Industry Roundup

Excerpt: Here is the latest news and developments in the paints and coatings industry

Budget 2019: 10 key takeaways for startups and MSMEs

FINANCE Minister Niramala Sitharaman, announced in the recent budget pronouncements, various measures that will help bolster the startup and MSME ecosystem in the country to incentivise young firms to boost job creation,.

From a TV channel for startups to interest subvention scheme for MSMEs found a mention in the Finance Minister's speech. The key takeaways for Startups and MSMEs are as follows:

1) The Finance Minister proposed be start an exclusive TV channel for startups under Doordarshan bouquet to provide a platform for startups to disseminate information in the industry.

2) The Finance Minister said that under the interest subvention scheme, Rs 350 crore allocation is for 2% interest subvention to all GST registered MSMEs in the current year on all fresh and incremental loans.

3) The government is looking at opening a payments portal for MSMEs so that fighting of bills and all payments can taken be care of on the portal itself. "Government payments to suppliers and contractors are a major source of cash flow especially to MSMEs. Investment in MSMEs will receive a big boost if delays in payments are eliminated."

4) Small retailers with an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore will get pension benefit under the Pradhaan Mantri Man Dhan Yojna. More than 3 crore shop owners will benefit for the scheme.

5) Loan of Rs 1 crore for MSMEs being cleared within 59 minutes through an online portal.

6) The startups and investors who file requisite declarations will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuation of share premium. A mechanism of e-verification will be put in place and with this, the funds raised by startups will not require any tax scrutiny.

7) Faceless income tax assessment in electronic mode involving no human interface to be launched this year in a phased manner, to reduce taxpayer harassment.

8) The Finance Minister also announced that special arrangements will be made by CBDT for pending reviews and cases related to Startups.

9) Government will also take steps to augment the participation of women in the development of the country. Sitharaman proposed to expand self-help groups (SHG) to all districts and said one woman in every SHG will get a loan of up to Rs 1 lakh under Mudra Yojana.

10) Delivery startups like Zomato and Swiggy will see an increase in operational cost as the government proposed to increase special additional duty on road and infrastructure cess on diesel and petrol by INR 1.

The government has promised to lessen regulatory requirements for startups, besides cutting their tax compliance burden. There was a backlash over angel tax in the recent past, following which the government took a range of measures to tackle the issue.

As part of his 12 mega sops last year, Modi had announced the 25% procurement criteria for small industries. In its poll manifesto, the BJP promised to create a Rs 20,000-crore seed fund to back early-stage ventures. There was also a scheme to provide collateral-free credit of up to Rs 50 lakh to entrepreneurs. It said half of the loan amount will be guaranteed for female entrepreneurs.

By 2024, the government promises to help set up at least 50,000 new startups and 500 new incubators, as also 100 innovation zones in urban local bodies.

As part of the Startup India action plan, Modi had in 2016 announced a Rs 2,000-crore credit guarantee fund. That apart, a Rs 10,000-crore fund managed by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) had also been announced. It also changed some definitions. Under the new norms, an entity is now recognised as a startup for 10 years instead of 7 years earlier.

Voxco moves to a more spacious premises

VOXCO Pigments and Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. (VOXCO) has moved its head office to new premises effective June 01, 2019. The Approx. 5400 sq. ft.office is a one floor place with all the departments seating under one roof. They inaugurated the new and bigger office facility at Eureka towers, Mindspace, Malad (W) with a religious ritual of pooja followed by a lunch get together on June 08, 2019.The event was attended by VOXCO team members, business associates and their family members. The new office definitely remarks a commitment by the company to grow its competency and size.

The brand VOXCO Pigments and Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. was established in the year 2003. VOXCO is an ex-manufacturing partner of a Swiss multinational company and had a technology transfer agreement for producing pigment exclusively for them till 2008. With direct marketing, the company gradually started expanding the business and clients both in domestic and international market. VOXCO is now a leading manufacturer and exporter of performance pigments in India and is currently exporting to more than 40 countries.

