Food Marketing & Technology magazine – India had an interaction with Mr Mukund Kabra, Executive Director of Advanced Enzyme Technologies Ltd. He provided insights about the company’s manufacturing and R&D facilities, its offerings to national and international markets, and how they entered in top 500 list of India’s mid-sized companies.

1 Tell us about your journey of entering in top 500 list of India’s fastest-growing mid-sized companies.

Entering the top 500 list of India’s fastest growing mid-sized companies is definitely a milestone for Advanced Enzymes. With more than six decades of experience in the enzyme industry, we are continuously investing and upgrading our R&D facilities. Today, we are the largest Indian enzyme company engaged in research and development. We manufacture and market 400+ proprietary products developed from over 65 indigenous enzymes and probiotics. Having pioneered in the production of enzymes in India, we continue to set trends in research and development. We offer enzymes to be used across various industries.

2 Enzymes are a very important part of the processed industry. Nowadays enzymes are preferred over other traditional processes. What has brought you into this business and what are the strengths of your company?

Enzymes are the energy of Life! That’s why at Advanced Enzymes, we believe enzymes are Life! Be it micro-organisms, plants, animals or humans, enzymes are vital to the functioning of any living being. It is our mission to make sure that every human being is able to utilise the power of enzymes, for general well-being, for health and for improving their quality of life.

India’s first manufacturing plant was set up my Mr L.C. Rathi in 1958 and in 1978 he pioneered the production of an enzyme called ‘Papain’. Advanced Enzymes as a group, has come a long way in the past six decades.

Our company’s strength lies in its strong R&D capabilities and infrastructure. We are equipped with state-of-the-art R&D facilities across India, USA and Europe. After acquiring a German R&D company evoxx technology GmbH, our R&D capabilities have been enriched with ‘Directed Evolution Technology’ in creating specific targeted enzyme molecules.

3 Throw some light on products that you are offering to the Indian and overseas food industry?

Enzymes are “miracles of nature” and they play a significant role as suitable bio-catalysts in the development of industrial bioprocesses. They possibly help in replacing conventional chemical catalysts as well as saving energy and precious natural resources. Enzymes have been applied in various food & beverage processing applications. Today they are enabling various food industries to provide the quality and stability of their products, with increased production efficiency and throughput; and with reduced energy consumption and processing time.

At Advanced Enzyme Technologies, we empower our customers to get more out of less with our novel biological solutions. The industries that we focus upon are mainly baking, protein processing, fruit & vegetable processing, oils & fats modification, brewing and speciality applications. In these industries we help our customers to get more output from given raw materials and a high-quality product with great feel, looks and taste.

4 Tell us in detail about your manufacturing facilities and research laboratories. What kind of technology are you using to manufacture products and out of them how many are focusing on the manufacture of enzymes used for the food industry?

Advanced Enzymes claim modern state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India, USA and Europe, with total fermentation capacity of 420 cubic metres. The manufacture of enzymes is driven by an extensive focus on R&D of various enzymes, enzyme blends, enzyme products and customized enzyme solutions.

The company has four national and one international R&D facilities. This includes two in Thane, one in Sinnar, one in Andhra Pradesh and one in Germany. The Sinnar and Thane R&D facilities are process development laboratories, approved by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR). These facilities focus on, enhancing the production efficiencies during the fermentation process, enhancing downstream processing capabilities, and improving recovery and purification yields. The R&D capabilities include fermentation process development, applied microbiology, proteomics and application development. Our application development laboratories focus on innovative enzyme applications that lead to improvement in product quality and process efficiency across various industries it serves.

5 Can you elaborate on the quality standards, R&D and innovations? How do you ensure food safety standards?

Advanced Enzymes has FDA certification on several products. We also have other global standard certifications such as HALAL, Kosher, National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and GMP+ to name a few.

In June 2018 Advanced Enzymes received Certification for ISO 9001:2015. This was the very proud moment for the company.

6 How did your company grow last year and what are the expectations this year? Who are your major clientele?

The company generated 396 crores revenue in FY18 with an uptick of 15 percent. Also, the company maintains the Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) and PAT margins as 42 and 24 percent respectively. We are expecting similar growth for FY19 while maintaining EBIDTA margins at early 40’s and PAT at mid 20’s.

Across the globe, we have 700+ clients including all major Indian pharma companies.

7 You are using very advanced technology for manufacturing enzymes. What makes your products so unique in India as well as abroad?

  • Being an integrated player with presence across all value chains, AETL provides the best quality product to its customers with global standards and at a very less price. One of our research focus areas is to design processes which will help us to achieve economies of scale. We have seven manufacturing facilities, five in India and two in the USA. These manufacturing facilities allow us to have control over the production processes. Our premium quality and globally competitive cost structure give us an edge over the competitors.
  • Our R&D team offers customized solutions to clients.
  • Marketing and sales department give us direct and indirect access to the end users. Also, the value-based selling occurs through various channels. We are serving more than 700 clients in 45+ countries, which allow us to develop deep customer insights.

8 Advanced Enzymes prides itself as one of the few manufacturers in the world that produces a full spectrum of enzymes derived from natural origins. Tell us more about your expertise in this field.

At Advanced Enzymes, we have four pillars of R&D:

Enzyme Engineering: We design the right set of enzymes with their target applications in mind. This involves techniques such as; directed evolution, rational design, quantum mechanics, etc.

Microbial Engineering and Strain Development: We develop new and improved microbial systems for enzyme production. The developed strains have better characteristics such as; rapid growth, higher productivity, and cheaper media cost, etc.

Process Development and Scale-up: We develop robust and scalable processes, both in fermentation and downstream processing. These processes enhance recovery/yield to ensure sufficient productivity and commercial feasibility.

Application Development and Customer Solution: We understand problems related to customer’s product and processes. Based on their problems we design the most effective solutions. We also conduct lab & plant trials to deliver the end results.

9 Out of the total turnover of the company, what is the contribution of international markets?

Around 55 percent of total revenue comes from International markets. The majorly of revenue comes from our US subsidiary.

10 You market your products all across the globe and you are well aware of the enzyme market outside India. How are you planning to compete with the overseas enzyme market? What will be your strategy to expand your business overseas?

Advanced Enzymes will continue investing in R&D facilities; this will help us to identify new product gaps and to develop new solutions for the same. Our aim is to broaden and deepen our geographical presence by expanding sales, marketing and distribution networks in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. We are also planning to acquire key technologies, competencies and skill sets; this will enable us to consolidate and to enter new market segments.