India could emerge as a global player in the speciality chemicals sector, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said in New Delhi on Wednesday.
"Like information technology, speciality chemicals is also a knowledge-based industry and India has the capability to become a leading player in the world because of its low-cost structure, scientific competence and skilled manpower," the minister said.
Dhindsa was speaking at a conference on speciality chemicals organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Chemical Manufacturers Association.
"However, to become a global player we need to upgrade our manufacturing facilities and adopt globally acceptable standards," Dhindsa said.
"We should also look towards contract manufacturing to establish our strength in quality products as the costs of registering new products and penetrating new markets is very high," Dhindsa added.
The marketshare of the speciality chemicals sector constitutes around 13 per cent of the $30-billion Indian chemicals market.
"As speciality chemicals have high rates of growth and superior margins and are also relatively immune to industry cycles, we must not lose the opportunity to invest in this sector," Dhindsa said.
Shyam S Bhartia, chairman of the chemicals committee of FICCI, emphasised the need to embrace the intellectual property rights regime in the chemicals sector.
"We need to start respecting the existing intellectual property rights and also start owning them," Bhartia said.
Bhartia said the Indian companies had been traditionally weak in marketing.
"Many of the international players see us as pure outsourcing firms rather than firms that can provide research-based solutions. As a result, we continue to do business, which is low on value-addition. To drive profitable growth, we will have to work towards creating the image of a strong knowledge-based player that can deliver cutting-edge products," Bhartia added.