Tipco Industries Ltd. is one of India's oldest raw material producers, but the 63-year-old firm's future may be even brighter than its storied past.
By midyear, Tipco will add 22 million pounds of compounding capacity at a plant the firm opened in Delhi in 2006. The move will double production at the site, which focuses its output on compounds for India's fast-growing automotive market.
Tipco Chairman Nirmal Thakkar cited construction and material-handling systems as other growing areas for his firm, which also operates two other plants in India: a compounding plant in Silvasa and a site making phenolic resins and molding compounds in Valsad. Tipco's phenolic products are sold into brake lines and similar applications, Thakkar said at the Plastics News Executive Forum, held March 10-12 in Tampa.
The story of Mumbai-based Tipco is one of a family taking advantage of a historical opportunity. The firm was founded by Thakkar's father, Bapulal, in 1945, when wartime conditions prevented Imperial Chemical Industries plc from shipping its phenolic resins to India. Tipco filled this void, then entered the thermoplastic compounding field in the early 1980s.
Nirmal Thakkar entered the family business after earning a degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., in the early 1960s. Three of Thakkar's sons have followed that route, each studying in the U.S. before returning to India with Tipco. Acha is managing director, Sital oversees production and Prakash works in purchasing.
Tipco employs 350 and expects sales of $25 million for fiscal 2008, ending March 31 - about a 25 percent increase from 2007.