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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Jan 2005

Giloe|Carbon trading|Patent regulations|Xantham gum|Small scale industry
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
PATENT REGULATION - GOVERNMENT'S LAUDABLE EFFORTS
SULPHUR CONTAINING FERTILISERS
HERBAL PAGE: GILOE
XANTHAN GUM - PROFILE
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES IN SMALL SCALE INDUSTRIES

With the Government's policies and approach towards the globalisation measures becoming more clear and the realization that the multinational companies have not done any great harm to the progress of the Indian industries, the small scale industries are now in a position to formulate their priorities and programmes with greater understanding and confidence.

Ofcourse, in a liberalized economy with scope for lesser government intervention, the small scale industries in India have to necessarily reposition themselves. But, such repositioning need not mean loss of opportunities but actually can lead to improved prospects.

The striking feature of the globalisation measures is the strong emergence of the concept of outsourcing, where most of the medium and large scale units think that they must focus deeply only in their core functions and do it very well, leaving the non core or non essential jobs to be obtained by outsourcing.

Such developments have now opened enormous opportunities for small scale sector units, who would be able to skillfully position themselves to meet the requirement of the large organizations.

For example, several large units in recent times, make the products in bulk and leave it to the small scale industries to pack it in small containers and lots for distribution in the local regions to save transportation costs and to fulfill the local needs. Many organizations are even entering into research and development contracts to other smaller organizations.

The concept of contract manufacture or custom synthesis is a relatively recent one in India, where small units can make the product as per the specifications of the larger organizations, who would provide technology and raw materials and pay the small scale units conversion charges. There are also instances where small scale unit can specialize in one equipment or process and provide the services to large units who would require outsourcing services relating to specific process or equipment for production of their own goods.

For example, facilities such as super critical extraction can be set up by small scale units for extraction of active ingredient from several herbal or other agricultural products, along with facilities for application development. The services of super critical extraction, which is a highly specialized process technology with possible different parameters for different products, can be offered by small scale units to a number of large industries, with substantial mutual benefits for both the parties.

Similarly, the offer of highly specialised analytical and certifying laboratory facilities can provide tremendous business opportunities to small scale sector, as the larger units would like to avoid investments in such areas, which would involve only a few utilisation opportunities. The companies would like to confine themselves to carry out routine quality control laboratory tests during the production process, leaving the non routine tests towards certification requirement etc to outside organisation.

Another area of exciting opportunities for small scale sector is, what is known as "external maintenance services". Several industries would like to confine their maintenance activities only for attending to the breakdown maintenance and would like to leave the annual preventive maintenance activities to specialized external agencies. For the large industries, this would provide considerable advantages,as they do not have to employ highly specialized maintenance crew or procure machineries for the purpose.

In future, we are likely to find that more small scale units would not be end product oriented but would be services oriented, possessing expertise in specific systems of operation and catering to the outsourcing requirement of larger organizations.

While this scenario would effectively relieve the small scale units from the marketing burden or restricting themselves to one product or activity, at the same time it would make it necessary for them to acquire greater depth in skill and knowledge level.

The small scale units would find themselves operating in highly specialised areas, providing challenging opportunities, that can contribute enormously to profitability to the competent ones. This would also imply that the investment and operational opportunities for small scale units would increase enormously. The association with large players would lead to greater sophistication in the operations of the small scale units, which would do them lot of good in the long run.

This challenge and opportunities for small scale units call for more specialised training programmes for small scale entrepreneurs, with the possibility of academic training institutions emerging that would exclusively cater to the requirement of small scale sector.

At one time, small scale industries were considered as one of the main pillars of the national economy providing opportunities to young and talented persons to emerge as entrepreneurs, even though they may lack high investment capability. The financial institutions helped such entrepreneurs in a substantial manner in the past. However, the overall scenario with regard to the past performance of the small scale units in India cannot be considered as impressive, as several ventures failed and financial institutions were not able to recover the loan provided to many of them. With the measures for globalisation being implemented, the investment in the small scale sector came down considerably, particularly with the financing institutions becoming extremely reluctant to support them.

The government has to workout a new policy initiative to recognise the role of small scale sector in the emerging globalisation era and provide necessary incentives for their growth.

PATENT REGULATION - GOVERNMENT'S LAUDABLE EFFORTS

With the objective of meeting the 31st December 2004 deadline for complying with its commitment to the WTO patent law, Government of India has promulgated an ordinance to extend the product patents to pharma, food and chemical sector.

While there have been number of objections to the government's move and genuine concern have been voiced by well meaning critics, the fact is that the Government of India was left with no alternative other than taking this step.

The Government has made genuine attempt to balance and calibrates IPR protection with public health concerns and national security".

The Government of India should be complemented for applying its mind to this issue from various view points and incorporating number of safeguards while taking the inevitable step of promulgating the ordinance.

The government now plans to introduce the third amendment to the Patents Act in Parliament during the forthcoming budget session. The amendment bill needs to be cleared by Parliament within seven weeks from the time the budget session begins.

SULPHUR CONTAINING FERTILISERS

Sulphur (S) is now recognised as the fourth major plant nutrient, along with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K).The number of districts in India from where soil sulphur deficiencies has been reported is now more than 200 as compared to 130 districts 15 years ago. The list of areas deficient in S is increasing as more results of research become available.