They manufacture a wide range of pigments which include Inorganic Chrome Pigments, Anticorrosive Pigments, Classical Organic Pigments and High Performance Pigments. In addition to the manufacturing activities, VOXCO also distributes various High Performance Pigments produced by large multinationals and renowned companies for their Indian customers. VOXCO is an exclusive distributor of CINIC-China, SNCZ-France, PROMINDSA-Spain, HABICH GmbH-Austria and CHTi*-China.

VOXCO by moving office has reassessed the work pattern to use the new office space to strengthen the sustainability of the organization and promote growth. It has helped everyone to be on a common platform of opportunities and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization through new ideas and increased commitment.

Moving to a new, bigger and one floor office premises definitely sets newer goals to VOXCO team and to climb the ladder of even more success stories in the years to come.

Crisil report: Capex by speciality chemical firms set to jump 70% by 2020

WITH a healthy domestic demand and improving operating rates, the capital expenditure of speciality chemical manufacturers is expected to jump 70 per cent to almost Rs. 13,000-crore combined in fiscals 2018 and 2020, according to a report by rating agency Crisil. The capital expenditure stood at Rs. 7,500-crore in fiscals 2017 and 2018.

Domestic demand for speciality chemicals grew at 8-10 per cent between fiscals 2017 and 2019, on steady demand from end-user industries such as textiles, automobiles, paints, plywood, and personal care, it said. The capacity utilisation surged to over 85 per cent in fiscal 2019, compared with 75 per cent in fiscal 2017, it noted.

“Utilisation rates of new capacities coming up will remain high over the medium term because of improving environmental compliance and cost competitiveness. As a result, the share of Indian speciality chemicals in global supply chain is seen rising 100 basis points to 5.2 per cent in fiscal 2022, from 4.2 per cent last fiscal,” Crisil Ratings' Senior Director Mr. Anuj Sethi said.

The agency noted that Indian players are also benefiting because of the closure or shifting of capacities in 50 chemicals manufacturing clusters in China, which has a about 20 per cent share of global speciality chemicals revenue.

UK based SME HMG Paints launches E-Commerce store

HMG Paints Ltd, a family owned business and UK's largest independent paint manufacturer has launched the company's first ever E-Commerce store, as they reveal steps to becoming a market leading, omni-channel brand, enhancing consumer experience. Launching with HMG's Decorative coatings collection, other product ranges will be added as part of future growth plans. Founded in 1930, the company believe that now is the time to take the leap in to online sales in what is a fast-growing digital economy.

Working in partnership with Manchester based E-Commerce consultancy and marketplace specialists, Digitl, HMG have created a fully responsive online store, for both customers and stockists of HMG's Decorative coatings range. “We are delighted to announce the launch of our first ever E-Commerce website, giving our customers access to everything they need in one place at their fingertips. The multi-device access gives our customers the freedom to make a purchase at any time of the day and from any device. Keep your eyes peeled for discounts, product launches and other exciting information on our social media channels.” Said Gracienne Ikin, Communications Manager HMG Paints Ltd.

Developed over the past 6 months after success with the decorative paints range in the professional painting and decorating market, the E-Commerce store will offer HMG's water-based decorative coatings, UPVC coatings as well as kitchen coatings, with additional options for colour matched products to consumers specification.

The new website allows users to post product reviews, book training sessions at HMG, sign up for HMG Trade Professional club, and browse inspiration content including the latest product launches. “This is an exciting milestone for HMG, our Decorative collection is suited for an E-Commerce strategy and jumped out as the place to start with our digital growth journey. We look forward to expanding the store and have plans to offer more of our vast portfolio of products in the coming months” said John Falder, Managing Director HMG Paints Ltd.

HMG Paints Ltd is a family owned business situated in Manchester. With a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise HMG boast a portfolio including wet paint, powder coatings and aerosols, covering virtually every type of surface imaginable.

