Chemicals affect our lives every day- positively and adversely.
There are chemicals in almost everything we use- from drinking water, soaps and cosmetics we use to food items, mobile phone, computers and also paper products. This highlights the importance of chemicals in our daily lives.
Introduction – Chemical Industries in India:
India’s chemical industry is projected double by the year 2025. It is expected to cross the US$ 300 billion mark in the next seven years. At the end of the financial year 2017-2018,
India’s chemical industry was pegged around US$ 147 billion, according to a report released by Chemicals Export Promotion Council (Chemexcil).
Chemical companies in India make a variety of products- from laboratory reagents to food preservatives, industrial chemicals, petrochemicals and bio-chemicals to name a few. These are used in myriad industries of the country.
Current trends indicate, India’s chemical industry is recording a Compound Annual Growth Rate of nearly 20 percent over the last few years.
This surge is attributed to increased demand in the country spurred by Make in India and other drives towards industrialization.
Further, India-made chemicals also contributed US$ 12 billion by exports during fiscal 2016-2017 while results for the financial year 2017-2018 will be declared later this year.
However, during the first half of fiscal 2016-2017, India had exported chemicals worth US$ 12 billion- an increase of 27 percent over the same period in fiscal 2015-2016.
By 2020, India’s chemical industry hopes to record exports worth US$ 18 billion to US$ 20 billion, says Chemexcil.
Consequently, India has a giant chemical industry. Around 110 chemical companies are listed on stock exchanges of this country.
Additionally, there are several foreign players and those who are yet to go public. Further, India is also home to a large unorganized sector in chemicals.
Top 20 Chemical Companies in India:
In this list, we provide a list of top 20 chemical companies in India. This list is purely indicative and not based on financial performance, the market popularity of any other parameters. The list is for information and educational purposes only.
1. BASF India
BASF was the first foreign chemical company to enter India, way back in 1890.
In those years, the German company was known by expanded initials Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik, which later was shortened to BASF.
In that year, BASF began to manufacture and trade of fabric colours in India. Today, it is the most respected name in the chemical industry of India.
2. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers is a wholly owned by the Government of India.
It is classified by the government as Mini Ratna-1 industry. The company was established on March 6, 1978, and produces a wide range of fertilizers and chemicals for domestic and export markets.
RCF produces 20 industrial chemicals such as Methanol, Ammonium bicarbonate, Methyl Amine, Formic Acid, Dimethyl Formamide, among others that are used in industries including dyes, solvents, leather, pharmaceuticals and others.
3. Tata Chemicals Ltd
Tata Chemicals is well known in India for its Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brand, Tata Salt.
Tata Chemicals calls itself a global company. It is one of the foremost chemical companies of India. Tata Chemicals is the world’s second-largest producer of soda ash with manufacturing facilities in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America.
It is the world’s third-largest producer of sodium bicarbonate, which has applications that range from food to pharmaceuticals to air pollution control.
Tata Chemicals products are key ingredients for some of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass, detergents and other industrial products.
4. Merck India
Founded in Darmstadt, Germany in 1668, Merck is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company.
Merck India produces chemicals used in the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
It makes pigments and fillers for the cosmetics, food and beverage industry in India as well as those required in electronic components. Merck India products conform to European and other major global standards.
5. Narmada Chemicals
Established in 1982, Narmada Chemicals has carved itself a niche in India’s chemical industry.
The company manufactures superior quality speciality chemicals and textile auxiliaries. Narmada Chemicals offers a variety of products for fabric finishing, dyeing and colouring, pre-treatment of fabrics and printing.
The company specializes in silicone emulsions used for various fabrics used for industrial purposes such as high heat resistance and prevention of damage due to moisture, heat and sunlight.
Additionally, it also makes speciality finishing chemicals that make fabrics appear very attractive.
6. Indian Chemical Industries
Indian Chemical Industries (ICI) is based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
ICI is a leading manufacturer of pigments and dyestuffs used in a variety of applications.
The company has a rich history spanning to over 50 years. ICI products are primarily used in the large textile industry of India.
They are useful for a variety of applications including direct printing, discharge printing, resist printing, dyeing, textile finishing and special effect printing.
The company’s chemicals for the textile industry can be customized to meet specific requirements of Indian and foreign textile manufacturers.
