BASF has opened a global research and development (R&D) centre at its manufacturing facility in Turbhe, Navi Mumbai.
"The initial capital expenditure for the centre will be 2 million euros (Rs 17 crore) and it will have 60 scientists to start with," said Raman Ramachandran, head, South Asia, and chairman, BASF companies in India.
This facility has been set up by BASF under its group company BASF Chemicals India Pvt Ltd and is not part of the listed Indian entity.
Harald Lauke, president, biological and effect systems research, said: "By 2020, we plan to conduct 50% research activities outside Europe, of which one quarter (25%) will be in Asia Pacific and the other (25%) in the US," he said.
Lauke said the company is also evaluating further investment options in R&D in Asia Pacific, including India.
BASF has over 700 researchers in Asia and this is set to increase to 3,600 in six years. "It will be difficult to give out numbers for the India operations," he said.
An Agronomical Research and Development Field Station in Pune, established for the agricultural business, is among the other initiatives. BASF has 16 R&D facilities and a host of technology centres across the globe.
In India, the company the company has eight production sites, including those in Mangalore, Ankleshwar and Chennai. In Mangalore, BASF already has an R&D facility.
The company made it India entry as a commodity seller over 100 years ago. It makes chemicals, plastics, performance products, crop protection products and has interest in the oil and gas sector.
"We have already initiated an integrated manufacturing facility for production of polyurethanes, care chemicals and polymer dispersions in Dahej, Gujarat. The new facility, costing Rs 1,000 crore, will start production sometime in 2014," said Ramachandran.
Ramachandran said BASF's India turnover has grown from Rs 4,600 crore in 2008 to Rs 7,900 crore in 2013. "We have almost doubled business in the last five years. The India business contributes about 2% to the company's global sales of around euro 80 billion," he said.