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Potential for green chemicals to be made in India and made for the world

Source : Business Line

Notes by Narsi

Novozymes is the world’s leading biotech company specializing in industrial enzymes. A review of an interview with the company's CEO brings out some interesting points.

To me, the chief among these is how companies such as Novozymes are using India as a platform to innovate on new enzymes for middle and lower-end/mass-market products (bar soaps and dish bars, for instance). If these enzymes are a success in India, they can take this technology to the world.

This also plays on a theme that is being heard more and more often in engineering and technology circles. If one can build a solution that works for India, it can work in many other parts of the world, perhaps even more successfully in many parts where it can be even more affordable than it is for Indians.

Talking of enzymes makes one think of markets for bio-based chemicals and derivatives in India.

Bio-based products, additives and chemicals are poorly understood markets. Green chemicals is a market segment that has been growing largely under the radar. Within the cleantech domain, while its growth has so far not been as eye catching as that of solar or electric vehicles, there are select sectors (green surfactants, eco cosmetic chemicals etc) that have shown a significant growth in the past few years. While the current global green chemicals market size is only around $10 billion, some brave souls are predicting a ten fold growth in market size by 2030. Given its strong biodiversity and good availability of chemical and biotech expertise, Indian entrepreneurs should give a long, hard look at opportunities emerging in green chemicals.

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