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Atul: Formulating Success

Atul is an integrated chemical company with about 5,700 customers belonging to 31 industries across the world.

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Thirukonda R. Gopi Kannan is the Chief Financial Officer at Atul. Kannan has about 25 years of experience, including around 9 years in Pfizer and Nestle India in the areas of finance and accounting and over 16 years as head of finance in Atul. At Atul, he has served as president—finance, compliance officer and company secretary. Kannan also headed the international divisions of Atul in Europe as well as China and US, amongst other countries.

The company’s sales registered an increase of 15 per cent in fiscal year 2015 while borrowings reduced by 25 per over the previous fiscal. EBIDTA margins of the company have improved from 12.2 per cent in FY13 to 16 per cent in FY15. Under Kannan’s leadership Atul’s other businesses saw impressive growth. While Life Science Chemicals grew 32 per cent in FY15, Performance and Other Chemicals notched up 68 per cent growth. Exports accounted for 50 per cent of the sales.

The company incurred a capital expenditure of Rs 100 crore in FY14, and Rs 125 crore in FY15, while debt has significantly reduced. Kannan introduced value-added downstream products and expanded portfolio of products used by personal care and F&F industries.

In science and technology, Atul manages almost all unit processes and unit operations to manufacture about 1,380 products and formulations.

The company, which was incorporated in 1947 by Kasturbhai Lalbhai, established successful joint ventures with world-renowned multinational companies such as American Cyanamid Company (now a part of BASF AG and Pfizer Inc) in 1947, Imperial Chemical Industries (now a part of Akzo Nobel and Astra Zeneca plc) in 1955 and Ciba-Geigy (now a part of BASF AG and Huntsman Corporation) in 1960.

Atul is an integrated chemical company with about 5,700 customers belonging to 31 industries across the world. Its products cater to industries as varied as adhesives, agriculture, animal feed, automobile, chemical, composites, construction, cosmetic, defence, dyestuff, electrical and electronics, flavour and fragrance, food, glass, home care, horticulture, hospitality, paint and coatings, paper, personal care, pharmaceutical, plastic, polymer, rubber, soap and detergent, textile and tyres.

It has established subsidiary companies in the US (1994), the UK (1996), Germany (1998), China (2004), Brazil (2012) and the UAE (2015) to serve its customers and thus increase the breadth and depth of its business.

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