|Jain Scientific Glass Works, manufacturers of glassware for laboratories, is importing glass as raw material from China, which was much cheaper than the local product and abundantly available.
Partner Jaswant Jain said the firm, the leading supplier of glass equipment to chemical, biological, micro biological, bio-technical, pathological and pharmaceuticals laboratories, consumed around 200 tonnes of raw material annually and the import from China served 80 per cent of the requirements.
Jain said the material from China cost around $1.1 per kg whereas the local rate was Rs 300 per kg and till now Borosil had monopoly of the trade.
He said glass tubes were the basic raw material for their trade and because of imports from China the company has not increased the prices of its products despite escalating petroleum and labour cost.
Jain said borsilicate glass, prepared from silica sand, was being manufactured by several big factories in Beijing and Shandog. He said factories there are being controlled by government undertakings and cheap labour and the use of solar energy are key inputs.
Jain, who has made several trips to China during the past three years, said the Chinese imports kept firms in competition.
He said his firm, which has an annual turnover of over Rs 5 crore, was supplying giants like Cipla, Nestle, Ranbaxy, and Torrent, and also the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and their different units, for more than 40 years.
The firm is exporting to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and South Africa. He said Indian equipment were of world standards but we have competitors in Germany and the UK.
He said plastic was also making dent in their business because lab equipment, which did not require heating, were being replaced with plastic wares.
He said now for storing soft chemicals, plastic jars were used.