iifl-logo-icon 1

Invest wise with Expert advice

By continuing, I accept the T&C and agree to receive communication on Whatsapp

sidebar image

R S Jalan, Managing Director, GHCL

11 Sep 2023 , 01:17 PM

How has been the growth in the soda ash business over the last few years?

We have been in the Soda Ash business for almost four decades now and are the 2nd largest manufacturer in India with nearly 26% market share. For the past five years, we achieved a revenue growth of 17% CAGR with average EBITDA margins of 29%.  We are now a ‘zero net debt’ company and have plans to invest Rs. 6,500 crores to set-up one million tonne Greenfield soda ash plant in Kutch region of Gujarat. This has been a result of our continued focus on cost competitiveness, customer centricity, operational efficiencies and sustainable business practices. 

How has the year 2023-24 been for GHCL, particularly the chemical business?

The first quarter of FY24 saw tepid demand for soda ash mostly due to challenging market conditions aggravated by higher-than-expected imports into the country from Russia, Turkey as well as US. This has led to a temporary oversupply situation thereby impacting the realisations. However, the demand for flat, container and solar glass in India was strong mostly due to higher requirements from automobile, real estate, and solar panel segments. Demand from the detergent segment was subdued due to the monsoon season. In addition to this, some demand from the chemical segment catering to export markets and domestic textile markets temporarily shifted to caustic soda. 

However, Soda Ash demand for the longer term continues to stay strong with boost from sectors linked to the environment including solar glass, lithium carbonate and flue gas treatment. We believe the demand supply situation to correct itself in the next couple of quarters.

What were the key milestones in GHCL’s successful journey in the chemical business?

We commenced Soda ash production in the year 1988 with an installed capacity of 4.2 Lacs MTPA which was further increased to 5.25 Lakh MTPA. It has been almost 40 years since and we are now the 2nd largest manufacturer in India with nearly 26% market share. 

  • In the period from 2001-2008, we increased our Soda Ash capacity to 8.5 Lacs MTPA and Commissioned a 30K MTPA Refined Sodium Bicarbonate plant
  • From 2016-2018, the Soda Ash production capacity was increased to 9.75 Lacs MTPA and Sodium bicarbonate capacity was doubled to 60K MTPA
  • In FY19, we increased our Soda Ash production capacity to 11 Lacs MTPA and became one of the largest manufacturer of Soda Ash in India at a single location
  • In FY23, we further enhanced our Soda ash production capacity to 12 Lacs MTPA and doubled our RBC production capacity it to 1.2 Lacs MTPA.

Which are the emerging economies offering growth opportunities to companies like yours?

Of the emerging economies, China outshines the rest with the highest capacity of 31.2 MMT of soda ash and produces 29.1 MMT. With its latest upcoming capacity in Inner Mongolia Berun Group Co., Ltd., China could create a temporary blip in the worldwide demand supply scenario with resulting softer prices. 

Europe and Turkey are the next largest with installed capacity of 15.1 MMT of soda ash and produce of 13.6 MMT. Next in line is the USA with 13.3 MMT of installed capacity and 11.6 MMT of production. 

The recent financial report indicates an 11% decline in net revenue for GHCL during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. Could you provide insights into the key factors that contributed to this decline?

In Q1 FY24, we reported a decline of 11% in the net revenue which can be attributed to factors such as

  • Softer realizations due to reduced energy costs
  • Higher imports of Soda Ash from Russia, Turkey and US
  • Lower production volumes due to the lime kiln breakdown in our plant.

In addition to this, the Soda ash industry as a whole, is witnessing a recessionary trend worldwide due to an oversupply situation. A new capacity of 0.5MTPA has been added in the US and there is anticipation of a new upcoming capacity in Inner Mongolia Berun Group Co., Ltd., China. We anticipate that the global situation will remain tepid for the next one to two quarters. 

However, Soda ash is an essential commodity, used across various industries, and we are optimistic about the long-term demand – supply scenario. Especially due to an anticipated growth in demand from environment-related sectors such as solar glass, lithium carbonate, and sodium bicarbonate for flue gas treatment.

How is GHCL strategizing to address the decline in net revenue and work towards sustainable growth in upcoming quarters?

As I said earlier, we expect the oversupply situation in the Soda ash industry to continue for a couple of quarters. But in the long run, we envisage a very robust supply scenario with the global soda ash capacity expected to grow at the rate of 2%-3% every year. Indian demand for Soda ash is also expected to grow by more than 5% annually thus making the future outlook robust. 