7. Akzo-Nobel Chemicals (India) Ltd
Netherlands-based global chemical giant Akzo-Nobel has extensive operations and chemical manufacturing plants in India.
The company manufactures a very broad spectrum of chemicals suited for almost every industry- from food and beverage to defence.
Its chemicals cover specialities including polymer chemistry, surface chemistry, ethylene and sulfur derivatives, bleaching and oxidizing materials, salt and chlorine products and specialized chemicals.
The company markets chemicals under various brands in India and abroad.
8. The Fertilizers & Chemicals Travancore Ltd
The Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd was among the first ventures of its kind in India.
It was opened on June 26, 1947, in the final days of British colonial rule over the Indian subcontinent.
However, it was made a Public Sector Undertaking on August 15, 1960. The company began by manufacturing fertilizers but soon diversified into Caprolactam, the chemical required for manufacturing nylon.
It also manufactures Nitric Acid and Soda Ash, while expanding into bio-fertilizers.
9. Hindustan Salts Ltd
Hindustan Salts Ltd is a Government of India enterprise. It manufactures salts for various industrial applications.
HSL’s Kyar Salt is extensively used in the Chlor-Alkali industry while Reshta Salt is used for water softening purposes at hydro-electric power plants in India.
Additionally, HSL makes very specialized salts for uses in various applications such as ice manufacture and pharmaceuticals. HSL is a leader in industrial salts in India.
It derives these products from mines and other natural sources and processes them for use in very specialized applications.
10. Balmer Lawrie & Co Ltd
Balmer Lawrie & Co Ltd is a Government of India enterprise and a leader in chemicals used in the country’s leather industry.
The company’s leather treatment chemicals are marketed under the name Balmol. Balmer Lawrie entered into Leather Chemicals business in 1983 by taking up the manufacture of synthetic Fatliquors in Chennai.
Balmer Lawrie has achieved many milestones, foremost and is a market leader in fatliquor segment.
Balmer Lawrie has a state of the art Product Development Center at Chennai, which is fully equipped with all modern facilities to develop and evaluate leather chemicals.
11. Aditya Birla Chemicals Ltd
Aditya Birla Chemicals is a leading manufacturer of bulk and speciality chemicals and viscose filament yarn in India.
ABCL has multiple manufacturing locations in four countries India, Thailand, Germany and China.
The company is a market leader in the Chlor-Alkali segment in India and third largest manufacturer in the world in Sulfites.
ABCL has 16 manufacturing units, of which nine are in India, five in Thailand, one in Germany and one in China.
These operations are handled by three companies in India –
- Aditya Birla Nuvo
- Grasim Industries
two companies in Thailand – Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) and Thai Peroxide Company and one company in Germany – Aditya Birla Chemicals (Europe) Gmbh.
In China, the business operates through Aditya Birla Grasun Chemicals (Fangchenggang), states the ABCL website.
12. Aarti Industries Ltd
Listed on Indian stock exchanges, Aarti Industries Ltd is a major chemical manufacturer in this country.
The company makes a very wide range of chemicals suited for almost every industry. Additionally, it manufactures chemicals used in pharmaceutical preparations and medical precursors.
Aarti Industries Ltd is known for its surfactants used in baby care, home care, oral care and hair care products as well as industrial applications, skincare, cosmetics and beauty products.
It is also a large exporter of chemicals from India. Its 16 manufacturing units are located near major ports on India’s western coast.
13. India Glycols Ltd
India Glycols Ltd is a leading company that manufactures green technology based bulk, speciality and performance chemicals and natural gums, spirits, industrial gases, sugar and nutritional pharmaceuticals.
The company was established as a single mono-ethylene glycol plant in 1983.
Since then, IGL has brought together cutting-edge technology, innovation and an unflagging commitment to quality, to manufacture a wide range of products that have found global demand, states its website.
IGL is listed on Indian stock markets. IGL has the widest portfolio of glycols for any Indian company.
14. Grauer & Weil (India) Ltd
Grauer & Weil (India) Limited or Growel calls itself a pioneer in the metal finishing sector of India.
This company was established in 1957 and is listed on Indian stock exchanges.
“Growel is the only company in India and one of the few in the world that offers complete corrosion protection solutions on all types of substrates across various industry segments,” states its corporate website.
