Tata Chem to be a pure-play chemicals player now, says CEO R Mukundan; lays out roadmap for aggressive growth

  • Tata Group recently said it would transfer the branded food business of Tata Chemicals to group company Tata Global Beverages

  • Under the agreement, Tata Global Beverages would buy the business of edible salt, spices, and lentils from Tata Chemicals in an all-share deal

  • In the specialty products business, the agri sciences business is undergoing significant transformation with an Rs 800-crore investment

Mumbai: Having exited its consumer business, including the lucrative salt business, Tata Chemicals said on Monday going forward it will now be a pure-play chemicals company.

Addressing the 80th annual general meeting here, managing director and chief executive R Mukundan said, "our strategy going forward is to be a science-led chemicals company. With this, our focus will be on strengthening our innovative funnel to ensure aggressive growth in the specialty products business."

With an intent to put in place a consolidated platform for its consumer business, the Tata Group recently said it would transfer the branded food business of Tata Chemicals to group company Tata Global Beverages. Under the agreement, Tata Global Beverages would buy the business of edible salt, spices, and lentils from Tata Chemicals in an all-share deal.

"In our basic chemical products business, we will continue to be most cost-efficient in soda ash, and bicarbonate. Our investment in a bicarbonate unit in Britain is using innovative carbon capture process and the Mithapur plant expansion will provide significant thrust," he said.

In the specialty products business, the agri sciences business is undergoing significant transformation with an Rs 800-crore investment and the rejuvenated management team is now focused on driving business excellence and growth.

 Tata Chem to be a pure-play chemicals player now, says CEO R Mukundan; lays out roadmap for aggressive growth

Representational image. Reuters.

"The upcoming plants for nutrition science and material science businesses will add a new layer of growth. In the energy storage sciences business, we plan to build an integrated business that includes cell manufacturing, battery recycling, and battery production," Mukundan said.

"To take advantage of the government's push to encourage the use of electric vehicles, Tata Chemicals will be entering the lithium-ion battery business. These business areas will let us participate in the fast-expanding specialty products market and thrust our growth," he added. Towards this, the company has already signed agreements with CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi, the Isro and C-MET to strengthen a lithium-based energy storage solution strategy, he said.

The company is also working on improving the performance of its overseas subsidiaries but flagged concerns about the rising energy cost and possible trade barriers as challenges going forward.

In FY19, the company has approved a capex of Rs 2,400 crore towards debottlenecking and capacity expansion for all products at the Mithapur facility. A part of it has already been deployed, he said.

Besides this, the board of group company Rallis has approved a capex of Rs 800 crore to expand formulation capacity and to build technical and associated intermediary products manufacturing capacity for backward integration.

Updated Date: Jul 09, 2019 09:41:47 IST