“India is a strategic market for Evonik. Major growth trends in India fit well with Evonik’s innovation growth fields. Hence, we are focused on improving our footprint in India.”

                                                                                                                                                           Vinod Paremal
                                                                                                                       Regional President of the Indian Subcontinent, Evonik

1. Evonik, has global footprints and in India, your organisation has been active for over four decades via its predecessor companies. Can you give us a brief about Evonik in India and the plans for India?

Evonik is the creative industrial group from Germany and one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies. Evonik in India represents almost all the Business Lines covering their 4 divisions – Nutrition & Care, Specialty Additives, Smart Materials, and Performance Materials. Evonik has been active in India for almost four decades via erstwhile companies. Today, with the head office being in Mumbai, and the following facilities in and around Mumbai, characterize Evonik’s long-term strategy for the Indian market:
o Production sites Silica and Catalysts
o Global Research, Development & Innovation centers for Health Care and Catalysts
o Application Technology labs for Health Care, Coating Additives, Silica, Animal Nutrition, Functional Silane, Interface and Performance Business Lines

At Evonik, we continuously look for investments which make strategic and financial fit with overall growth objectives.
Evonik has always been keen to increase its production footprint in India either by Organic or Inorganic growth in areas which are synergistic and complimentary to its existing portfolio. With this objective we acquired Monarch Catalysts in year 2015. As a part of global acquisition of JM Huber Silica, Huber’s Silica plant in Jhagadia is now under the Evonik umbrella and known as Evonik Specialty Silica India Pvt. Ltd. We are constantly scanning the Indian specialty chemicals landscape to look for strategic fits to our Evonik identified growth fields.

In nutshell, Investments is one of the biggest growth driver for Evonik in India and we focus on:
• Selective M & A
• Strategic alliances
• Innovation: specially in the field of joint development with customers
• Selective localization
• Investments to increase production footprints

2. How are you able to differentiate your business line in India with respect to the personal care and home care market? Also, in what way Evonik is able to blend its global experience into the Indian market requirements?

Evonik Care Solutions is a sustainable specialties partner to companies who develop and market products for beauty, personal care, cleaning and other select applications. Customers leverage our broad portfolio of ingredients, technologies and services to generate superior sustainability and functionality outcomes that can enable and enhance their formulations.

Sustainable products are the key drivers for growth in Indian market. Evonik has strong expertise in areas like Active Ingredients, Active delivery systems and cosmetic solutions, especially in mature markets that lead the market trends in India. Indian consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z are eco-conscious, digital savvy and hence have wide access to products available globally. More and more Indie brands are venturing into the personal and home care segment with differentiated offerings like AI-enabled skin/hair care analysis, personalised solutions, tech-based claims, eco-friendly product range, etc. and major players have announced sustainability goals. Evonik has the capability to cater to all these segments with customised solutions and desired agility due to our global experience.

3. Globally, Evonik is in the middle of a transformation process moving towards higher margin speciality chemical businesses, which stands almost 80% of its global portfolio businesses. Can you give your perspective overall and how do you see the growth plans in India?

India is expected to be a $ 5 -6 trillion economy in next ten years driven by digitization, consumerism, rising middle class and per capita income. India’s specialty chemical industry has been consistently growing over the past five years, driven by the strong growth outlook for end use industries coupled with increased adoption and usage of specialty chemicals in different product categories.

Housing, Infrastructure, urbanization, mobility, digitization / e-commerce, healthcare are driving growth segments such as paints and coatings, automotive, agrichemicals, APIs, Personal and home care etc. Global companies are looking to invest in India as specialty chemical market is driven by consumerism, rising per capita income and requires a certain degree of investment in R&D. Hence, industry is likely to witness possible alliances and collaborations with global firms to jointly manufacture specialty chemicals in the country. India has also ensured that it is abreast of global regulations and competitive manufacturing practices. These measures can also enhance the competitiveness and cost effectiveness of the manufacturers in the local market.

India is a strategic market for Evonik. Major growth trends in India fit well with Evonik’s innovation growth fields. Hence, we are focussed on improving our footprint in India.

4. Can you tell us more about your recent acquisition of the cosmetic delivery company, Infinitec Activos? Do you see this acquisition reflecting your growth within the Indian cosmetics sector itself?

Infinitec Activos focuses on the development and production of novel active delivery systems for cosmetic active ingredient applications. The Spanish company will be integrated into the Care Solutions business line of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care division complementing the active delivery systems acquired in 2017.