Employer Needs to Intimate Labour Department for Every Single Employee Termination

A recent notification by the Ministry Of Labour And Employment, the Employer needs to intimate to labour department for single employee termination. The notification details are given here:

SO1936(E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 39 of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (14 of 1947), the Central Government hereby directs that where any employer discharges, dismisses, retrenches or otherwise terminates the services of an individual workman and any industrial dispute between that workman and his employer connected with, or arising out of, such discharge, dismissal, retrenchment or termination is referred by the workman by making application under sub-section (2) of section 2A of the said Act to the jurisdictional Conciliation Officer holding the rank of Labour Enforcement Officer or Assistant Labour Commissioner (Central) or Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) or Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Additional Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) and where such conciliation fails, then, such Conciliation Officer shall, instead of making the Failure of Conciliation Report to the Central Government, exercise the powers of the Central Government himself under section 10 read with section 2A of the said Act and make such report directly to the Labour Court or Tribunal for adjudication subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(i) where such Conciliation Officer is of the rank of Labour Enforcement Officer or Assistant Labour Commissioner (Central) or Regional Labour Commissioner (Central), he shall at the first instance make such Failure of Conciliation Report to his Regional head holding the rank not below the Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), who shall examine the said Report and if he is of the opinion that the said industrial dispute under such Failure of Conciliation Report is not fit for adjudication, then, he shall send such Report to the Central Government for necessary action, otherwise refer the said industrial dispute under the Failure of Conciliation Report to the Labour Court or Tribunal for adjudication;

(ii) where such Conciliation Officer is of the rank of Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) or Additional Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), he shall at the first instance make such Failure of Conciliation Report to the Chief Labour Commissioner (Central), who shall examine the said Report and if he is of the opinion that the said industrial dispute under such Failure of Conciliation Report is not fit for adjudication, then, he shall send such Report to the Central Government for necessary action, otherwise refer the said industrial disputes under the Failure of Conciliation Report to the Labour Court or Tribunal for adjudication;

(iii) where such Conciliation Officer is of the rank of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) and if he is of the opinion that the said industrial dispute under such Failure of Conciliation Report is not fit for adjudication, then, he shall send such Report to the Central Government for necessary action, otherwise refer the said industrial dispute under the Failure of Conciliation Report to the Labour Court or Tribunal for adjudication.

Nothing in this notification shall affect the powers of the Central Government to exercise the powers under section 10 read with section 2A of the said Act consecutively irrespective of such delegation.

PAINTINDIA Congress 2020 call for papers

INDIA'S proud global event for the paints, coatings, inks, construction chemicals, adhesives and sealants industry is calling for papers. Colour Publications and Vincentz Network invite papers for the 2020 PAINTINDIA Congress to be held in Mumbai, India from March 12-13, 2020.

Innovative companies and academic/governmental research institutes are invited to submit abstracts of high technical level and of scientific significance. Presentations will be selected based on their scientific significance and added value to the industry. It cannot have been presented elsewhere. Only contributions with non-promotional content will be considered. The use of trade names have to be avoided whenever possible.

The best paper will honoured with the PAINTINDIA Award.

Important Deadlines:

Submission of title and abstracts: October 4, 2019

Notification of acceptance to speakers: November 1, 2019

Submission of full paper: January 24, 2020

Further details can be had from Dr. Sonja Schulte, Vincentz Network | sonja.schulte@vincentz.net

Dilip Raghavan, Colour Publications | dilip.raghavan@colorpub.in

Moritz Schürmeyer, Vincentz Network | moritz.schuermeyer@vincentz.net

The title and abstract can also be submitted directly to: https://www.european-coatings.com/ PAINTINDIA2020callfor_papers

CO2 utilization – a research magnet: International conference in Germany

FROM greenhouse gas to useful raw material: At a major conference in Aachen, Germany, numerous scientists from all over the world discussed how CO2 can make the chemical industry less dependent on oil. During the five-day meeting, it became clear yet again that this topic has great potential. For example, carbon dioxide from industrial exhaust gases and even from the atmosphere can be used to produce high-quality chemicals, plastics or fuels. This could be used to create a closed carbon cycle in the long term as a central element of a circular economy. The conference was co-organized and co-sponsored by materials manufacturer Covestro, which sees itself as a pioneer in the use of CO2.

