Mr Krishna Mohan Puvvada – Regional President and Business Director, Consumer Biosolutions – India,


Kindly brief us about Novozymes & its business operations in India.

Novozymes is the world leader in biological solutions, producing a wide range of enzymes, microorganisms, which help our customers produce more from less improve quality of end products. Our two divisions – Consumer Biosolutions and Agriculture & Industrial Biosolutions enables for a more integrated approach towards end markets, defined by common characteristics and value drivers.
Consumer Biosolutions unites consumer facing industries at the forefront of the value chain, covering Household care, Baking, Dairy, Beverages, Protein and Food, with a focus on making consumer products better, healthier and higher performing, based on clear end-consumer needs.

In Agriculture & Industrial Biosolutions, we focus on improved performance in agriculture and industrial processes, including higher yields, less waste and better health for plants and animals. Agriculture & Industrial Biosolutions covers BioAg, Bioenergy, Animal Health & Nutrition, Starch, Vegetable Oil Processing, Grain Milling, Palm Milling, Distilling, Pharma and the Technical Industries of Textile, Leather, Water and Forest.

Novozymes has been a long-standing partner of India and is committed to the country’s sustainable growth. We have been present in the Indian market for close to four decades and have grown from strength to strength over the years. We have been a pioneer in providing sustainable solutions to most of the industrial biotech segments. Our enzymatic and microbial solutions are used across a broad range of industries – food and beverages, detergents and cleaning solutions, textiles, starch and vegetable oil processing, bioenergy, agriculture, etc, ensuring high standards of quality products, reduced energy consumption, and protecting the environment.

Novozymes’ operations in India are integrated with a commercial division, supply chain and production facility. 
We also have a fairly large footprint of shared services, which provide global support on aspects like IT, digital automation, supply chain operations, financial services etc. So, a lot of knowledge capital for Novozymes is based in India. We have close to about 650 employees. Around 13-14% of Novozymes global employees are now based in India. So, India contributes a very strategic, valuable asset into the global scheme of things for Novozymes.

What are your key offerings to the food & beverage industry in India?

With India moving towards a rising-income country, it provides multiple opportunities. Premiumization of categories, introduction of new formats and rise of convenience-led categories are a few examples. In Food & Beverages, we expect to see demand for health-related properties as part of product offerings. Further, companies and brands are moving towards clean labelling, reduction of salt, sugar, transfats, preservative-free, etc. All of these present an opportunity for working with our stakeholders to offer better and safer foods.

Our solutions help improve food quality, taste, texture, and freshness – thereby reducing food waste, use of additives and making plant-based alternatives more palatable among other applications across various F&B segments. A good example of this is our solution in baking which helps keep bread softer, moister, and fresher for longer, thus supporting efficient and sustainable operations through lower product returns and thereby putting more food in the hands of the society.

Brief us about the current trends you see in the Indian food & beverages industry and how you see the scopes for your products?

There are multiple consumers trends emerging, as we speak. Majority of these trends emanate from the demographic changes - the new consumers (Gen Z) are adopting innovations faster; at the same time, they are conscious of their eating preferences. We are no longer in an era of avoiding labels and production processes. Consumers are proactively seeking food and beverage brands which promote convenience, health, sustainability, and holistic nutrition, for example through fortification. According to a recent survey conducted by Novozymes, a staggering 91% of Indians said that textual or visual claims regarding health-benefits on product packets would make them more likely to purchase a food item.

It is very likely that food producers and manufacturers will capitalize on this evolving trend. Using the right combination of various ingredients and techniques, we will be able to come up with unique propositions to satisfy the health-conscious consumers without compromising on decadence.

How competitive is the Indian market and what are your USP & Leadership Mantra?
Indian market is extremely competitive. Consumers are value seeking and this puts onus on the manufacturers and suppliers for every rupee that is invested. 

Providing our customers with the right value that enables healthier lives is our focus. In this journey, we face competition from alternate technologies, and customers will adopt the solutions that offer the best value.

The opportunity is large. We are looking at the opportunity of catering to 1.3 billion people who are at different economic levels. The shift from unorganized to organized, unbranded to branded products, coupled with the emerging trends of convenience, indulgence, health and wellness, offers plenty of opportunities to multiple players in the F&B value chain.  

Novozymes is a strong science-based company which innovates closely with customers and partners to create pioneering products where we strive to bring economic, environmental, and social value to our customers. 

Tell us how the global slowdown across food and other related sectors due to COVID – 19 impacted your business and how you have addressed the situations?

COVID-19 triggered the organization to adapt continuously and demonstrate resilience. Striking the right balance between safety and business continuity was a key priority for all of us. Despite external challenges, our teams passionately carried out operations effectively to meet the requirements of customers, communities, and colleagues. 

In India, our performance and the impact of the pandemic has been varied across industries. For Food & Beverage, we had a positive experience led by Baking, Grain Processing, and BioAgriculture. On the same breadth, our Brewing business was negatively affected by the lockdowns, etc.

By enhancing and expanding the use of digital tools, we improved collaboration within the organization, strengthened customer relationships, and drove new leads without notable interruption. 

Brief us about your R&D team and their contribution towards making the sustainable enzymatic solutions for the food & beverages industry.

What sets us apart is our strong focus on innovation. Novozymes invest 13% of its net sales in research every year. Novozymes’ research and business are based on bio-innovation, and through these technologies, we find safe and innovative answers to some of the planet’s most pressing challenges, such as carbon capture, sustainable food systems, or replacing chemicals with biodegradable solutions. 

From an Indian context, over the years, we have invested towards establishing a strong local presence with world-class labs and highly skilled application scientists who are constantly finding ways to introduce and innovative technologies to our customers. For example, fiber and protein enrichment in dairy, plant-based alternatives (like Oat based beverage), chemical-free bread and extra soft bread (2X softer).

Further, we see the rising interest in industrialization of food, including traditional foods. We have established teams to look at traditional applications through a regional lens to bring in more biology into these segments – for example, industrialized kulcha, naan, chappati are seeing increased consumer acceptance.  Consumers are on the lookout for soft, fresh, and better-tasting products. Our initial experiments show that flat breads processed with our technology can provide improved freshness and shelf life. This has the potential to disrupt supply-chain operations in the flat bread segment and create a new ecosystem.  

Another example is our work to enable sustainable solutions to produce trans-free fats. As an alternative to chemical inter-esterification, we are working on a batch enzymatic inter-esterification solution which will reduce operational complexity and significantly lower the capex.

What is your business outlook for the next financial year?

We see huge opportunities for our biological solutions across a wide range of industries we cater to. With increased awareness of biological solutions, we are moving closer to our stakeholders to better understand their needs. We are investing in Marketing and Technical capabilities to establish our technologies in the marketplace. In a few industries, we are also investing to develop solutions that are broader than enzymes to help bridge some crucial gaps in customer adoption of new technologies. 

The focus of the Government of India towards decarbonisation is also providing a lot of opportunities.