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Scouting for Partners in Powder Processing
Takeshi Okawara, President, APPIE Powder processors have been constantly pushing their limits to meet the constantly growing demand of producing higher quality products for the end-user industry viz pharmaceutical, rare earths, metals & mining and food processing, etc. Manufacturers for powder processing equipment are constantly innovating and developing improved methods for producing powder products.

The user industries for these technologies are showing a healthy growth in India. Indian pharmaceutical industry grew at 15.7 per cent in December 2011 and is estimated to touch USD 20 billion by 2015. The industry is frontrunner in a wide range of specialties involving complex drugs manufacture, development and technology. The manufacturing process is largely powder technology, which is applicable across the entire bandwidth of pharmaceutical products, which includes tablets, capsules, injectable products, suspensions and creams etc. With refined particle technology operations, in the drug development processes, the process of drug manufacturing is becoming critical for the product performance. With increase in usage of nanotechnology in drug development towards improvement in product improvement, pharmaceutical industry is embracing these technologies rapidly.

The share of mining industry in India's GDP is currently 2.5-3 per cent in the past 2-3 years, according to Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) Shri Dinsha J Patel. The Ministry has proposed the strategy to unlock the potential of mining sector and envisioned Vision 2020 to promote optimal utilization of India's mineral resources for its industrial growth and create economic surplus by using scientific exploration and sustainable mining practices, which will create demand for powder processing. Food processing industry is another large scale user of powder processing technology and the Planning Commission has declared investments of 250 crore for the year 2012-13 for the implementation of National Mission of Food Processing.

Government has drawn number of schemes to catalyse the growth of food processing sector, which includes setting up basic infrastructure to technology upgradation establishment and modernisation of food processing industry. IndiaĘs rare earth industry, which was at standstill, is also getting revived to cater to the growing demand of rare earths across various industries in the country. This industry is also one of the major users of powder processing technologies to develop fine ingredients to manufacture materials for high end applications across different processes in various industries. Japanese powder processing manufacturers will bring latest technologies to India during the 26th edition of CHEMTECH World Expo scheduled early next year in Mumbai. Association of Powder Process Industry & Engineering (APPIE) has partnered with CHEMTECH World Expo 2013 and will bring the delegation of industry representatives during the four day tradeshow.

Expressing his views on the Indian market, Takeshi Okawara, President, APPIE, said, "Needless to say, the Indian market is very attractive for Japanese technology. Japanese people know that India is a big country and its population is enormous. We know that you have large human resources in the field of IT. However details of inside are unknown to most Japanese." He added that observing Japanese companies entering India, he has the impression that it takes a long time for them to take root in the Indian society, which may come from multiethnic country, multiple language and difference in business custom. Looking at Japanese companies expanding their business in India, he believes that there is a continued demand for advanced powder technology.

Okawara elucidates that Japanese companies are targeting all the industries that require powder processes viz mining, minerals, rare earths, pharmaceuticals and food, etc which would include comminution, mixing, kneading, calcination molding and dust collection etc. He added that evaluation technologies such as measurement and instrumentation as important components for making up the process. He states, „Our USP can be summed up as-Reassurance, Safety & Reliability and from Micron to Nano.

One of the most important point Okawara states is to understand the Indian market and offers the specs as per requirement, and secondly he states joint ventures to be a better option for Japanese companies to take root in India than starting independent companies, which usually take longer time.

APPIE will bring delegation to India during the four day tradeshow and he expects that the Japanese companies to get precise information about the business customs and current state of powder industries in India.