At GHCL we continue our focus on driving responsible growth through continuous improvement, customer delight, innovation and operational excellence. Our upcoming strategic expansions and commitment to sustainable business practices ensure value creation for our stakeholders through the following initiatives

  • Augmenting backward integration of raw material for enhanced control on cost
  • Focus on reducing carbon footprint. A 6.5 MW of renewable energy project is on the anvil for the inorganic chemicals business
  • Adoption of AI & IoT 4.0 in the plant to ensure manufacturing excellence
  • We are also working on improving our Salt yield
  • We have doubled our Sodium Bicarbonate production capacity from 60k to 120K MT.
  • We ae working on using the waste energy to produce Vacuum salt.
  • And last but not the least our upcoming Greenfield Soda Ash project of 5L MT, will certainly help us cater to the increased demands of Soda ash in the long term

Help us understand your company’s growth strategy?

The Company’s growth strategy is based on an unwavering commitment towards creating value responsibly for our stakeholders, viz – Customers, suppliers, employees, investors and society. Our ability to deliver superior products and services to our esteemed customers within a stipulated time frame helps us nurture and build our relationship and enables us to retain our position as a preferred supplier. We ensure customer-centricity, optimum product quality through utilization of high-grade raw materials, optimum capacity utilization through innovation and improvement, and an efficient supply chain that makes all this possible. 

Give us an overview of the company’s ESG strategy? 

At GHCL, we make sure that Sustainable business practices are a part of our growth and business strategy.  We have identified four pillars that guide our efforts: Responsible Stewardship, Social Inclusiveness, Promoting Relationships, and Adding Value. 

Responsible Stewardship ensures that we drive continuous improvement in health, safety, environment and security performance. We also focus on systematic reduction in our carbon footprint, GHG emissions, and energy and resource consumption. Through various policies and practices and CSR we ensure Social inclusiveness so that we may provide our stakeholders and opportunity to live a life of dignity, security and opportunity. Our value driven culture helps promote better relationships, inclusivity and equality through respect, trust, ownership and team work. Through these pillars we make sure to create value for all the lives that we are fortunate enough to touch. 


RS Jalan, MD, GHCL

Related Tags

  • GHCL
  • Managing Director
  • R S Jalan
sidebar mobile


Read More
Knowledge Centerplus

Logo IIFL Customer Care Number
1860-267-3000 / 7039-050-000

Logo IIFL Securities Support WhatsApp Number
+91 9892691696

Download The App Now

Knowledge Centerplus

Follow us on


2024, IIFL Securities Ltd. All Rights Reserved

  • Prevent Unauthorized Transactions in your demat / trading account Update your Mobile Number/ email Id with your stock broker / Depository Participant. Receive information of your transactions directly from Exchanges on your mobile / email at the end of day and alerts on your registered mobile for all debits and other important transactions in your demat account directly from NSDL/ CDSL on the same day." - Issued in the interest of investors.
  • KYC is one time exercise while dealing in securities markets - once KYC is done through a SEBI registered intermediary (broker, DP, Mutual Fund etc.), you need not undergo the same process again when you approach another intermediary.
  • No need to issue cheques by investors while subscribing to IPO. Just write the bank account number and sign in the application form to authorise your bank to make payment in case of allotment. No worries for refund as the money remains in investor's account."

www.indiainfoline.com is part of the IIFL Group, a leading financial services player and a diversified NBFC. The site provides comprehensive and real time information on Indian corporates, sectors, financial markets and economy. On the site we feature industry and political leaders, entrepreneurs, and trend setters. The research, personal finance and market tutorial sections are widely followed by students, academia, corporates and investors among others.

  • 9 out of 10 individual traders in equity Futures and Options Segment, incurred net losses.
  • On an average, loss makers registered net trading loss close to Rs. 50,000.
  • Over and above the net trading losses incurred, loss makers expended an additional 28% of net trading losses as transaction costs.
  • Those making net trading profits, incurred between 15% to 50% of such profits as transaction cost.
Copyright © IIFL Securities Ltd. All rights Reserved.

Stock Broker SEBI Regn. No: INZ000164132, PMS SEBI Regn. No: INP000002213,IA SEBI Regn. No: INA000000623, SEBI RA Regn. No: INH000000248

We are ISO 27001:2013 Certified.

This Certificate Demonstrates That IIFL As An Organization Has Defined And Put In Place Best-Practice Information Security Processes.