia, Europe, and Middle East.
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