KLJ Polymers & Chemicals: Notching Up a Promising Growth - Wire & Cable India
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KLJ Polymers & Chemicals: Notching Up a Promising Growth

“Our backward integrated plasticizer plant, due for commissioning later this year, would be the most competitive plant to serve the industry.”

Founded in 1967, KLJ Group is a market leader in plasticizers & polymer compounds in South Asia. The group is also one of the largest manufacturers of secondary plasticizers across the globe. Its advanced manufacturing facilities at Silvassa & Bharuch in India, Rayong in Thailand, and ultra-modern Chlor-Alkali plant in Qatar are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, producing a wide range of products to meet the customers’ requirements. Wire & Cable India recently interviewed Mr. Kamal Jain, Managing Director, KLJ Polymers & Chemicals Ltd., to know more about the developments, strategies, and expansion plans.

Wire & Cable India: KLJ Group has grown from strength to strength as a cable compound manufacturer; please elaborate on the various milestones of the company. Also, describe the current strategic priorities for the company.

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Mr. Kamal Jain, Managing Director, KLJ Polymers & Chemicals Ltd.

Kamal Jain: The market looks at KLJ as a leader & solution provider and that’s the real achievement that we are happy about. Not to rest on our laurels, we continue to remain hungry for the newer markets, and applications, enabling our esteemed customers to reach unexplored and value-added markets. The growth story started to unfold in 2003 when the group re-focussed on the cable compound business. Today, we cater to almost the entire spectrum of the wire and cable market from house wire to power cables, flexible cords, chargers to battery/welding cables, automotive, solar cables, and more with our quality products based on multiple polymers like PVC, PE, EVA, rubbers/elastomers, etc. To reiterate, we continue to work not only with domestic customers but also with our global customers to meet their present and ever-evolving requirements in the wire and cable domain.

Our experience of handling multiple polymers for a very wide range of industries also helps us to offer innovative solutions as well offer import substitutes to our valuable customers.

WCI: How do you strategise to expand your reach in unexplored markets? What is your long-term vision for the growth of the company?

KJ: The best marketing tool that works for us is positive word-of-mouth. It spreads our name to unchartered territories. As the market looks at us to provide critical solutions to their needs, we get a lot of ‘pull’ requirements. We have a dynamic and trained team that reaches out to customers by being in regular touch with them, both in domestic as well as export markets.

Our products are exported to around 100 countries in the world. We invite our customers to visit our facilities and have a first-hand experience of not only the world-class manufacturing facilities but also the huge infrastructure that we have in place to cover the R&D and QA laboratories as well as application laboratories. We are also active in participating in various industry fairs as they provide a platform for meeting a large number of existing and potential customers in a short span of time. These platforms offer preliminary exposures which are then sustained by mutual interest. The synergy of having both, plasticizers & polymer compounds, in our product portfolio ensure that we cover the widest spectrum of solution for the cable & wire industry! The vision is clear – to carry on with the legacy of being a trustworthy solution provider.

WCI: With your manufacturing facilities in India, Qatar, and Thailand, please brief us on the production capabilities and infrastructure of these respective facilities.

KJ: As you are aware that the KLJ Group is a diversified conglomerate with interests in polymer compounds, plasticizers, chemicals, trading, and real estate. In India, we have manufacturing capacities in multiple locations. Silvassa has two state-of-the-art plants, one for the polymer compounds and another for primary and speciality plasticizers. Jhagadia in the Bharuch district has two plants, one for chlorinated paraffins and another for benzyl chemistries. We are further expanding in both the locations where Silvassa will see a brand new compounding plant for engineering polymers and Jhagadia will see a major backward integration in our plasticizer business by way of a phthalic anhydride plant as well as a plasticizer plant. Qatar has a caustic soda plant with a forward integration to produce chlorinated paraffins as well as other products. Thailand has a plant for chlorinated paraffins. All these are state-of-the-art plants in terms of manufacturing capabilities and R&D and QA laboratories as well as application labs.

