New R&D Center poised to serve Asia
The new center, that opened its doors in late April, is expected to encourage an intimate dialogue between our innovators and the rapidly developing market for high quality specialty chemical intermediates, particularly in India.
"Our aim is to offer dedicated resources that can respond to the local needs of the market in India and support our continued cultivation of other Asian markets," explains Alf Gunnarsson, Director of Industrial Chemistry Renewal and Development who is responsible for the start-up of the center. "There is a great demand for our unique application expertise in this market. The general expansion in the Indian economy and booming industries, especially housing construction and automotive production, makes us believe in this region," he adds.
Research is now underway at the state-of-the-art facility, which is equipped with product and application development labs whose activities are based on both direct customer requests and R&D project work. "Our ambition is to collect and respond to the feedback from the market and to help our customers find the best formulations and processes to get the most out of our products," says Gunnarsson.
Senior Group Leaders, Dipakchandra Sarkar and Guruprasad Kulkarni, who both hold PhDs in Organic Chemistry, head the eight-member R&D team of Organic Chemists, Application Chemists and Process Engineers in Vapi. "This center gives us the edge in developing new products and markets," says Sarkar who will head up application-oriented activities while Kulkarni takes the helm of product-oriented activities.
"With this strong innovative base it will be possible to convert our laboratory scale findings into products that our customers need." explains Param Bhargava, CEO of Perstorp India. Bhargava notes that the center will soon boast a multi-purpose pilot plant for scale up studies.
Gunnarsson expects the center to expand quickly and plans to increase the team to ten by the end of 2006 and further next year. He also notes his pride in the high environmental and health and safety standards of our Vapi site in general, "Actually we are leading in Vapi in health and safety standards and it is great to see that this is putting pressure on neighboring companies to follow suit."