Henkel to Set-up India’s Largest Adhesives Plant
- Dr RajKuumar, Plant Head, KBL

Having been in India for almost three decades, Henkel has about nine facilities in India. Keeping in mind the growing demand in the domestic market, the company is to set up the largest adhesives plant in India with an investment of Euro 30 million. Jeremy Hunter, President, Henkel Group India states that the company is aiming to win a greater market share in India which is one of the biggest emerging markets for the company.

Henkel, a 138 year old enterprise, is a global leader in brands and technologies operating in three core business segments viz, laundry and home care; beauty care and adhesives technology business. Globally, Henkel’s annual sales figure is around Euro 16 billion with almost 44 per cent of that figure coming from the emerging markets, including India.

Of the total company’s business, the adhesives technology business comes up to approximately 50 per cent. With the favourable business environment being created by the government, Henkel is set to expand its footprint in India. The company is setting-up the country’s largest adhesives plant in Kurkumbh near Pune with a production capacity of about 80,000 metric tonnes. It is expected to begin production by 2017.

The ground breaking ceremony took place this month. Honourable Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and dignitaries from the Maharashtra government along with Jeremy Hunter laid down the plant’s foundation at the ceremony. The plant will cater to Henkel’s end user segments viz, automotive, metal and industrial sectors.

Commenting on the company’s plans in India, Hunter said, “This plant will enable us to localise our product portfolio and reduce imports while bringing the best technology to India. Considering the proximity of the plant to our customers, it will help us to work closely with them in developing solutions.”

While addressing a gathering of media person, Hunter elaborated that the company has doubled its business in India in the last five years and it plans on doubling it in the next five years as well. He adds that while the company would also be exporting its products from this facility, its primary focus would be on the Indian market.

The company intends to expand its volume by 10-15 per cent by volume in the sectors that it caters to. Henkel aims to standardise its operations on par with the global standards. In India, Henkel has its facilities in Rudrapur – Uttrakhand, Gurgaon – Haryana, Navi Mumbai, Mhape, Jejuri – Maharashtra, and Chennai – Tamil Nadu among others. Henkel is a great example of ‘Make in India’ with almost 90 per cent of its production being sold in the Indian market.

Henkel’s strategy for sustainability is to triple its output while maintaining the same carbon footprint by 2030. What is commendable is that it had set a target of improving efficiency by 30 per cent till 2015 which Henkel has already achieved in 2014. By 2016, the company has set a target of reaching Euro 20 billion in sales. Almost 50 per cent or Euro 10 million of the set target is most likely to come from the emerging markets.

Hunter feels that competition is always a threat and the bigger challenge is to continue to innovate and solve customer problems quicker than the competitors do. It is crucial to constantly figure out what the trends are. In order to grow the market share, innovation is vital.