CEO the Year 2021: Best CEO in Manufacturing Industry

Aloke Lohia

Group Chief Executive Officer of Indorama Ventures PCL

Key Achievements

IVL captain charts profitable course through storm

While 2021 is proving to be a tough year for the global economy with strong headwinds, such challenges have failed to throw Indorama Ventures Plc (IVL) off course.

The world’s largest integrated polyester producer delivered strong financial results in the first nine months of this year, thanks to its integrated manufacturing and regional footprint.

In the quarter to September, IVL’s net profit stood at 6.548 billion baht, up 1,623% over the same period of 2020, as revenue surged 55% year-on-year to 126.89 billion. Production volume hit a record of 3.27 million tonnes in the third quarter.

These strong performances have led to a record year-to-date performance, the company ending the first nine months with core EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) up 50% year-on-year to US$ 1.28 billion.

As customers seek reliable supplies in the face of these disruptions, regional availability will become important in circumventing the effects of high freight rates and supply chain disruptions.

The rising crude oil price is also an advantage for IVL as a domestic producer in net importing regions. As a result, margins in Western markets, constituting roughly 65% of IVL’s production capacity, have benefited.

Looking to the end of the year and into 2022, IVL expects demand to remain robust across the portfolio, bolstered by continued economic recovery.

Highlights of IVL’s investments this year include the announced acquisition of Brazil-based Oxiteno SA Indústria e Comércio, a subsidiary of Ultrapar Participações SA. The deal will give the company a unique portfolio in high-value surfactants and extends its existing integrated oxides and derivatives (IOD) business.

IVL announced it will build a facility in Karawang, West Java, to recycle almost two billion plastic bottles a year in support of the government’s plan to reduce ocean debris. The facility is planned to launch in 2023. IVL has also completed its acquisition of CarbonLite Holdings’ facility in Texas, the US, as part of the company’s commitment to increasing PET (polyethylene terephthalate), recycling capacity.

Found by an India-born billionaire Alok Lohia, who has lived in Thailand for more than 30 years, in 1990, IVL is now the world’s largest PET producer and recycler with 124 operating sites in 33 countries. After launching the family's first non-textile venture in 1988, Mr Lohia established the country’s first worsted wool yarn manufacturer, and entered the packaging industry in 1995.

The company grew primarily through acquisitions, expanding its product portfolio and operating footprint across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

The company has also spearheaded the recycling of post-consumer PET packaging, having processed over 58 billion post-consumer PET bottles from 2011 to now, with a target of recycling 50 billion bottles per annum and investment of $1.5 billion (50bn baht) to achieve the sustainability goals.

Besides continued business expansion this year, IVL remains committed to the various transformation programmes that it embarked on in 2020. Mr Lohia, who has been IVL Group CEO since its inception, has been leading organisational transformation including the Project Olympus, the company’s cost and business transformation project, and the "ONE IVL" integrated ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform, with a capex commitment of over US$ 200 million, to become a "future-ready intelligent enterprise".

In Q3 2021, Project Olympus — the company’s cost saving and business transformation project — achieved $63 million in efficiency gains, and is on track to achieve a total $610 million of savings by 2023. Additionally, IVL has created centralised expert enabling functions in areas such as digital and business continuity to provide best-in-class support to its business segments.

Another of this year’s achievements is in sustainable finance. IVL in early November issued a 10-billion-baht triple-tranche Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB), the largest SLB issued in Thailand and the first offered to both institutions and high-net-worth investors.