Alphagary and Shakun Polymers to Expand Market Presence through Collaborative Efforts - Wire & Cable India
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Alphagary and Shakun Polymers to Expand Market Presence through Collaborative Efforts

“Our JV has a good opportunity to grow in the FY 22-23, one such way is to increase our market reach by collaborative efforts of our parent company in various parts of the world. Our objective is growing our semiconductive, halogen-free & PVC FRLS business globally.”

Last year, Alphagary, a global leader in the design and manufacture of specialty polymer compounds acquired the majority share ownership of Shakun Polymers Pvt. Ltd. (“Shakun”), a privately held and family-owned market leader in the production of compounds for the wire and cable markets in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Since then, the companies have been participating jointly to bring proven solutions to the growing demand for wire and cable for various applications such as railways, defence, mobility, renewable energy, oil & gas, hyperscale data centres, communication, and instrumentation cables among others. WCI recently interviewed Mr. Rakesh Bansal, Joint Managing Director, Shakun Polymers Pvt. Ltd., and Mr. Dipal Parikh, Commercial Director – Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Alphagary, to know more about the acquisition, growth journey so far, and their corporate targets.

Wire & Cable India: Alphagary has acquired the majority stake in Shakun Polymers Ltd. in June 2021, could you please brief us on the product range offered by the combined entities and the growth journey so far?

rakesh bansal
Mr. Rakesh Bansal, Joint Managing Director, Shakun Polymers Pvt. Ltd.

Rakesh Bansal: The synergies created through the integration of both the companies have brought in best-in-class offerings to meet the demand from wire and cable industries in terms of fire performance (safety), industry requirements (UL listed materials, category cables, CPR, CM /CMR) electrical requirements, mechanical performance & environmental requirements.

Alphagary brings to Indian customers the best-in-class researched and technologically superior compounds under brand names Megolon® (LSZH compounds), GARAFLEX® (flame retardant TPE compounds), Smokeguard® (compounds for plenum applications), and GW series (flame-retardant PVC compounds).

Shakun has a market-leading position in India, the Middle East, and Africa and continues to develop solutions under the brand names ECOTEK® (LSZH compounds), ESCONTEK® (semiconductive compounds), FRTEK® (flame retardant PVC compounds), and VINYLTEK® (flame retardant PVC/TPR compounds).

For Shakun, the partnership has provided the needed capacity to enhance its various product offerings and the territorial expansion to Europe, LATAM, Americas, and unexplored territories in the Middle East region through the existing Alphagary sales team.

For Alphagary, existing Shakun infrastructure in Halol, Vadodara provides us with the opportunity to get our Low Smoke Zero Halogen compound line to be operational by June’22 and PVC FRLS compounds by Q1’23. 

Soon after the acquisition, Alphagary Management worked closely with Shakun management to buy the adjacent land to achieve its vision to have a 100K tons compounding capacity at a single site in the next 3-5 years to manufacture LSZH, PVC FRLS, and semiconductive compounds.

WCI: Give us a brief summary of developments that have taken place on the product and process front at Shakun.

RB: On the product front, Shakun continues to develop speciality LSZH material, focus on crosslinking technologies, and give more emphasis on transmission and distribution networks with our semiconductive compounds.

Alphagary will start the production of the Megolon® (LSZH) and GW (PVC FRLS) range of compounds in India. This is an opportunity for Indian wire and cable industries to get the products of global standards ‘Made In India’, available within the most optimal lead times.

Our pilot plant and technological leadership will enable customers to collaborate jointly with us to meet the demanding applications.

On the process front, Alphagary team would work jointly with the Shakun team to bring in best practices on Health, Safety & Environment (HSE), and good manufacturing practices.

WCI: What kind of synergies do you foresee after Alphagary has acquired a majority stake in Shakun Polymers Pvt. Ltd.?

dipal parikh
Mr. Dipal Parikh, Commercial Director –
Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Alphagary

Dipal Parikh: Synergies between both the companies are plenty; our focus is on actively servicing our customers and their next-generation requirements in India, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Over the next several months, we will dedicate our collective resources to ensure our growing customer base experiences the immediate value by way of investing in our manufacturing lines, combined technical innovation, and hands-on customer support.

WCI: What are your corporate targets for FY 2022-23? How are you making your presence stronger in the domestic and global markets after the acquisition?

DP: Our JV has a good opportunity to grow in the FY 22-23, one such way is to increase our market reach through collaborative efforts of our parent company in various parts of the world. Moreover, we have capital expenditure plans which are currently ongoing which we expect to fructify by early 2023. Our objective is to grow our semiconductive, halogen-free & PVC FRLS business globally.

We have been participating jointly to bring proven solutions in view of the growing demand for wire and cable for applications like railways, defence, mobility, renewable energy, oil & gas, 5G rollout, hyperscale data centres, communication, and instrumentation cables, etc.

WCI: Compounding remains one of the most dynamic segments wherein it does not take much time for a compound to become obsolete. What do you do to stay relevant in this fast-changing demand scenario regarding polymers and compounds?

RB: R&D is the growth engine for being successful in the compounding business. At our core, we are making CapEx in process, product & people for staying ahead of the competition. This JV brings us good systems for R&D process, operational excellence, and process technology. We are also investing in a state-of-the-art R&D lab with pilot lines to scale-up which will help us achieve precision compounding and maximum value to our customers.

WCI: Tell us a bit about your product portfolio and the new technologies you have introduced or applied in the recent past.

DP: As the demand for halogen-free compounds is continuously increasing, our focus is to master the crosslinking technology. We currently have solar compounds for e-beam and moisture-curable applications, as well as for building wires and the oil & gas industry, which we expect to expand soon. We are expanding our portfolio in MVCC cable compounds, for which we have received good demand from the Indian cable industry. The customers have been commercialising Alphagary Compounds for cables used in 5G technology, hyper-scale data centres, and communication cables like – coaxial, LAN, CCTV, control, and instrumentation, for meeting CPR requirements for exports to EU, UL Listed and category cables, and solar cables.

WCI: Being one of the leading manufacturers of cable compounds, share your outlook on the wire and cable industry and your target for the coming years?

DP: The Government of India, in the last budget, promised to drive the infrastructure development in the country by allocating funds to fuel the growth engine.

As we enter the ‘Amrit Kaal’, there would be substantial growth in the wire and cable industry, through the adoption of smart cities, new commercial and residential projects, and new power plants, thrust on renewable energies, and strengthening of the transmission and distribution network. Hence, we are placed well for the Indian cable industry to grow. Whereas we expect the total wire and cable market to grow on a 10 percent CAGR basis and polymer consumption in cables to grow by 10-11 percent CAGR.

WCI: What is your idea for participating in CWF 2022? Do you plan to introduce something new at the exhibition?

RB: Since the pandemic, the Cable & Wire Fair 2022 will be the first opportunity to connect with our customers, suppliers, and partners on a face-to-face level and talk to them about various business development, and R&D opportunities. Further, with our JV happening during the pandemic – the CWF would be a very good platform for both the companies to showcase our strengths, products, and be well placed in a sunrise economy and achieve fast-paced growth.