Asahi Songwon Colors Ltd- A Global Market Leader in the Pigment Industry

Challenges are opportunities, when determination is there. “This is one reality that we have always lived with.” asserts Mr. Gokul M. Jaykrishna, Joint Managing Director & CEO of Asahi Songwon Colors Ltd. With a vision to be the world leader in its field of pigments by supplying quality and environment friendly products to MNC’s worldwide. Asahi is marching forward and now is the leading downstream chemical company.

It is amongst the few pigments manufacturing companies globally to have internationally recognized processes that ensure minimum waste generated per unit, treat wastes to permissible limits before disposal, emits fewer pollutants and recycle & reuse wastes. The company pays a lot of attention towards making it processes environment friendly, and it has been investing continuously in meeting the relevant statutory and environmental compliances. The Company has also installed a state-of-the-art emissions and effluent management system.  It works towards becoming the largest supplier of Blue crude and Blue Pigments in the world.

The company strongly believes in the approach towards delivering the best, “Strategy, we adopt to meet the challenges are simple. Top quality and service are our mantra and our relationship is based on Asahi’s 3T’s: Trust, Transparency and Team Work.” says Mr. Gokul.

  1. Kindly brief us about the company.

Colors play an important role in our daily lives. Asahi Songwon Colors Limited (ASCL) specializes in spreading a dash of colors into the homes of millions across the globe by producing high quality pigments. ASCL is a leading player in the Indian pigment industry and is firmly focused in becoming a leading global player in pigments. The Company’s product range constitutes of wide variety of Blue Pigments. The Company’s pigments are exported to the US, Europe and other Asian nations. The Company has dedicated plants operating at Padra near Vadodara, Gujarat manufacturing Blue pigments.

  1. Please tell us something about the Founder/CEO and his/her contribution towards the company and his/her perspective about the industry.

Asahi Songwon was founded by my mother Mrs. Paru M. Jaykrishna in the year 1990. Started with humble beginning, with her effective guidance the Company has come a long way.  Over the 27 years, Asahi Songwon has grown at a CAGR of 21% in top line and 24% in bottom line.  Today, we are INR 300 crores company and a leader in the Blue Pigment Business.

My mother has a rich experience in business of over 49 years.  She has also been President of Gujarat Chambers of Commerce and Industry. I jointed Asahi in 1992. I studied Finance & Economics at Lehigh University, USA.

We have been able to unlock productivity by debottlenecking and has taken plant utilization from 65 % to 90%, thus increasing EBITA from 11% to 16%.  We also have implemented a culture of 3T’s Trust, Transparency and Team Work, which has yielding very good results
3. Please describe the journey of your organization, since its inception.

We commenced operations with presence only in Indian Market. However, over the years we extended our footprints beyond the national boundaries dealing with leading international companies. Today, we have a presence in more than 20 countries with overseas operation accounting for 75% of the total revenues.

Through years of hard work and perseverance, we developed core competencies in the field of pigments manufacturing and an ability to constantly improve processes and quality. This puts us amongst the unique league of low-cost, quality-conscious and environment-friendly companies. Our reputation in the industry has enabled us to expand geographically, even to countries that have strict quality and environment compliance norms. Moreover, most of our customers are leading and internationally renowned downstream chemical companies.

  1. Where do you portray the future of your company in the years to come?

We see Asahi as the world leader in Blue Pigments and also a well established diversified pigment player. We see ourselves exporting 70% of our business. We like to believe, we are technological leaders in Blue Pigments. So, we have to continuously lead innovation and development to improve product and customer satisfaction. We are already having a government recognized Research & Development Center.

Asahi is likely to launch a whole new range of products over the next 5 years with a target to more than double revenue and volumes. Industry & Growth: Pigments finds applications in varied field, like Inks, Plastics, Paints, Rubber, etc. We hope to grow our business at 20 to 25 % for the next 5 years. With massive growth opportunities lying ahead of us, we have embarked on several strategic capacity expansion and green field project in coming years. Recently, we have launched Alpha Blue which will cater the demand of plastics industry.  We have also launched Beta Blue catering the demand of packing industry. The introduction of both these products will increase our top line and strengthen our market reach.

  1. Kindly describe in detail about your distinct services and products.

The global pigments industry produces hundreds of colorants for a wide spectrum of industries and consumers. Asahi Songwon is specialized in Phthlo pigment and is one of leading manufacturers CPC Blue Crude, Alpha Blue and Beta Blue catering the market of printing inks, paints and coatings, plastics, paper, ceramics, textiles, glass, food and cosmetics.

  1. Mention any awards and appreciations that your organization has received.

The Company has received various awards and appreciation during the years which include:

  • Award for outstanding export performance for consecutive six years from GDMA.
  • Award for outstanding performance in the export of dye and dye intermediates from CHEMEXCIL for five years running.
  • Award for “Excellent Export Performance in the Export House” Category from FIEO in 2000-01.
  • Award for “Emerging SME” across all sectors in India by Dun and Bradstreet and Fullerton India in 2008.
  • Dun & Bradstreet Vyasa Bank & SME – Business Excellence Award – Entrepreneur (Mid – Corporate) in 2015-2016.
  • The Company was selected in Forbes Asia July 2012 edition as the Asia’s 200 Best Under a Billion Companies.
  1. Please provide an insight into your Research & Development facility and its divisions.

ASCL is having a Research & Development centre of the Company is recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. The center is engaged in improvement in the quality of the products, develop new range of products, optimizing effluent treatment process and developing cost-effective processes, reduction back cycle time and streamlining existing processes.

With installation of Quality System and Total Quality Management, we have been able to get ISO 9001:2015 accreditation and this is in turn, has enabled us to plan, manufacture and supply material of International Standards. This activity has resulted in up gradation of all the documentation on the products to specify complete manufacturing and quality assurance needs. We stand at zero product return in the history of the Company. The Company also has ISO 14001: 2015 certification.

  1. How has the new technology trend revolutionized the Chemical Industry? Are you planning to adopt any new technology?

The pigment industry is seeing a dramatic change in reduction in energy and raw material consumption and in waste by products and emissions with the help of new technology and process advancements. The Company is continuously implementing cost effective technology for existing and new products which are environment friendly for improvement in quality, productivity, process, cost reduction and cycle time reduction.

At Asahi Songwon, we made significant investments in setting-up a large-scale state-of-the-art manufacturing plant and an advanced laboratory equipped with modern facilities. Our investments in process automation technologies resulted in enhanced process efficiency, product quality and reduction in human error.

We continue to reduce our carbon footprint and water consumption. We ensure discharge well within the prescribed norms.  Over the last 2 years we have spent INR 9 crores to reduce gases and emission by 95%.