We cater to almost the entire spectrum of the wire and cable market from house wire to power cables, flexible cords, chargers to battery/welding cables, automotive, solar cables, and more with our quality products based on multiple polymers like PVC, PE, EVA, rubbers/elastomers, etc

We continue to strive to be the most reliable and technology-driven solution provider for our customers and the market. We invite our esteemed customers for plant visits – the feedback and the appreciation that we keep receiving from the market is the fuel that keeps the desire to excel burning!

WCI: As the market leader in plasticizers & polymer compounds, please share your views on the key trends influencing the growth of the cable compound market.

KJ: Like in any other market, the wire and cable market is typically segmented in India as well as in most of the developing world. There are customers and markets that offer quality products, and invest in quality infrastructure and people. Such a market is sustaining and driving the growth including the growth in the export market as well as the import-substitution market. Typical examples are automotive, power cable, mobile & communication, solar, and many other demanding applications where the dependency on imports, either directly or indirectly used to be significant.

The cable compound market is also witnessing a trend toward value-added, technically demanding, safer, environmental-friendly solutions, not only for newer applications but also for the current applications. A few typical examples in the wire and cable segment are solar cables, high-temperature rating automotive wires, etc. As the economy grows and the fruits reach a wider section of society, the demand for such products is growing in the domestic market. Moreover, the current geopolitical situation is forcing a lot of companies from the western world to look at India for their supply chain. This is further fuelling the growth in this technical segment of the market and we look forward to its ripple effect on the overall market. KLJ is committed, ready, and investing to be prepared for the current and emerging scenario.

Our recently commissioned engineering compound plant will offer some special solutions for the cable industry.

WCI: How do you ensure the production of first-rate quality compounds and consistently meet the specification requirements of the wire & cable industry?

KJ: As spoken earlier, the ‘hardware’, i.e., physical infrastructure in terms of manufacturing facilities, R&D labs, and QA labs, etc., is coupled with the ‘software’, i.e., the people behind this impressive infrastructure ensuring its smooth operations as well constant upgradation. The passion of our management and professional team is the key to meeting and exceeding the customers’ expectations. KLJ, as a group and as its core belief, not only ignites this passion but also ensures that this fire and passion to excel is lit all the time.

WCI: Please talk about your experience of participating at the Cable & Wire Fair and your expectations from the upcoming Cable & Wire Fair 2022.

KJ: We find that such platforms, including Cable & Wire Fair, provide a meeting platform for all the stakeholders of the industry. Such fairs also provide an opportunity to showcase new developments thus enabling the industry at large to notice and grow in terms of technical solutions. The success and our expectations from such events are not only in terms of attendance but also in terms of the quality of visitors. We expect that the event is promoted to the right audience to have the right mix of visitors. Further, we hope that this fair is able to gain more importance in the global exhibition space in the coming time.

WCI: Has there been any recent development at KLJ Group that you wish to talk about? What is the future roadmap of the company going forward?

KJ: We have many products worth mentioning. A few I would like to recall here are our portfolio for technically sensitive industry segments like solar cables, automotive wires/harness, etc. Our recently commissioned engineering compound plant will also offer some special solutions for the cable industry, though the volumes would be small. Our backward integrated plasticizer plant, due for commissioning later this year would be the most competitive plasticizer plant to serve the industry!

The future roadmap is very clearly defined at KLJ that we should not only be ready for the change but lead the change. We are enabling the industry to adopt better standards and will continue to do so.

WCI: Any concluding thoughts on the interaction?

KJ: We look forward to a market that is quality conscious, driven by a desire to excel, and look at long-term solutions and sustainability. We work constantly to remain a ‘Solution Provider’ for the wire & cable industry, not just another raw material supplier. We do believe that we are in the right direction and expect this to accelerate to help the country achieve what it takes to be a USD 5 trillion economy as envisaged by our policymakers.