The 17th “International Conference on Carbon Dioxide Utilization” (ICCDU) was held under the motto “From Science to Application”. “We are delighted that numerous creative ideas for the use of CO2 have already resulted in innovative products and processes that are being marketed by large industrial companies as well as agile start-ups. These are promising steps to make chemistry even more sustainable,” said Walter Leitner, Professor at RWTH Aachen University and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and one of the ICCDU Chairmen.

Cooperation as the key to success

Co-Chairman Dr. Christoph Gürtler, Head of Catalysis Research at Covestro, added: “CO2 is a very inert molecule which makes it anything but easy to use. The key to success lies in the cooperation between application-oriented science and research-based industry.” With this approach, Covestro, for example, succeeded in developing a platform technology in close cooperation with RWTH Aachen University to use CO2 as a building block for foam and other plastics.

One particular focus of the conference was the coupling of carbon dioxide and electricity from renewable energy sources. Through this process, fuels and important chemical building blocks such as methanol, formaldehyde or formic acid can be produced in a particularly sustainable manner. “The 'decarbonization' of energy generation by wind and solar plants with the help of the greenhouse gas CO2 can contribute to the 'defossilization' of the chemical industry,” emphasized Professor Leitner.

Covestro is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life.

Evonik expands fumed silica capacity

EVONIK has started up on schedule its new plant complex in Antwerp for production of fumed silica. With this, the specialty chemicals company can now serve the high demand for fumed silicas marketed under the Aerosil brand. Typical applications include paints and coatings, advanced adhesive systems, transparent silicones, and nonflammable high-performance insulation materials. Evonik has invested a sum in the upper double-digit million euro range in the new plant complex.

“We're pursuing a clear growth strategy for our silica business. With the additional capacities, we're ensuring supply for our customers over the long term,” said Harald Schwager, deputy chairman of Evonik's executive board. As part of Smart Materials, silica belongs to one of Evonik's four strategic growth engines with above-average market growth. The growth of the global market for fumed silicas is expected to exceed 4 percent annually, outpacing the global economy as a whole.

Along with the market for hydrophilic fumed silica, demand is also growing for specialty hydrophobic silicas. The existing plant in Antwerp has accordingly been upgraded such that hydrophilic fumed silica can be given hydrophobic properties by special post-treatment. Evonik therefore now produces hydrophobic Aerosil at a second European site in addition to Rheinfelden, thus servicing continued high demand.

Andreas Fischer, member of the management board of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH, said: “We're happy we're now in a position to meet customer's requests for higher quantities, in particular for hydrophobic Aerosil. The capacity to supply our own raw materials at the site, and its central location in Europe, were also especially important to us for this project. The site's proximity to the international export port in Antwerp is an important factor in supplying our customers worldwide.”

With the simultaneous modernization of the silane production plants as part of the investment, raw-material supply for Aerosil production as well as tire silanes is assured. Aerosil is produced as fumed silica by high-temperature hydrolysis of silanes in a hydrogen flame.

Evonik is a leading global manufacturer of silica. In addition to the fumed silica and the precipitated silica, Evonik also produces silica based matting agents under the brand name ACEMATT and other fumed metal oxides under the brand AEROXIDE. Overall, Evonik has a global production capacity for all silica based products of about 1 million metric tons/year.

Impervius- Bitumen Waterproofing Membranes conference highlights on trends and technologies

THE 2019 IMPERVIUS, the first Bitumen Waterproofing Membranes Conference, organised in Baveno, Italy on 5-6 June, attracted 93 key players from 61 different companies and 24 countries. EDANA, the International Association Serving the Nonwovens and Related Industries closed the first 2019 IMPERVIUS conference with a request from the participants to organise it again. The presentations focused on raw material development, processes, development in the MENA region, regulation and environmental opportunities.

