ICI India will reshape its portfolio to bring
it in line with parent ICI plc''s operations worldwide and to leverage its core competence.
This will help the Indian subsidiary achieve growth and improve profitability, says ICI
India''s managing director A. Narayan. The company may shed some of its existing businesses
and acquire some new ones, Mr Narayan said, outlining the company''s strategy after its
annual general meeting in Calcutta on 22 July 1999.
ICI India will give further thrust to the
10X plan it introduced in 1995, which envisages multiplying turnover 10 times in 10 years
-- to Rs 5,000 crore by 2005. The company aims to achieve this through a strategy shift
and the introduction of high-margin products in preference to the existing cyclical low
margin commodity-related products.
The company has already made a beginning
in this. It has integrated Uniquema, one of the four speciality chemicals of ICI plc, into
its own operations. It is now in the process of introducing products from National Starch
and Quest. A fourth, Crossfield, will not be introduced in the Indian market immediately.
Even while this integration is taking
place, the company has hived off its explosives business into a new joint venture company
proposed to be floated with Australia''s Orica, one of the world''s leading supplier
The ICI India does not consider
pharmaceuticals as a preferred business any more. It has already divested its animal
health brands to Glaxo, and is considering various options for its anaesthesia business.
The company will give a new focus to
paints, its core business, which accounts for 40 per cent of turnover, with high-value
decorative segments gaining importance in its business plans. Mr Narayan said the company
may consider venturing into fragrance and flavours some time in the future.
Meanwhile, ICI India''s Rishra, plant in
West Bengal, one of its oldest, is being revamped. The plant produces paint and rubber
chemicals. Post-revamp, rubber chemicals will be discontinued as cheaper imported products
are available in the market. The revamp will also involve downsizing and suspension of