Made in India: Adhesives from Astra Chemtech

Founded in 2000, Astra Chemtech is poised to establish itself to offer end-to-end, comprehensive packaging solutions, Shekhar Mhapsekar, of Astra Chemtech tells Rahul Kumar

30 Apr 2024 | By Rahul Kumar

In recent years, Astra Chemtech has captured the attention of the market with innovative excellence combined with a fierce commitment to sustainability. Founded in 2000 as a private limited company, Astra Chemtech later transitioned into a manufacturing powerhouse with a vision to redefine the standards in the printing and packaging sector. Through calculated risks to innovate new products, use of state-of-the-art technology to bring in international quality products, and able leadership and foreseeing the dynamic duo of Rashid Sorathiya and Farid Sorathiya, the company embarked on a transformative journey, supported by its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.

From trading to manufacturing
Astra Chemtech began with a clear vision to establish its brand identity in the adhesive segment. With a strategic move towards manufacturing in its early days, the company built its primary expertise in water-based lamination adhesives.

Shekhar Mhapsekar, director of marketing, Astra Chemtech, said, “The industry respect we earned in the process laid the foundation for our future growth and success. Urged by our continuous push for excellence, we quickly gained recognition for our quality products and unwavering commitment to quality. Attaching immense value to customer satisfaction paved the way for the rocket-like push they gained as they grew.”
Then, the company went all guns firing to rapidly pivot its portfolio with a diverse range of segments toward pressure-sensitive adhesives to cater to the label industry. As it surged ahead, Astra held onto its quality. To bring additional push and expand its brand respect further in the book-binding and soap wrapper industry, Astra added hotmelt adhesives to the portfolio.

Today, its flagship products, water-based TS 600 and hotmelt pressure-sensitive TM9600D, prove the company’s push towards quality. Further to the hotmelt segment, pasting adhesive TPW 100 is its new product, which is a market leader in its segment.

Products for packaging
Astra Chemtech has two flagship products for the packaging segment – Turbocryl TC-177, Turbopower TPW-100 and Turbomelt TM-9600 D.

The Turbocryl TC-177 is a high-performance lamination adhesive offering several advantages, such as high solid percentage formulation; exceptional bonding for a variety of films, including PVC, polyester, MetPET, and= BOPPl; addresses ink defects, ensuring flawless print quality and delivering outstanding yield value, optimising cost-effectiveness

The Turbopower TPW-100 is a side-pasting adhesive for cartons, boasting features, such as high solid percentage formulation, ensuring robust performance; ideal for sensitive substrates with low energy levels; suitable for high-speed machines, enhancing productivity; provides superior bond strength, ensuring packaging integrity; and environmentally friendly water-based formulation, aligning with sustainable practices.
The Turbomelt TM-9600 D is a hotmelt pressure-sensitive adhesive for stock label applications. The highlights include high peel strength; high shear strength; good die cutability and suitability for low surface energy substrates.

Aim to be a powerhouse
Now, Astra Chemtech is aiming to be a global powerhouse. And the stepping stone to that ambition is to reach a revenue of Rs 1000-crore and to offer end-to-end, comprehensive packaging solutions.
“Astra Chemtech has set an assertive goal for itself to provide end-to-end solutions for almost all industries, to be a single-point international hub. No doubt, in the process we will redefine industry benchmarks and also emerge as a leader in a global market,” Mhapsekar says.

As its customers’ needs expanded, Astra Chemtech expanded its horizons beyond adhesives into inks and coatings. This calculated, strategic move marked a significant milestone in the company's journey, positioning it as a formidable competitor in the domestic as well as the global market. The company turned pages, heads and a corner with its introduction of UV inks and coatings three years ago. This turning point propelled Astra Chemtech into the league of multinational companies.

In its long journey, Astra Chemtech has taken risks, calculated and ambitious ones. And all of them have yielded astronomical results. These risks, taken to position the company in the top echelons of the international players, were driven by the ambitions of the Sorathiya brothers.

In its next move, Astra Chemtech is undergoing a complete transformation. Sustainable innovation is the cornerstone of their new strategy, as they aggressively expand their product offerings to meet evolving market needs.
Mhapsekar says, “From synthetic adhesives for woodworking to UV coatings for specialised applications, Astra Chemtech has continuously expanded its portfolio to encompass a wide range of solutions. Furthermore, Astra Chemtech continues to explore new frontiers in UV coatings and inks, including LED inks for offset processes and heat seal lacquer with oil and grease resistance (OGR).”

Research and Development Excellence
Astra’s research and development centres are dedicated to uncovering the perfect chemistry, bringing in the latest innovations in technology and inventing groundbreaking processes.

Mhapsekar says, “Our comprehensive global R&D efforts encompass an array of activities, from fundamental laboratory investigations to pioneering advancements in ink dispersant technology. We delve into ink-and-media compatibility testing, jetting assessments, system software design, print head innovations, and beyond. Our commitment lies in crafting solutions that enhance efficiency, reduce operational costs, unlock new revenue streams, and contribute to a sustainable future. We excel in tailoring solutions to meet the unique requirements of each customer, while continuously introducing fresh concepts and the latest technological breakthroughs to the market, spanning ink, coatings, and adhesives.”

Astra Chemtech actively participates in the Make in India initiative, aligning with the government's vision to promote domestic manufacturing and propel India’s growth as a global manufacturing hub. By manufacturing high-quality packaging solutions locally, Astra Chemtech contributes to the country’s economic development and reinforces its commitment to serving the Indian market.


Astra Chemtech's production plant in Boisar, Palghar, Maharashtra 

Looking ahead
Innovation is the heart of Astra Chemtech’s growth and expansion. With a focus on research and development, the company continuously explores new technologies and formulations to not only stay ahead of the curve but often curve the path itself. By investing in facilities and a talented team of professionals, Astra Chemtech ensures that its products meet the highest standards of quality and performance.

The success of Astra Chemtech's products can be attributed to their unique combination of performance, reliability, and sustainability. By prioritising eco-friendly formulations and production processes, the company not only reduces its environmental footprint but also meets the growing demand for sustainable solutions in the printing and packaging industry.

With a clear vision for the future and a determination to succeed, the company is poised to shape the future of the printing and packaging industry, redefining standards and setting new benchmarks for excellence.

Astra Chemtech will be located at Stand B22 in Hall 3 during the Drupa exhibition.