This latest acquisition continues the portfolio shift of Evonik’s life science division Nutrition & Care towards system solutions, which are characterized by high growth prospects and above average margin potential. Nutrition & Care aims to increase the share of system solutions it offers from 20 percent today, to more than 50 percent by 2030.
With its portfolio of natural-based active ingredients and seven delivery systems, the integration of Infinitec Activos into the Care Solutions business line reinforces Evonik’s position as a sustainable specialties partner, while also further strengthening Nutrition & Care’s wide technology platform. By combining its existing actives portfolio with the new delivery systems, Care Solutions’ capabilities to generate new concepts for scientifically substantiated consumer cosmetic claims are significantly enhanced. The integration and roll-out across the existing platform of cosmetic solutions offers strong synergy potential.

Founded in 2004, Infinitec Activos’ research and innovation focusses on building the next generation of cosmetic delivery systems with a highly qualified, science- and marketing-driven team. Customers include both small independent brands as well as global key accounts.

As tech-based claims are one of the differentiation factors for Indian consumers, delivery systems from Infinitech Activos will strengthen our actives portfolio and help penetrate the market better.

5. India’s specialty chemical industry is valued over US $ 32 billion. What are the main challenges and advantages for the international chemicals’ producers wanting to invest in India? In the context of personal and home care segment, what emerging trends would you foresee in this sector for manufacturers especially in the post pandemic era?

With consumption boom in Asia, there has been a constant shift in production and consumption towards Asian and Southeast Asian countries in all sectors leading to increasing demand for chemicals including specialty chemicals. Rising middle class and disposable income, urbanization, shift in consumer preferences towards a healthier lifestyle and environment-friendly products will drive the demand for specialty chemical products in India. In recent times, China has focused more on products based advanced technologies, also cracked down on industries with environment concerns, forcing some small chemical producers there to shut down. Also, with current tension filled US-China trade relations and COVID-19 has made major chemical buyers rethink and diversify their supply chains with a plan of China plus one sourcing strategy. These developments make India as an attractive manufacturing destination for specialty chemical industry. Production Linked Incentives schemes announced by Indian government for manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, electronics, advance cell chemistry battery, solar modules under will be key opportunities for international players for investments in specialty chemical industry as these related value chains taking shape in India. On other hand, some of the key challenges for investing in India are issues with availability of raw material as most of them are imported and also higher energy costs.

In personal and home care segment, as e-commerce is taking firm grip the way consumers buys products, and with COVID-19 pandemic situation and mobility challenges, consumers are buying more products for personal and home hygiene. This includes body wash, disinfectants, sanitizers, laundry care, surface care, and toilet care related products. Also, hospitality industry will further increase consumption of cleaning and disinfectants products. Further, consumers are more informed and concerned about personal and environmental health with connected platforms. So, need for safer, green, environmentally friendly personal and home care products are increasing.

6. What are your expectations for India’s personal care and home care industry over the next 3- 5 years?

We are in the golden era of transformation as far as India’s personal care and home care industry is concerned. It is bound to see many innovations with key players as well as start-ups, not just in products but also in business models. Indian government’s campaign of ‘Made in India” will further support this transformation. Global specialty chemical companies will need to adapt to this change in local market. The regulations are expected to be more stringent in the coming years which would help gain trust from overseas clients and exports will rise. Companies that are driven by sustainability, digitalization and tech-based solutions will continue to thrive. Evonik has high aspirations and growth plans in India and is investing in resources to establish Evonik as one of the preferred suppliers in this segment.

About Vinod Paremal, Regional President of the Indian Subcontinent, Evonik
Vinod Paremal has taken over the position of Regional President of the Indian Subcontinent from July 1st, 2020.
Vinod is an Industrial Engineer and holds a degree in MBA from INSEAD, France.

Vinod has 17 years of enriching experience, successfully leading marketing, strategic projects, sales and production teams across Germany, Singapore, UAE and the UK. He has worked in multiple Business Lines within Evonik like High Performance Polymers, Oil Additives, Care Solutions, Comfort and Insulation and at the Evonik Corporate Center.

Company information
Evonik Industries AG
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

Evonik in Indian Subcontinent
Headquartered in Mumbai, India, this cluster caters to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Evonik has been active in India for over four decades via predecessor companies. Today, in addition to the main office in Mumbai, Evonik has two production sites, 2 research development and innovation centres and 6 application technology labs in and around Mumbai.