N Sankar, the Chairman of The Sanmar Group, was conferred a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the ‘Vinyl India 2012′ international conference held at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Mumbai on 12 April 2012.The award was in recognition of Sankar’s immense contribution to the growth of the PVC industry in India and his other stellar achievements.
Vinyl India is an international conference hosted by the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturers Association India (CPMA) – the apex body of the Indian petrochemical industry recognised by Government, apex chambers of Commerce and Industry and other associations in India and overseas – in conjunction with ElitePlus++ Business Services.
The conference had over 400 delegates and representatives of the entire Vinyl chain including PVC suppliers, PVC converters like pipe manufacturers, additive manufacturers, distributors were present. Delegate representatives from several other countries including the US, Europe, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea and UAE attended.
“Mr N Sankar, the Chairman of The Sanmar Group, a well-known industrialist is a man of many parts. His association with the PVC industry extends over 45 years. With an abiding passion for excellence in execution, Sankar has piloted Sanmar from a single business operation in the early ’70s to a successful global Group of businesses in the sectors of Chemicals, Engineering and Shipping and manufacturing operations at several locations in India, Egypt, Mexico and the USA.
Mr Sankar’s professional journey began when, after graduating as a chemical engineer from the A C College of Technology, Chennai, he completed his post-graduate studies in Chemical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.
It is no exaggeration to describe Mr Sankar as a pioneer in the Indian PVC industry. When its PVC plant was commissioned in 1967, Chemplast chose a renewable resource – alcohol from molasses – to produce Ethylene / EDC, eschewing the use of conventional hydrocarbon based fossil to produce PVC feedstock.
Mr Sankar has always followed a clear strategy of being vertically integrated in the chemical business, and all his efforts have been in that direction. As a result, Chemplast is one of India’s most extensively integrated chemical companies, manufacturing different grades of PVC resins, Caustic Soda/Chlorine, Chlorinated Solvents, Refrigerant Gas, and PVC Piping Systems across different locations. It also has its own distilleries to produce industrial alcohol and extensive salt pans to produce common salt for its caustic soda facilities.
It was Mr Sankar’s foresight that resulted in the acquisition of the neighbouring Mettur Chemicals’ Caustic Chlor Plant to consolidate chlorine supplies, and subsequently a second coastal Caustic Chlor Plant, coupled with an Ethylene import and EDC manufacturing facility to counter dwindling supplies of alcohol. Similarly his strong conviction that a Chloralkali facility should have its own power source, resulted in an investment in a Combined Cycle Power Plant in 1985 and then a Coal Based Power Plant, again investments made much ahead of their time.
Another distinct feature of Chemplast is that it is the only Indian manufacturer of different grades of PVC resin, which includes suspension, paste, copolymer and battery separator resins, used in varied applications. Chemplast was one of the pioneers in setting up PVC Pipes manufacturing including exporting pipes to the Middle East even as early as the ’60s.
Sanmar is the second largest PVC manufacturer in India, and one of the larger players in the world, with TCI Sanmar Chemicals in Egypt augmenting the Group’s PVC and Caustic capacities substantially in the recent past. Designed to meet Equator principles of social and environmental risk management, it offers a unique combination of scale, vertical integration and global presence.
With his keen sense of responsibility to the environment, Mr Sankar personally enunciated the concept of Zero Discharge or ZLD. His directive to the operating management stipulates that Sanmar’s coastal plants not draw a drop of ground water, instead meeting all their water requirements through desalination of seawater and that all Sanmar chemicals plants should in time be ZLD facilities.
Chemplast has been one of the early companies in India to have its Sustainability practices audited by leading independent Auditors to GRI standards. Sanmar has consistently received the A+ standard since 2009.
Mr Sankar has pioneered many of the Group’s CSR activities including supply of drinking water to many villages around the group’s factories on a daily basis, running schools, serving on the Boards of many charitable and heritage institutions and publications, as well as financial support to deserving medical institutions.
As Chairman of The Sanmar Group,
Mr Sankar has been a path-breaker in the field of management. He spearheaded a move to separate Ownership and Management — among the earliest in India to do so. Despite being private, the Group formed a Corporate Board seven years ago, which has a number of distinguished external directors, and functions to the highest 7 corporate governance standards. The reputation of the Group vis-à-vis all its stakeholders are among its strongest points.
In recognition of his pioneering spirit and efforts in the promotion of a wide range of industries in India and abroad and his immense contribution to the growth of PVC industry, this day, the CPMA and Elite Plus have resolved to bestow upon
Mr N SANKAR
‘Life Time Achievement Award’
On the 12th April 2012, Mumbai-India
CPMA Elite Plus++”.