The conference opened with a keynote speech on the “Future-Proofing construction in the age of change” given by Frank Hatzack, senior advisor at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies.

Claudio Colombi, Market Manager Construction at Chomarat- France and Marc Beuken, Managing Director at Alphamin- Belgium on the origin and purpose of this conference “Our Bituminous membrane Industry Suppliers Working Group decided with EDANA to organise a conference focused on the Bituminous membranes world. One of our missions is to serve that market. We worked hard to put a programme together that would trigger discussions and bring new ideas to the attendees. We are very happy with the response, 93 professionals of the industry had intense discussions and sessions those two days.”

“For EDANA and its members in this sector this conference is the natural extension of a 20 years-long history of unique cooperation in non-competitive areas such as sustainability and market prospectives. This is also a unique example of dialogue between proponents of all technologies for the bitumen waterproofing membranes, including but not exclusively nonwovens ones, in line with EDANA's Outreach policy” said Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA.

There was a general sentiment of deep satisfaction among participants regarding the content of the conference and the networking.

“There was a good presentation level with various and interesting topics from how to build the future, what are the main trends in the construction developments to the raw materials challenges including interesting technical aspects. It covered also the environmental aspects as circular economy – on what could be of interest to do in our industry. Also, interesting info about new self-adhesive membranes which push us to think about the bitumen membranes evolution. This conference allowed to improve exchanges between waterproofing producers and suppliers and to speak together about the challenging topics”, Patrick Cogneau, Technical and R&D Director at DERBIGUM – Belgium.

Catharina Svenningsson, R&D Manager at Nordic Waterproofing Group – Sweden: “Finally! EDANA and its Bituminous membrane Industry Suppliers Working Group succeeded in gathering bitumen waterproofing lovers and presented a very interesting and ambitious program of lectures.

“The insights and knowledge that we got in these two days were impressive. A great conference in a friendly environment in which we actually get to meet other professionals and share great ideas.” Ines Antunes, R&D Manager at Polyglass – Italy.

Christine Robach, Bitumen Formulation R&D Manager at SOPREMA – France: Nice and pleasant event. We appreciated the diversity and quality of the presentations. Timing well managed with enough time for networking and individual discussions.

“It was a pleasure to be here and to finally meet face-to-face many contacts. I learned a lot about the bitumen waterproofing membranes this will help me to expand my horizons in this sector”. Ouahiba Kherrat, Chemist at Sud Etanche -Algeria.

Archroma to acquire stilbene-based OBA business

ARCHROMA, a global leader in color and specialty chemicals towards sustainable solutions, recently announced that Archroma India Private Limited and BASF India Limited (BIL) have signed an agreement for the acquisition by Archroma of BASF's stilbene-based OBA (optical brightening agents) business.

The transaction includes BASF's manufacturing unit at Ankleshwar, India, where approximately 100 people are currently employed.

Archroma is a member of the SK Capital Partners group. In July 2015 the company acquired the global textile chemicals business of BASF, and, between 2014 and 2018, M. Dohmen, an international group specializing in the production of textile dyes and chemicals for the automotive, carpet and apparel sectors.

“We are extremely pleased with this opportunity to further consolidate our position as a global leader in the chemical industry by expanding both our supply capacity and application markets,” said Marcos Furrer, President of Packaging & Paper Specialties, Archroma. “This acquisition will not only allow Archroma to strengthen our OBA supply to customers in the packaging & paper industry, in particular in India and Asia; it will also help us develop our portfolio offering to customers in the detergents market with high performance powder OBAs”.

