Momentive plans research centre in Chennai


Chennai : US-based silicones manufacturer Momentive Performance Materials is planning to set up a research and development (R&D) centre in Chennai to meet local customer needs.

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“We have a global R&D centre in Bangalore with 30 scientists. Though they are employees of General Electric they do dedicated work for us. There is a plan to set up an R&D centre in Chennai to meet the local customer needs,” V.P. Nalin, managing director of Momentive’s Indian subsidiary, told IANS.

“We are also studying at the options of consolidating our Indian R&D activities in Chennai or have two centres – one in Bangalore and one in Chennai,” he added.

The company’s products are used in a wide range of industries like automotive, telecom and personal care.

According to him, the company has invested $25 million in its Indian plant located at Oragadam near here.

The US parent, which experienced a 21 percent dip in turnover in 2009, is focussing on speciality products where the margins are better than commodity products.

“Some of the speciality product lines catering to sectors like personal care were not affected by the recession. We have decided to look at speciality products for growth,” Michael Modak, chief commercial officer of the company, told IANS here.

About sales trend, he said the first quarter of 2010 had been better than the last quarter of 2009.

Asia is the fastest growing market for the company followed by America and Europe.