Directory Image
This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

An overview of the specialty chemicals industry in India

Author: Rahul Sharma
by Rahul Sharma
Posted: Aug 23, 2019
specialty chemicals

As the global chemical manufacturing hub shifts in Asia, India is one of the top countries in focus in the global chemical trade. As a top player in this sector, the Indian chemical market is worth about USD 163 billion in the year 2018, with specialty chemical contributing over 20% of the total value. A report from Indian rating stated that the amount of the Indian market would be doubled by 2025, growing at 10% per year, which creates a positive outlook of the industry.

What are specialty chemicals?

Specialty chemicals are defined as the high-value chemicals which are used in low quantity and target to meet end-use applications. Many sectors depend on specialty chemicals and use them as ingredients to produce products for consumers. Unlike other raw materials, the specialty chemicals are used in small quantity, but they can influence the whole manufacturing process.

Which are the significant segments of this sector?

A significant facet of the specialty chemical is that the industry is driven by extensive product research and development with innovative techniques in contrast with commodity products. That is because all the products are made for end-users and their demand define the supply of raw materials.

Here are the main segments of this sector:

  1. Agrochemicals
  2. Personal care ingredients
  3. Polymer additives
  4. Water chemicals
  5. Textile chemicals
  6. Construction chemicals
  7. Surfactants,
  8. Flavors and fragrances
  9. Dyes and pigments.

These products constitute more 80% of the entire specialty chemical sector. In India, these nine segments have a collective value is set to reach 33.3 billion by 2019. The most significant sections are the agrochemicals and dyes and pigment. However, water treatment and construction products are expected to grow at the fastest rate in 2019.

Domestic demands and export of products

The growth of the specialty chemical industry has accelerated in India by both domestic consumption and export to other countries. As these products impact various sectors, the nine segments act as the driver of the Indian economic growth. At the same time, the export of agrochemical, dyes, and pigment, flavor and fragrance have grown significantly over the years.

Critical factors for the growth of this sector

Several factors have accelerated the growth of chemical manufacturing in India. With the tightening of environmental norms in developed countries and slowdown in China, India has become a preferred destination for production. Here are the top factors that have led to the growth of chemical manufacturing:

  • Availability of cheap labor and raw materials.
  • The emergence of competitive industries focusing beyond the cost advantages. They are spending on branding and distribution.
  • Increased production and development capabilities of local companies.

However, challenges remain for Indian manufacturers with systemic problems like fragmentation, small players, commoditization and strict regulations.

Significance of chemical consultants in trade

Similar issues arise for international chemical traders or distributors in procuring their desired products from the Indian market. However, expert chemical consultants come handy in managing the procurement process seamlessly.

The consultants are chemical experts whom the distributors and companies entrust finding reliable products with quality assurance. They can negate the necessity of hiring a chief procurement officer (CPO) in any organization. That is because they are experienced in handling chemical procurement process, starting from searching for a reliable partner to price negotiation to logistic support for shipment.


The Indian specialty chemical industry is expected to grow and expand more rapidly in the coming years. The sector will continue to play a significant role in the growth of Indian economy.

About the Author

The author is a senior content writer at Chemconn sourcing, a leading chemical sourcing company in India. In this article, the author has given an overview of the specialty chemical industry.

Rate this Article
Leave a Comment
Author Thumbnail
I Agree:
Author: Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma

Member since: Aug 20, 2019
Published articles: 1

Related Articles