Can you highlight the emerging trends in adhesive technologies for the manufacturing industry?
The trends in adhesives technologies are influenced by the trends in the manufacturing industry. Currently, there is a major focus on cost reduction in the manufacturing processes, which is a global trend. This comes from the use of different materials, simplifying the processes and making sure that the designs are integrated. Lightweight technology, which involves reducing the weight of machines is another important trend as it adds to cost reduction and performance enhancement, while making the machines lighter. Sustainability is another trend, which is gaining increasing importance in India. With stricter regulations and the desire of our customers to be globally competitive, manufacturers want to make sure that they have the right value proposition to meet the global standards of sustainable products. The trends in adhesives technologies revolve around this.
How is Henkel strategising its product portfolio to offer solutions for the most demanding industry applications? Which are the target industry sectors?
We focus on our customers and analyse their needs. Customers are looking to make their manufacturing processes more reliable, while reducing the cost of manufacturing. Thus, understanding our customer’s needs helps us bring unique innovations to the market. In terms of target industry sectors, we are organised into five different SBUs, focusing on packaging and consumer goods, transport and metal, electronics, consumers, craftsmen and building, and general industry.
How does Henkel maintain a balance between economic success, protection of environment, and social responsibility, so as to ensure global sustainability strategy, in all activities along the entire value chain?
Economic success and our focus on sustainability go hand-in-hand. Hence, even though Henkel has a strong financial ambition, it also has a strong, well-defined goal for sustainability. In 2010, we had set a 20-year goal for ourselves that, by 2030, we should become more efficient by a factor of 3, which means we would want to have three times more value generated for business or economic value, while keeping our carbon footprint or our resources utilisation at the same level. Thus, our sustainability goals are as much a priority as our economic goals.
Henkel India’s Jejuri Plant had received Bronze Trophy in 2014 and Silver Trophy in 2015 from National Safety Council of India for excellence in safe manufacturing operations. What would you attribute these achievements to?
Safety is one of the top most priorities in manufacturing operations. This focuses on safety for our employees and our community is the key reason for our achievement. To cite an example, we have not witnessed a single incidence of injury at our Jejuri plant in the last twelve years. A major reason behind this is that the top management focuses on driving the culture of safety. But it does not work if it is only driven from the top – every single employee has to inculcate the safety culture without which this feat would not have been possible.
What are your views on the current Indian industry scenario? What is your outlook on the market potential?
India has, in many ways, skipped the manufacturing revolution. So, manufacturing is less than 20% of the GDP—it is only 16-17% of the GDP, and the government has set a goal that it should be at 25% in the next 10 years. This shift will happen with new investments, but for India to be globally competitive, we will have to increase the efficiency of manufacturing. We specialise in this and work with customers to improve their efficiency and designs so as to become competitive globally. ☐