Vinod Paremal,President & MD, Evonik, India Region
Evonik's six innovation growth fields are: Sustainable nutrition, healthcare solutions, advanced food ingredients, membranes, cosmetic solutions, and additive manufacturing
2022 global trends in specialty chemicals and its implications on India?
It would definitely be the ‘Sustainability Imperative’; more than a trend, it is a compelling need that has the entire industry pivot its axis across its research, production, and business operations. This is supported by adequate, and timely policy measures that complement industrial advancement across the value chain. Next would be the digitization of operations, from augmented human resource productivity to implementing AI to collect data on consumer behavioural patterns.
India is in a position of advantage as the market is geared up to boom over the next decade. The availability of a skilled talent pool will only add to this potential. The policy environment is also inclined to this growth, with acceleration programs that ease business and are fertile for infrastructural development. We’re looking forward to the environment becoming more attractive for investments, along with a robust Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme such that the ecosystem receives the support it commands.
Evonik India has played a key role in shaping up various industries in its four decades of existence in India? Key milestones achieved by the company in FY 2021-22?
Evonik has been contributing to various industries by offering innovative products over the years. Being a specialty chemical company, while we often contribute only small amounts of material, those contributions are precisely what make the difference. With this endeavor we have consistently expanded our business in India. In 2021, Evonik India has been able to supply to the industry despite COVID challenges and global supply chain issues. We have ensured continuous supply to essential industries like pharma, animal feed, agrochemicals, and FMCG in these challenging times with our strong resilience. The company focuses on - nutrition & care, specialty additives, smart materials, and performance materials. The company focuses on - Nutrition & care, specialty additives, smart materials, and performance materials.
How has Evonik India performed in FY 2021-22? What are the plans for FY 2022-23?
In 2021, most of our businesses grew beyond pre-COVID levels. We see growth in the overall Indian economy and momentum in relevant end-markets like paints & coatings, infrastructure, automotive, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, etc. We also need to be cautious about developments in the global geo-political arena and the COVID situation around the world as that may affect supply chains for our businesses in India.
How are Evonik India's R&D centres at Mumbai and Dombivli and six Application Technology Labs contributing to India and the global market?
These are critical to our long-term strategy for our Indian and global markets. Our Research Center India (RCI) in Mumbai is our global competence center for oral formulation development, and its state-of-the-art facility is designed to cater to industries ranging from pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and food technology. Our R&D centre for catalysts supports fine chemicals, bulk chemicals, and edible oil industries, in addition to the pharmaceutical and food with its expertise in catalyst development for complex chemistry. Our six Application Technology Labs form the backbone of our customer-centric approach, because they support our local and regional customers with new formulation development, trouble shooting, product testing, application trials, and distributor training for technical know-how. Our business functions are founded on our mastery on research and innovation, and our strong customer-first approach.
Evonik puts a lot of thrust on sustainability? Key sustainability plans for the company in FY 2022-23?
Evonik recently conducted a cross-functional sustainability analysis to assess and integrate sustainability topics into the company’s portfolio and strategic management decisions. As per the report, 90 percent of products have a positive sustainability benefit, and over 30 per cent of its portfolio delivers superior sustainability benefits. This directly addresses customers’ desire for sustainable products, and paved the way for our strategic targets for 2022 and beyond:
• 100 percent of all raw material suppliers where annual procurement voluzme is > €100 thousand to be covered by Together for Sustainability (TfS) assessments by year end 2025 (Status 2021-69%)
• Reduce greenhouse gas emissions - Absolute scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 50% by 2025 (reference base 2008) (Status 2021-43%)
• Absolute scope 3 emissions from the upstream value chain – principally from the raw material backpack by 15% by 2025 (reference base 2020)
• Reduce both absolute and specific energy consumption by 5% by 2025 (reference base 2020)
• Occupational health performance index >= 5
• Substantial increase in sales generated by next generation solutions (Status 2021 - 37%)
• Generate more than Euro 1 billion sales in our six innovation growth fields by 2025 Evonik's six innovation growth fields are: Sustainable nutrition, healthcare solutions, advanced food ingredients, membranes, cosmetic solutions and additive manufacturing.
Can you share your CSR initiatives for India? CSR Plans for FY 2022-23?
We’re deeply committed to improving the social environment in any way possible, and consciously reach out to support causes across the board, primarily in the realm of children’s education, women empowerment, and healthcare. Recently, one of our projects even involved employees from the Asia Pacific contributing to a local NGO that utilized the aid to procure medical equipment for patients during the pandemic. Likewise, we have projects lined up by our partner trusts and foundations for the upcoming year, that will see us actively support infrastructure for schools, procurement of equipment and facilities for medical aid, and tools to help women and specially abled people live qualitatively better lives.
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