Swiss masterbatch producer Granula AG is forming a joint venture with Gujarat, India-based Som Shiva (Impex) Ltd. to manufacture a range of masterbatches at a new plant in the city of Ahmedabad.
Friedrich Kosian, managing director of the joint venture Granula Masterbatches India Pvt. Ltd., said the facility plans to open in April. Kosian declined to give details of plant capacity and investment from both partners.
“We will mainly target sectors including food packaging, medical, cosmetic, household electrical appliances and automotive industries in India,” he added.
The family-controlled companies have no previous commercial ties but have been known to each other many years.
Kosian said the joint venture sees opportunities with India's growing middle class.
“The demand for quality consumer goods is rising, opening up enormous growth opportunities with the increasing size of the middle class in India,” he said.
Jürg Weibel, owner and director of Merenschwand, Switzerland-based Granula AG, said in a statement that there is large unmet need for consumer goods in India.
“As masterbatch producers, we see enormous opportunities in the steps India is taking to open up the domestic market and moving to higher quality products,” he said. “We want to be part of that change.”
Currently, the company sells proprietary compounds and formulated color, additives and combination batches in markets around the world, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The new Ahmedabad facility will be part of the Swiss company's efforts to reach out to its clientele in Asian, African and Middle Eastern markets.
Kosian said the joint venture also plans to expand the India plant in the next year.
“We will double the plant capacity in 2018,” he said. Initially, it would provide direct employment to 30 with more hires expected with the plant expansion.
He said the joint venture has not ruled out further expansion in India: “If another plant is required at a later stage depending on growth in business and product acceptability, we may expand further in India.”
Granula's German plant in Rudolstadt supplies automotive masterbatches to European car brands.
“The majority, 90 percent, of the production of the German plant caters to the automotive industry, and we are also targeting India's large automotive industry from Ahmedabad,” Kosian said.
Granula AG is a member of Granula Group and has been a specialized supplier of color and functional masterbatch solutions for plastics since 1961, with two production locations in Europe and one in India.