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Insights in India's Chemical Industry

Tata Chemicals: A Scientific Approach to Sustainability

| Author / Editor: Marcilin Madathil / Dominik Stephan

The Mithapur plant of Tata Chemicals
The Mithapur plant of Tata Chemicals (Picture: Tata Chemicals)

Celebrating 75 years of presence, Tata Chemicals has made its mark globally by being a pioneering force in developing products to meet the changing customer demands. True to its motto ‘Serving Society through Science’, it has touched the lives of millions by offering them Living, Industrial and Farm Essentials (LIFE).

With humble beginnings in Mithapur, Gujarat, today Tata Chemicals is a global company with operations spanning North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. It has always aimed at harnessing the fruits of science for goals that go beyond business. By ensuring high-quality products and pursuing ethical practices, the organization has strengthened the bond with its stakeholders and sustained the faith since its inception.

Managing Director, Tata Chemicals, R Mukundan states with pride, “Tata Chemicals is a 75-year-old ‘young’ organization and the journey has indeed been long, fruitful and enriching. While some enterprises grow vertically and others horizontally, it has achieved both and has positioned itself as a provider of solutions that address tomorrow‘s food, water, health, and climate-change challenges. Innovative thinking, resilience and commitment to society and environment have enabled the company to emerge stronger amid challenges.”

Serving Society Through Science

The company has played a significant part in improving the country‘s nutritional wellbeing by offering iodized and fortified salts, unpolished dals and safe drinking water. “The introduction of the I-Shakti brand of unpolished dals and besan from the ‘Living Essentials’ portfolio; manufacturing of urea and phosphatic fertilizers from the ‘Farm Essentials’ portfolio; production of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from the ‘Industry Essentials’ portfolio have helped it carve a niche as a global chemical giant. The water purifier, Tata Swach, uses natural materials and nanotechnology to provide affordable drinking water,” he notes.

R&D and Innovation

The company strongly emphasizes on resource optimization by undertaking R&D initiatives and applying scientific expertise in an effort to develop a sustainable product portfolio. Against this backdrop, the Innovation Center in Pune was set up in 2004 to focus on the areas of food and fuel; energy and environment; and water and wellness (FEW). The research activities at the center encompass the fields of advanced materials, green chemistry and nutraceuticals. The researchers are also exploring technologies to mitigate climate change through green chemistry.

The company has commissioned a nutraceuticals center in Chennai; this 300-ton per annum plant will produce nutraceuticals such as probiotics and polyols, which will be used by food and pharma companies. The Center for Agriculture and Technology (CAT) has been set up in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh to advise farmers on farming and crop nutrition practices and solutions. It engages in the development of customized fertilizers that yield better results as they are designed for specific crop and soil requirements. CAT provides a competitive advantage to the company by providing a strong base for its customized fertilizer business, specialty crop nutrients business and agri-business.

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