We are now entering Chlor Alkali and also working on Benzene based speciality chemicals : Ankit Patel, ED, Bodal Chemicals

  • April 05, 2021

Ankit Patel, Executive Director, Bodal Chemicals Ltd. shares his insights on global trends, milestones achieved, growth forecast, R&D initiatives, expansion plans, Capex and others. Excerpts of the interview:

Global trends in Dyes, Intermediates and Dyestuff in 2021 and how will it impact India?
Indian dyestuff sector has been a consistent and strong supplier across the world for a few decades now. Bodal being most integrated and with large export and domestic sales network, it is going to benefit a lot from the fast-growing dyestuff demand from across the world. Dye Intermediates sector does not have much availability from Chinese players so Indian players are going to have a good run in 2021. Bodal is the largest dye intermediates player in India with 20-25 per cent capacity of India’s total capacity.

In the current global Industrial trend, the entire world is seeing India as the upcoming second largest manufacturing hub of the world and it is obvious that all the manufacturing companies specifically chemicals will benefit from the same.

Global trends in Speciality Chemicals in 2021 and how will it impact India?
The COVID-19 has opened doors for many Indian chemicals companies. Now the world has started seeing India as an alternate and strong source for their chemical requirements and they are seeing companies who can provide a one-stop solution for many of their requirements and Bodal has that platform, where it can fulfil the requirements of different industries by our integrated ecosystem.

Key milestones achieved by Bodal Chemicals in FY 2020-21 and what are your plans for FY 2021-22? What are the new products that you are focusing on and its impact on the company?
If we see FY 2020-21, it will be a very challenging year for the entire world as the economical trend is down on all fronts. As per Bodal Chemicals focus, we are in acquisition mode for the last three years and in those acquisitions, few are strategic and has built our strength and helped us to enhance the overall ecosystem. Our expansion of business is not limited to India only but also at a global level in countries like China, Turkey, Europe, Indonesia etc. We are also focusing on new products like Benzene and its derivatives. We are now entering Chlor Alkali with the latest acquisition in North India so these new sectors will contribute to our existing business performance.

Company's performance expected in terms of revenue and profit during FY 2020-21 and what is the forecast in FY 2021-22? What are the growth drivers?
In the coming year, we are looking forward to achieving higher growth. The latest acquisition and new product development will help Bodal to grow big.

How has the company performed internationally and what are your plans for exports? Are you focusing on any new geography internationally?
We have acquired companies in Turkey, Europe and have a subsidiary in China so we can easily cater to the respective geographical territory. We are also planning to focus on other global territories, where we have a good customer base and demand. These business decisions will help us to enhance our export business and develop a global presence.

The company is planning to increase its efforts towards R&D and innovation. Please take us through key R&D initiatives that the company is focusing on in 2021 and your achievements in 2020?
We have a dedicated R&D lab for the Dyes & Intermediates and now we are focusing on Specialty Chemicals so keeping that goal in mind we are enhancing R&D capacity for the new products and derivatives. We continuously work with the chemical departments of prestigious universities of Gujarat.

What's your plan for Speciality Chemicals expansion. Areas where you are expanding?
The strategy for expansion is on two fronts - one is acquisition and another is a venture into new product manufacturing plants. We are now entering Chlor Alkali and also working on Benzene based speciality chemicals at Saykha GIDC, Gujarat.

What's your plan on Dyes, Intermediates and Dyestuff expansion. Areas where you are expanding?
We had expanded our production capacity last year in Dyestuff. We are planning to start VS capacity at our subsidiary SPS processors in the next few months.

Capex invested in FY 2020-21 and what is the plan for FY 2021-22? What are the plans related to automation and digitisation across all its operational facilities?
In 2020-21, Bodal invested Capex of around Rs. 10 crores and acquisition of Chlor Alkali complex will be done at around Rs. 145 crores. In FY2021-22, Bodal is planning to invest Rs. 300 crores for greenfield plants Saykha GIDC. In FY 2022-23, Capex will be Rs. 200 crores to finish greenfield projects and capacity upgradation and expansion.

How is the company striking a balance between environment-friendly policies and sustainable growth?
We have installed the world's best-advanced technology at the environment front, for that, we have a tie-up with Advent Envirocare at the technology front. We also have sustainability as one of the goals and to give focus input for the same we have restructured our safety function and enlarged their role as Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHSS) function. We are also participating in different certification programs and acquainted with ECO certifications like ISO, Bluesign, ZDHC and GOTS.

Key CSR initiatives being undertaken by the company and plans for 2021?
As an organisation, Bodal Chemicals believes in everyone’s growth and success. During this pandemic period, we did lots of activities like distributing food to the needy; providing shelter to the migrants; extending and driving special support to the front runners such as police, medical staff, etc.