1 Sep 2017, 08:19 — 7 min read
For a country aspiring to be a global power, indigenous production of specialty goods is a necessity. The industry for specialty chemicals in India is dominated by European and North American players. Embracing the ‘Make in India’ spirit Huzefa Husain founded Univenture Industries Pvt. Ltd., in 2014 in Nagpur with a vision to change the status quo. In a short span of time his firm has emerged as a significant player in the market for specialty chemicals like surfactants, emulsifiers and dispersants.
Huzefa mentions that the company was lauded by PSUs looking to recognise Indian initiatives after the ‘Make in India’ policy was initiated. The company is planning on becoming an exporter to Europe and North America. They are changing the way business is conducted in the mining, oil and natural gas sectors in the country.
In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL) Huzefa Husain (HH) shares the journey of his company with his plans for the future. Watch the following video to learn more:
GL: Tell us about your business.
HH: Univenture produces specialty chemicals for various industries. We are manufacturing surfactins, emulsifiers and dispersants. We have diversified into food emulsifiers, industrial emulsifiers and surfactants and dispersants for oil and natural gas.
I am probably the third or fourth generation entrepreneur in the family. We work with metals, oils, explosives and are into several different businesses. This factory was started with a specific vision — I wanted to be in the specialised oil and chemicals market.
For every product in the market, chemistry has a very important role to play. We knew we had certain technologies that make us competitive in the marketplace. We ended up starting with industrial emulsifiers for the oil and mining industry. Our products were unique in the way that they had a better performance than competing products, and they were very well received. We could provide our customers with better products than what was available in the market.
GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?
HH: I was lucky enough to establish the factory at a fast pace because of the family experience in this industry and manufacturing in general. Establishing our product in the market and gaining the trust of clients was the biggest challenge we faced. Our competitors in the oil and mining industries were well established in industries that are conservative and don’t see much change. For us to enter the industry, meet people, give free samples and trials, assure people that we could give them a better product were all difficult things. We wanted to solve for their logistics needs as well.
We are well located to serve the mining industry given our location in Central India which is a hub for mining in the country. We are at a disadvantage for the oil industry which is in the north or in the west. The quality of our products makes it sustainable for our clients.
Our product is for very specific customers — oil, natural gas and mining. Chevron, Lubrizol were intimidating bigger players. But people used our product and saw that we were a cheaper option. Also, now with the new ‘Make in India’ initiative, many PSUs recognise us as legitimate competition to the international players. We still struggle today positioning ourselves relative to our international competitors.
GL: What is the USP of your business?
HH: The USP of our business has been quality and working with our customers’ requirements. We work in a way that is backward integrated and we develop products as per their requirements. A long-term relationship is sustained in this manner when we produce tailor-made products. It’s a win-win situation for both. That is our biggest advantage.
We work around the supply chain. We have a logistical advantage being in Central India. We give our customers in the neighbourhood what they need for which they would otherwise have to go to far off places like Chennai and Mumbai.
GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?
HH: Be it a small or a big customer, we are getting repeat orders. We have become a leading exporter to the Middle East and other countries. Now we are looking to expand to Europe and North America as well.
Majority of our clients are in the mining industry and specialised oil industries. However, our biggest clients are engine oil manufacturers.
GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?
HH: Social media is a powerful medium for people to connect to each other. GlobalLinker, as a platform, plays a very important role in connecting companies with each other. This allows a company to share its products and USP with others. Making the right connections is very important and this can increase the collaboration between companies.
GL: What is your big business dream?
HH: We would like to be one of the leading manufacturers of surfactants, emulsifiers and dispersants in the country. This industry has a lot of growth potential. The technology we have has benefitted a lot of companies financially and technologically. We would like to reduce dependency on foreign emulsifiers and other chemicals coming from Europe and North America. India has a good reputation in this sector and we would like to grow and take the company and the sector forward.
GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
HH: Stay strong. It’s not easy to be your own boss. There’s a lot of self-discipline involved. There will be a lot of people encouraging and discouraging you for all sorts of reasons. Move ahead and be cool.
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Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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