AkzoNobel is known as much for its innovation and creativity as for its products and people. Underlying all these have been the inherent values of dedication, commitment, trust and responsibility that have shaped the organisation through the decades…
Let us turn the hands of time to some hundred years ago; the year is 1911, when the ICI Group commenced its operations in India. Brunner Mond & Co, one of the four companies that combined in 1926 to form ICI in the UK, opened a trading office in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to sell alkalis and dyes. In 1923, it became Brunner Mond & Co (India) and, in 1929, the name was changed to Imperial Chemical Industries (India) Ltd. This was followed by a period of sustained expansion, diversification and growth leading to 1954, with the formation of Indian Explosives Ltd, promoted jointly by ICI PLC and the Government of India. Its name was changed to IEL Limited in 1985 and to ICI India Limited in 1989. The Government of India’s holding became nil in 2003.
Along with the other group companies of ICI PLC in India, it sponsored the establishment of the ICI India Research and Technology Centre in Thane in 1976. Over the years, it saw more consolidation, restructuring and divestment. The highlights of this period include the merger of three other group companies of ICI plc in India—The Alkali and Chemical Corporation of India Ltd, Chemicals and Fibres India Limited and Crescent Dyes and Chemicals Limited—in 1984. Nalco Chemicals India Ltd was formed in 1987. A paints plant as well as a polyurethanes systems house were commissioned at Thane in 1997; another paints plant was commissioned at Mohali near Chandigarh; the Uniqema Innovation Centre opened at Thane in the following year.
There are many more stories of growth and expansion of products and markets, of people and their dreams, with a fair mix of re-structuring and divesments. Then came 2 January 2008, the day Akzo Nobel NV became owner of the entire equity share capital of Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd., the holding company of ICI India Limited, through a scheme of arrangement under section 425 of the UK Companies Act 1985. The name of the Company was changed to its present name, Akzo Nobel India Limited, in February 2010. The businesses currently in its portfolio are Coatings.