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MUMBAI : Godrej Group has set up a council to explore synergies, maximize output and review opportunities for its chemicals businesses across group companies, Nadir Godrej, chairman of Godrej Industries Ltd, said in an interview.

“We are working on all possible options. I doubt we will have complete mergers, but we may switch businesses from one to the other to strike the right balance. And definitely, we will develop synergies across all our chemical businesses," Godrej said.

Godrej Industries, for instance, has an oleochemicals business (chemicals derived from vegetable and animal oils), while group company Godrej Agrovet has a crop protection chemicals business. Astec Life Sciences, a unit of Godrej Agrovet, is a contract development and manufacturer of chemicals.

The council’s mandate also includes assessing research and development opportunities for the chemicals business.

“We have just started the chemical council. It is not something very formal because it has just started. And I’d like to mention that we similarly have a manufacturing council, which is just like a coordinating group," he added.

Chemicals is one of the oldest businesses for the 125-year-old Godrej Group, one of the world’s leading oleochemicals makers, manufacturing and selling over 100 chemicals, including fatty alcohols, fatty acids, surfactants, and glycerine, in 80 countries. These are used as raw materials by consumer goods, pharmaceutical and food industries.

Godrej Agrovet owns more than 62% of Astec Lifesciences, a maker of agrochemical active ingredients and pharmaceutical intermediates.

“We’re also working to see how the Godrej Agrovet’s crop protection business and Astec can work better, but they’re very different businesses," Godrej said.

Astec is also starting a new research and development centre.

“They were experts in triazoles, but they are looking at other chemistry platforms, fluorine, chemicals, sulfonylureas. And the combination of all these platforms will greatly increase the agrochemical scope, but it also opens up fields for the use of these platforms and other chemicals, including pharmaceutical intermediates. And that is one of the things that the chemical council was already discussing," he said, explaining the complete scope of the council.

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