Adequate measures are now needed to ensure that the widespread S deficiencies are corrected, so as to optimise the agricultural yields. To correct sulphur deficiencies in soils and crops, several S-containing fertilisers are available and can be used.

This article also discusses the following details:

  • Importance of sulphur in crop nutrition
  • Sulphur – Now in fertiliser specifications
  • Sulphur containing fertilisers
  • Other sources of plant nutrient sulphur
HERBAL PAGE: GILOE (TINOSPORA CORDIFOLIA)

Botanical Details: Family Menispermaceae
Botanical name: Tinospora cordifolia miers
Botanical trait: Giloe is a glabourous climbing succulent shrub with rough corky bark, while leaves are large basal lobes and flowers are yellow.

Fruits are of pea size and red in colour

This article also discusses the following aspects

  • Chemical composition
  • Application
  • Cultivation
  • Extraction process
  • Shelf life
  • Toxicity
  • Regions cultivated
  • Economics
  • Individual import details 
XANTHAN GUM - PROFILE

Xanthan gum is a high molecular weight polysaccharide and is a natural biopolymer produced by a biotechnological fermentation process in aerobic conditions, based on the culture of a microorganism: Xanthomonas campestris.

Xanthan gum was discovered in the late fifties in the research laboratories of the US Department of Agriculture, Illinois (USA), during research work into the industrial applications of microbial biopolymers.

This article discusses the following aspects:

  • Application
  • Usage Sector
  • Application in food sector
  • Application in oil drilling and exploration
  • Application in pharmaceutical and fine chemical sector
  • Application of industrial grade Xanthan gum
  • Approval
  • Indian Scenario
  • Import/Export Details
  • Outline of Manufacturing Process
  • Global Scenario
  • Important Global Manufacturers
  • Other Units in China
  • Global Production Level (Period 2005)
  • Consumption Norm
  • Global supply scenario
OTHER STORIES

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL: L-PROLINE

This article discusses the application aspects and process technology as well as Indian import/export trends for L-PROLINE

SODIUM METAL: LOST APPLICATION AREAS AND EMERGING DEMAND TRENDS

Sodium metal has lost considerable market share in recent times due to the ban imposed on Tetra ethyl lead which was once the largest application sector for Sodium metal. However, there have been new application areas which could sustain its importance and market.

A number of research efforts are underway in new and highly relevant areas of applications for Sodium Metal such as remediation of chemical weapons, use of borohydride for hydrogen generation for application in fuel cells, sodium sulfur battery etc.

A number of diversified applications and the realization of the new applications are likely to sustain the market and put sodium metal in the growth profile in the coming years.

This article discusses the changing fortunes of Sodium metal.

DO MBAs LACK CAREER MANAGEMENT SKILL?

In the popular view, MBA is the best qualification that one can possess, since it would supposedly make the individual eligible to occupy top management slot in an enterprise. In recent times, the popularity of All India services like IAS and IPS have yielded ground to MBA, possibly due to loss of control in administration by IAS and IPS officers, as a result of the domination of politicians of all sorts in Government machinery of the country.

Even while entry into IIMs remain as the top goal for the aspirants, several "secondary and tertiary" MBA institutions have come up in the country which are in reasonably good demand.

On the other hand, it appears that not all MBAs achieve the career objectives and ambitions visualized by them at the time of joining the course. While a few MBAs do reach the top slot, many others fall out in the career process and become "like anyone else". Before long, they realize that in any enterprise, there are a combination of factors involved in career management, of which the knowledge and professional skill level is only one among the many.

CARBON TRADING

Under the terms of the kyoto protocol, industrialised nations have committed themselves to a range of targets to reduce emissions between 1990, the base year and 2010. World targets range from an average 8 percent cut for most of Europe to a maximum 10 percent increase for Iceland and a 8 percent increase for Australia. (The US originally committed itself to a 7 percent cut).

The members of the European Union have agreed to share out their entitlement, so that countries such as Ireland and Greece can increase their emissions while Britain, Germany and some others face tougher cuts.

ERT: TRACKING THE PROGRESS OF PRESSURE FILTRATION

It can be difficult for operators of pressure filtration systems to know what is going on inside the filter cake during filtration, washing and drying, and any miscalculation can result in wastage of time, effort and money. However, this may be about to change.

Thanks to a UK Government funded project, Industrial Tomography Systems has been able to test its novel sensing technique - electrical resistance tomography - for pressure filtration on a commercial scale.

OTHER ARTICLES
  • Reader’s Forum
  • Finding New Drugs-Challenge for the Global Drug Industry
  • Update on Chemical Software
  • Update of Electronic chemicals
  • Certification Issues-Carotenoid Norms on Crude Palm Oil Imports
  • Anti Dumping Page-India/International
  • Process Flow – Styrene
  • Safety Data-Sodium Metal
  • Herbal Page-India/International
  • Pesticide News
  • Safety & Accident Page
  • Biotechnology - International/India
  • Agro Chemical Page - International/India
  • News Round Up- International/India
  • Technology Development- International/India
  • Pharma Page- International/India
  • Price Trends- International/India
  • Tender
  • Environmental Page - International/India
  • Energy Page - International/India
  • Directory of Chemical Industries in China-Manufacturers, Trading Houses and Promotional Organisations – Part XXIII
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code Part XXVIII
  • Nandini Internet Index
  • List of Foreign Direct Investment/Collaboration Proposals Approved by Government of India During the Month of August 2004
  • Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of October 2004
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