“In line with BASF's strategy of actively managing its portfolio, this transaction allows us to better fulfill our business potential,” said Narayan Krishnamohan, Managing Director, BASF India Limited and Head, South Asia. “Archroma is a global leader in color and specialty chemicals. Ensuring a smooth transition of our customers, suppliers and employees to Archroma will be a priority.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Agilent hosts third edition of 'Total Agilent Experience' in India

AGILENT Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) recently hosted the third edition of their annual scientific symposium, Total Agilent Experience, in Mumbai. The next symposium will take place in Hyderabad on the 21st June. Besides showcasing Agilent's latest analytical solutions and applications, the symposiums also feature industry experts as speakers and interactive workshops centered on data integrity, regulations, and environmental standards.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bharat Bhardwaj, Country General Manager, Agilent Technologies, India said, “Total Agilent Experience offers unparalleled opportunities for scientists and industry leaders to discuss new ways to solve problems and make their laboratories more efficient.”

Additionally, Agilent also hosted a pharma regulatory summit, a biopharma summit and an analytical summit for applied markets at the event. In each of these summits, industry experts shared their insights on the emerging trends that are driving adoption of new technologies.

Total Agilent Experience has fast become the place to be for professionals from chemical, food and pharma industries over the years, drawing over 300 scientists and researchers from across the country.

More details about the symposium can be found at https://explore.agilent.com/TAE-India

Charlie Shaver resigns from Axalta Board

CHARLIE Shaver resigned as Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective June 30, 2019, to focus on other professional commitments, Axalta Coating Systems Ltd. announced.

The Board of Directors appointed current Independent Presiding Director Mark Garrett as its new chairman. Garrett also serves as Chairman of Axalta's Strategic Review Committee.

"I am honored to have served as Axalta's Chairman over the past six years and proud of all the Company has accomplished," said Shaver. "Axalta's tremendous progress in recent years has enabled the company to review a range of strategic alternatives from a position of strength, which I strongly believe is the best course of action for Axalta and its shareholders, customers and employees. With the review underway, now is the right time to make this important transition at the Board level. I look forward to watching the next great chapter in Axalta's journey under the exemplary leadership of Mark and Robert Bryant."

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Charlie for the many contributions he has made to Axalta over the past six years, both in the boardroom and as CEO," said Garrett. "Charlie has played an instrumental role in positioning Axalta for the future by solidifying its market leadership and building a strong foundation for growth. I am honored by the opportunity to build on Axalta's rich history and oversee a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives to maximize value for shareholders."

"I have enjoyed working with Charlie and wish him all the best in the future," added Robert W. Bryant, Axalta's CEO. "I look forward to working closely with Mark and the rest of the Board through the strategic review process and beyond to maximize value for Axalta shareholders."

AkzoNobel's pioneering powder coating cracks flexibility challenge

INTERPON Structura Flex is the first and only powder range on the market to combine the weatherability of superdurable powder coatings with the mechanical performance advantages of standard durable systems.

It's a major development for customers, because prior to this latest example of AkzoNobel's vision on innovation, the higher the durability of a coating, the lower the flexibility. So if a piece of metal was pre-coated and then needed to be bent or formed into shape, a standard durability powder coating would often be used, because they offer higher flexibility (to prevent cracking). Now the days of making that trade-off are over.

“We're proud to deliver another industry first which meets the needs of our customers,” says Jean-Paul Moonen, Segment Manager for Architectural Coatings at AkzoNobel's Powder Coatings business. “Specifiers and architects are increasingly moving towards superior durability, and because we're always looking to innovate, we've developed a pioneering solution which sets a new standard in the market.”

Ten Interpon Structura Flex products are available, all in a stylish and on-trend color range. It means window and door manufacturers can now upgrade to superdurable level – without compromising on flexibility – and extend the lifetime and warranty of their finished products.

“Our ambition knows no limits,” adds Daniela Vlad, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Powder Coatings business. “As a world leader in powder coatings, we will continue to seek out fresh opportunities, offer the best solutions and strive to serve our customers better than anyone.”

Interpon Structura Flex meets Qualicoat Class 2 weathering requirements and Qualicoat Class 1 mechanical performance requirements, the industry-wide quality label for liquid and powder coatings on aluminum for architectural applications.n

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