Indian Industries should be ready for global opportunities in 2020: Deepak Ojha, MD, Waldies

Waldies, a Kolkata based specialty chemical manufacturer has been at the forefront of the industry for over 150 years, with a line of products ranging from refined lead and PVC stabilizers to paints and even manufacture an ingredient exclusively for making glass panels that are used in nuclear reactors.

Waldies is famous for being the first manufacturer of Red Lead in India and have since then, revolutionized the industry by constantly revamping and diversifying their range of products. Virichem, a brand which offers non-toxic stabilizers and additives is their latest offering to the booming market for PVC Industry.

In a conversation with Waldies’ Managing Director Deepak Ojha, he shed some light on the global PVC scenario. Mr. Ojha mentioned how companies were doing their best to move into ecofriendly additives. “Pricing and quality is a factor, eco-friendly stabilizers still don’t match the quality and pricing that of lead & cadmium based products,” he said.

Mr. Deepak Ojha MD Waldies compound limited. this is a 160 years old lead oxide factory in Hooghly Konnagar, 25 km from Kolkata . This company started in 1858. the company has 4 major stakeholders. Picture by Subhojyoti Kanjilal for Times Group.

On account of the global discourse over Coronavirus, Deepak Ojha responded in a rather candid fashion, “The handling of this pandemic and the response at which Govt. acted will surely benefit the industries in India in the long run.” “Our preparedness shows how we observed the situation and understood the gravity of the situation well before time.”

“Indian companies will soon have tons of opportunities knocking its doors after the Coronavirus pandemic is curtailed successfully. We should be ready to serve.”

“Waldies has ensured all its employees, workers, contractors and other business partners are duly paid in time to avoid any hindrances of business continuances,” Ojha added.

With the continued rise in the use of PVCs in nearly every product market, the market size for PVC stabilizers and additives has grown exponentially along with it, becoming a separate industry by itself.

All PVC manufacturers are dependent on these stabilizers to diversify their product line. According to this report by Mordor Intelligence, between 2020-2025 the market demand (CAGR) for the PVC market alone is expected to grow by 3.5% and the demand for PVC stabilizers to rise by 6%. Currently, lead-based PVC stabilizers are leading the market with a 40% chunk in market size.

The focus is on the Asia-pacific region, with the population count of countries like China, India, South Korea growing rapidly, the construction sector is booming and along with it, the need to capitalize on cost-effective and long-lasting construction materials. The use of PVCs in roofing, pipes, and flooring is the go-to choice for every company as these are low-cost, durable, easy to install and maintain and are energy-saving.

Plastic Granules

So far, calcium, lead and zinc-based heat stabilizers have dominated the industry, but Waldies, one of India’s leading manufacturers of PVC stabilizers has taken the first step towards sustainable PVC development with Virichem, a new range of eco-friendly heat stabilizers that is made using high-quality Stearic Acid.

Mr. Ojha believes, even though there are lots of negativity around the lead, it is not as much harmful. Furthermore, companies in the tier one could be well equipped for the transition but the medium and smaller enterprises would’ve to bear the cost of transition if it comes to that.

A company that has been in business since 1858, Waldies’ has no plans of slowing down. As pioneers of the chemical industry in India, they are famed for their wide range of PVC additives and lubricants that includes red lead, tribasic lead sulfate, dibasic lead sulfate, lead stearate and more.

Waldies’ contemporaries in the industry, cable, battery, and glass manufacturers are heavily dependent on Waldies’ products and with the latest addition, Waldies is all poised to once again disrupt the PVC industry with their brand Virichem.