Think Global & Act Local
Vinod Saraf, MD, Vinati Organics Ltd

Vinod Saraf, Managing Director, Vinati Organics Ltd (VOL) strongly believes that in modern day practice the companies which do not improve their performance on par with the international standards will not survive.

Think Global & Act Local - this was the reply from Vinod Saraf - the Founder and MD, VOL, when CEW tried to solicit his success mantra in chemical manufacturing. Certainly, the response was short and munificent but it contained some great gist for the chemical and petrochemical industry. With the very notion - Think Global & Act Local, Vinati Organics Ltd has integrated their manufacturing capabilities in such a way that every single manufacturing facilities of the company are of global size and efficiency but incorporated in such a way to go well with the local condition.

The Manufacturing Facilities
VOL has two facilities manufacturing specialty chemicals. In Mahad, the company produces Isobutyl Benzene (IBB), an intermediate for bulk drug Ibuprofen. In Lote unit, it produces AcrylamidoTeritary Butyl SulphonicAcid (ATBS) which is a Monomer used in many industries like water treatment, Acrylicfiber, enhanced oil recovery etc. ATBS uses Isobutylene (IB) as one of the major raw materials which is usually a scarce chemical substance in India. Saraf still recalls the complexity involved in importing IB at very high cost while explaining the uncertainty in the supply of IB. In order to overcome this predicament, the company has installed a unit for manufacturing IB in the same location. Saraf affirms that integration has helped the company to overcome major bottleneck in operations and achieve higher efficiency.

Thrust on Localisation and Sustainability
In Mahad facility, the company had to reengineer it operations based on locally available raw material ie, chemical grade propylene against polymer grade propylene recommended by the technology licensor, which is scarce and costly. Moreover, in Lote, it has faced problems in sourcing of raw material - IB for which it has installed a new manufacturing unit. As far as the sustainability efforts of the company are concerned, it has two major contributors - manpower and environment protection. If Saraf is to be believed, VOL has so far trained their manpower not only to face emergencies in operations but they also contribute to the profitability by continuous improvement in process and reduction in raw material and utility costs. Moreover, major efforts were made by the company on environmental issues. Saraf elucidates, further that in both the units, we have put recovery units to recover value added products from effluents. Besides, the company has not only been able to meet environmental standards but also create wealth from waste.

Future Plans
The company has decided to add (PTBT) p-tert.butyl Toluene / (PTBBA) p-tert.ButylBenzoic Acid and its Methyl Ester at Mahad which will use raw materials like Toluene and IB and Methanol which are produced in Lote. Moreover it also has plans to have value added products based on IB. This will further improve our profitability and turnover.

Companies manufacturing value added products like specialty chemicals or drugs face technical challenges. Their capital cost is not so high in absolute terms but significant considering the unit production basis. Emphasis here is to meet end customerís requirements as well as to meet statutory regulations like FDA and GMP. Moreover, the customer expectations keep on changing. Hence to meet new requirements, these companies need to make small changes in existing facilities which may also include new products in the same facility. In order to make it possible, companies go for multipurpose facilities which can be used to produce different products in the same plant. In such a case, operational efficiencies may be lower but it can be compromised as they have higher margins to offset lower efficiencies.