It is the first Indian surface finishing solution company that acquired the AS 9100 certification in 2016. Growel’s products are exported to over 50 countries.
It manufactures a wide range of chemicals for specialized applications including corrosion protection, surface finishing, speciality oils and lubricants for the industry as well as paints and accessories.
15. Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals
GNFC, is a joint venture between the state government of Gujarat and Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd.
GNFC diversified from its initial business of fertilizers and now manufactures high-quality chemicals for applications in various industries.
Its chemical offerings include Methanol, Glacial Acetic Acid, Toluene, Aniline, Hydrochloric Acid, Concentrated Nitric Acid, Formic Acid, Ammonium Nitrate, Ethyl Acetate, Methyl Formate, Calcium Carbonate and Nitrobenzene among others.
Some products such as Formic Acid made by GNFC have a huge market outside India. Last year, GNFC received special accolades from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
16. Dow India
Dow India began operations in the country in 1957. The company makes speciality chemicals and a multitude of products for almost every major India sector.
“Today, Dow India offers over 2000 products to 3000 plus customers from diverse sectors. Headquartered in Mumbai,” states its website.
Dow India’s chemicals and other solutions are available for agriculture, automotive, building and construction, consumer, energy and water, industrial, infrastructure and packaging sectors.
In 2017, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) honoured Dow India with the ‘Product Innovator of the Year’ award in the chemicals category.
The company is certified as ‘Top Employers India 2018’ for its employment and human resources policies.
17. Camlin Fine Sciences
Camlin Fine Sciences is an offshoot of an eponymous company once renowned for its stationery items, pencils and pens.
The company manufactures chemicals primarily for the food processing industry.
These include anti-oxidants, anti-microbe, flavour retainers and enhancers, aquaculture, bio-fuels, aroma ingredients and flavourings and high-performance chemicals for the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and petrochemical industries as well as dyes and pigments, among other products.
It ranks as the third largest producer of flavouring ingredient Vanillin, in the world.
In November 2017, it bagged a prestigious contract for supply of speciality chemicals to American major Lockheed Martin Advanced Energy Storage, division of the eponymous aerospace company.
18. Pidilite Industries Ltd
Better known for its household and industrial adhesive products, Fevicol, Pidilite Industries is a large name in the chemical sector of India.
Pidilite Industries Ltd makes industrial pigments, adhesives and sealants, art materials, construction and paint chemicals, industrial adhesives, synthetic resins, industrial and textile resins, and leather chemicals.
Pidilite Industries Ltd boasts a portfolio that includes over 1,250 chemicals that are exported to over 40 countries.
According to the company website, Pidilite Industries had shipped some 560 tons of chemical products worldwide during the last financial year.
19. Nirma Group
Nirma Group is very famous in India for its eponymous brand of detergent powders.
The company has a rather interesting history. It was founded in 1969 by Karsanbhai Patel, son of a farmer who was trying to mix ash and other natural substances to make washing powder.
After nearly half a century, Nirma Group is a large player in India’s chemical market.
Nirma Group produces Linear Alkyl Benzene, Alfa Olefin Sulfonate, Sulfuric Acid, Glycerin, Soda Ash, Pure salt, Vacuum Evaporated Iodized Salt, Single Super Phosphate and Sodium Silicate, among other chemicals.
20. Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd
Thirumalai Chemicals Limited (TCL) is a publicly listed company in India.
TCL ranks among the largest producers in the world of Phthalic Anhydride, Malic Acid, Maleic Anhydride and Fumaric Acid.
In 1973, Thirumalai Chemicals Limited (TCL) started as a small company with one main product. Over the past four decades, TCL expanded to 15 products that are exported to 34 countries, states its corporate website.
TCL has won several accolades and international certifications for its environmental protection and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
As we can see from the above list, Indian chemical companies are geared to serve almost every segment of the country’s industry.
Further, India-made chemicals are in high demand in foreign markets since they meet and exceed international standards.
Additionally, India is also home to a large unorganized chemical industry that manufacturers commonly used products such as caustic soda and household cleansers.
Industry experts project that Indian’s chemical sector and its exports are set to boom in coming years.
Thus, the Indian chemical sector will also become a major employer over the next three to five years.
All top chemical companies in India strictly adhere to environmental protection laws. Major foreign players are also expected to open chemical industries in India in coming years.