Editorial October-2020 Growth and change to adapt in the changing world

Rajiv Parikh

16 May 2021

Again our theme for this month is growth in the time of “unlock” all over the world. Several disruptive changes have already hit the world and still more are on its way. 
  • The first one is the change from automotives using fossil fuels to electric cars. 
  • The second one is the digital revolution from 4G to 5G networks. 
  • The third one is almost coming and will be clear after the US elections. It is regarding how the world super powers will refuse to work with China just like they did refuse to work with Huawei and ZTE, the 2 major Chinese telecom networks and also how countries have banned the use of Chinese digital products including TikTok and other privacy penetrating Chinese apps.

How all this will affect the world of chemicals is something to think about. Here is my analysis of the things that will change the world. A study was found in which an electric car produces less than half of the global warming emissions of comparable gasoline powered vehicles. Based on the work so far done by Tesla, we have seen that the move from gasoline cars to electric cars is in itself a major disruption in the automobile industry. What this means is, you won’t require to do oil change on a quarterly basis for your vehicles, you won’t need petrol and diesel and in turn this will reduce our dependence on it and in turn might bring in less chemicals derived from derivatives of the oil. Thus the companies which produce oil change products will be gone down under. This also means that the amount of chemicals required to build the batteries will be increased to a substantial levels. Most of it is Lithium, Nickel and Cobalt, electrolytes and solvents used to build batteries. Companies are working to make cobalt free batteries but this requires extensive research and development, trial and error. One of the news report indicated that Tesla new battery tech expert claims that a large amount of the solvent DMC dimethyl carbonate will be used in the electrolyte for the new battery technology, and the addition ratio is as high as 70%, which is 6 times higher than before. There has been huge increase in the amount of mining done for Lithium which is a product used in these batteries. Also, there are major chemical companies who produce these chemicals used in the electric cars. Mitshubishi Chemical Company is involved in producing the electrolyte for the new batteries and a Chinese company Shida Shenghua is involved in providing the solvent for the batteries. If these battery technologies succeed it will be the end of the monopoly of Saudi Arabia for oil and petro dollars. 

Second, we come to the way how digitalization has changed everything from meeting people face to face to meeting online via video conferencing. Sometimes, I wonder that this corona virus was leaked to the world so that more digital experiences can take place and 5G technology is/will be at the core of it. Well, but this might just be a wild guess and I could be wrong or it could just be a conspiracy theory. 5G technology is at its core and 4 major companies are the leaders at it. Nokia, Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei. ZTE and Huawei being Chinese companies have been banned mostly by the western world. The EU announced that the next phase of 5G revolution will be implemented by Nokia and Ericsson being the European companies. India and the US have already given up on the Chinese companies. What this means
for the chemical companies?  
  • Well, first and foremost it is most important to go digital. Post your products online, use chemical marketing apps, promote your products online. (By the way we will help you do that using our online leads platform chemicalmarket.net). 
  • Secondly, there will be a huge increase in development of 5G equipments, which will require PCB (printed circuit boards) to be manufactured using PCB related chemicals. Do you ever wonder why Reliance moved out of the OIL industry and reversed it to JIO (data industry) because data is the new oil!

The third aspect is how the western world is refusing to work with China. May be this is just a phase which might go away after the US elections or might continue if Trump is elected again. But we have seen and heard deliberate attempts to bully other countries by the Chinese. That will have a major impact on Chinese trade and commerce and potentially have sanctions on the country. However, there is still a huge dependency on China for the world manufacturing so it is difficult to just shut them off. But we have seen systematically how Chinese aggression has changed the relations with several countries and how several countries are acting towards trying to become less dependent. Moreover several lives have lost which people or countries think is because of the ignorance of the Chinese government to let the virus spread and not take appropriate steps to contain the spread of the virus on a global scale by deliberately hiding critical virus related and life saving information to the world! The world order is changing and it could affect your business if you don’t move ahead of the time and let time move ahead of you. Change is constant! 


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