The future of any industry depends on how much sustainable it is and what measures it is taking to improve its sustainability, says Ajay Kapur.
The chemical sector in India with around 80,000 commercial products is expected to become a $300 billion industry by 2025 at an estimated annual growth of 8 to 10 per cent. On the other hand, as sustainability is directly linked to the environment, the chemical industry of India is keenly adopting green solutions not only in the production but also in the distribution and supply chain activities. Moreover, amidst this sustainability drive, another big change experienced by the global chemical industry is a continuous shift of the locus towards Asia, where India is among the top players. All these pro-industry indices confirm that there are good career prospects for aspirants planning to serve this sector.
Towards a sustainable future
As the chemical industry of India is rapidly incorporating sustainable technologies and procedures, the scope for nanotechnology graduates and bio-engineers, is also increasing tremendously along with high demand for chemical engineers. It contributes almost 10.5 per cents to the country’s foreign trade, which shows its huge potential in employment generation. Among the current market dynamics that make India a highly competitive market, ‘Green Chemistry’ is one of the most significant ones as the highly conscious buyer of today cannot think anything which is dangerous to the environment and is not sustainable to other industries.
A study published in 2018 by the Dutch think tank CE Delft estimated that widespread adoption of chemical recycling in the Netherlands would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 300,000 tonnes per year. Another study puts it that producing low-sulfur diesel fuel via pyrolysis of waste plastics emits 14% less greenhouse gas as compared to the production of it from crude oil. Hence, recycling of plastics and other waste materials is also opening new vistas to the chemical industry not only in India but throughout the world. The USA recycled only 9.1 per cent of the total plastics thrown by the consumers in 2015, and the European Union could recycle only about 14.8% of the total plastic waste, these figures show immense opportunities of chemical companies in the recycling sector. Undoubtedly, these least explored opportunities offer a lot to redefine sustainability definition in this highly imperative sector, also, opening new gateways to aspirants planning for a deep groove in this sector.
Regarding the sustainability of this sector, recent practices of all the leading players in India clearly convey that they are committed to sustainability and have already started many types of sustainability programmes following global standards. All these changing patterns and work policies are helping the Indian chemical industry to achieve its sustainability goals. And, as any change is unthinkable without quality aggregators and agents, the industry is ensuring better career opportunities for prospective human resource.
Chemical industry provides various types of raw materials to manufacturing, healthcare, FMCG, and other important sectors of the economy. And, as the goal of every manufacturing industry is low cost and high profit, chemical industry enables businesses to curtail their production cost up to a great extent. That’s why the demand for chemical engineers is always high in the job market. Chemical engineering promises a bright career scope as the range of related professions is wide. From biotechnology and aerospace to biomedical and petroleum industries, the career provides a wide range of growth opportunities and lucrative emoluments in both blue-chip corporations and public undertakings. In addition, the global chemical industry also throws a variety of career opportunities for professionals with relevant experience and qualifications.
Earlier it was only about industrial-scale production of chemicals, but the field has seen a vast change as the chemical engineers now cover various fields and industries. A broad field, Chemical Engineering has applications in plastics, textile, food, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, and many more. All these sectors and industries hire Chemical Engineering graduates, thus opening a huge scope for them in India as well as abroad.
Also, with government’s increasing focus on MSMEs and various tax benefits being doled, the Indian chemical industry is going to benefit that will translate into more jobs because of the growth they are expected to get especially in the times of US-China trade war. The Chemical Industry in India recently gained 6th position as the largest chemical producer in the world and is on an uphill. It is estimated that the chemical industry will double its size to $300 billion by 2025.
Sustainable role and responsibilities
As every rewarding career demands some extra efforts and commitments, chemical engineers are also accountable for various challenging tasks such as conducting rigorous researches to develop innovative solutions, helping companies in getting patents, improving production capacities and ensuring employees’ safety working in laboratories and factories, and preserving or conserving various resource materials of special significance. Also, amidst rising awareness about environmental safety, producing green or eco-friendly solution is another important task of chemical engineers. In a nutshell, their core responsibilities revolve around three key objectives, i.e., making processes cost-effective, eco-friendly and efficient.