Jayant Dua, CEO, Chlor-Alkali Business (India), Grasim Industries Ltd (Chemical Division) has over 2 decades of experience at Aditya Birla Group across various businesses. He has undertaken multiple roles, including CEO of CTIL – cement division, CEO & Managing Director of Birla Sun Life Insurance, and CEO of Aditya Birla Insulators.
In this interview, he speaks about the organisation’s legacy, how the pandemic provided impetus to expanded and concerted growth, and how its products can help facilities and service providers meet their ESG goals.
What were the reasons why the company decided to enter the cleaning industry?
Disinfection and cleaning has always been a strong focus for us. We have been providing disinfection solutions over the decades even in high-stake environments like hospitals, healthcare facilities, municipal water treatment, sewage treatment plants etc. We also disinfect millions of liters of water every day with our hypochlorite range. With our clarification solutions, we clean raw water, industrial effluents and swimming pools.
When the pandemic hit, the focus shifted to personal and facility cleaning. We provided substantial quantities of hypochlorite to municipalities and state governments for community place disinfection. We also seeded the idea of creating a deep-cleaning product range for 120 thousand employees followed by 1.4 billion Indians.
Since its inception, how have the company and its product range grown and evolved? What were the milestones along the way?
For the past few years, we’ve been focused on bringing tailored products to market. Today, safety and hygiene are a top priority for Facility Managers. With the increased awareness and expectations, facility managers have changed their SOP to include other procedures. This is why our R&D and business developments teams, which are working closely with facility managers, have been able to launch products that suit their specific needs.
Our portfolio has grown to eight products since we started, and we have well laid out plans for the future. By 2023, our goal is to have 10+ unique products in the market which will cover the entire spectrum of the professional cleaning range.
Tell us everything you can about your manufacturing facilities.
We have eight manufacturing facilities in India, making us one of the largest Chlor-Alkali manufacturers in Asia from which we generate the key raw materials. The centralised DSIR-recognized R&D facility is located in our Gujarat facility, helping us develop customised technologies for our customers. It allows us to introduce ourselves into this market more comprehensively.
The cleaning chemicals market is already crowded. How do you plan to distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Our focus has always been on providing the best indigenous solutions for our customers. Our products are focused on hygiene and cleaning, rather than just superficial cleaning. There was a big void in this market, which we’re now filling. Our goal is to improve the hygiene index of India under the vision of our honorable Prime Minister and under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. We do see a gap, and we intend to fill it.
Our products are tested at NABL accredited labs and have been proven for their efficacy and use in the institutional spaces like commercial offices, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, malls, etc. The entire range has very high efficacy levels against a broad spectrum of bacteria, fungi, and viruses with powerful active ingredients recommended by leading health organisations. The floor cleaner, and surface & fabric sanitiser are also enhanced with a unique silver nano technology.
How do your products help facilities meet their ESG goals?
ESG goals are a part of our culture. Thus unlike most, we do not have to plan anything differently for the POWERIT range. For Environment, these features work out well for us:
- Our sites are ZLD (zero liquid discharge).
- A portion of the energy used is from clean and renewable sources.
- Formulations are created from sustainable raw materials.
For Social: We have high standards of employee safety and gender diversity as part of our work ethics and a lot of CSR initiatives to support the communities nearby.
For Governance: We are a certified ISO 9001:2015 company with two additional certifications – ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 14001:2015.
What are the short-term and long-term plans and goals of the company? Are exports on the horizon?
Our short-term plans are to increase the portfolio which will help satisfy the needs of our customers with quality products. Once we’ve established a strong presence, the focus would be on niche solutions and creating the ecosystem to provide the best support to our customers. The long-term goal is to generate a strong reputation as a reliable provider of institutional cleaning solutions. Our current focus is India.