10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Aloke Lohia’

Billionaire Aloke Lohia, a man constantly making headlines with his business strategies and unrivalled determination, is a prominent figure in the global business industry. Known as the founder of Indorama Ventures, the Thailand-based petrochemicals producer, he has built an empire within the industry. However, there is more to him than what meets the eye. This article will unveil remarkable facts about Aloke Lohia that might surprise even those well-acquainted with his public figure.

1. Aloke Lohia is not Thai by birth

Though Aloke Lohia heads one of Thailand’s largest companies, he was not born in Thailand. He was born to Indian parents in Calcutta, India. He found his way to Thailand through his father’s textile business, which had expanded to the Southeast Asian country in the 1970s. Anchoring in Thailand allowed Lohia to later establish himself as a significant figure in the industry.

Lohia’s family had a modest background, and yet they were able to summon the courage to do business in a foreign land. It was this entrepreneurial spirit that Aloke Lohia acquired at an early age and adopted in his efforts to build a global petrochemicals giant.

2. He shifted his focus from textiles to petrochemicals

Starting his career in the textiles industry through his father’s business, Aloke Lohia later transitioned into the petrochemicals industry. Spotting a gap in the market with huge growth potential, Lohia shifted his focus to petrochemicals and founded Indorama Ventures in 1988. Today, it is one of the world leaders in the industry.

Synthetic materials are indispensable in various sectors such as food packaging, clothing, and automobiles, and to this end, the demand for petrochemicals products is constantly increasing. Aloke saw an opportunity in this trend and decided to diversify his business, leading to his remarkable rise in the manufacturing industry.

3. Aloke Lohia was under a non-compete agreement

During the 1980s, when Aloke’s father sold their business to an Indonesian corporation, a non-compete agreement restrained the Lohia family from conducting any textile business within certain regions for a specific period. Aloke Lohia, ever ambitious and determined, used this time to consider other opportunities, which led to his pivot towards the petrochemical industry.

During this period, Aloke travelled extensively, forging connections and learning about potential business avenues around the globe. These learnings eventually led to the formation of Indorama Ventures, which currently operates in over twenty countries and is a major player in the petrochemical industry.

4. His company has been listed on the Thai Stock Exchange

Despite its humble beginnings, Indorama Ventures has grown exponentially under Aloke Lohia’s guidance. Under his leadership, the company listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2010 and spread its business wings over North America, Europe, and Africa. This move was a huge milestone for the company, one that has solidified its financial stability.

Since then, it has been a significant player on the stock market, with a continual rise in its share value. Hailing from a modest background, Aloke Lohia has demonstrated his business acumen time and again, steering his company towards increasing profitability and success.

5. Aloke Lohia’s Success is Anchored on His Work Ethic

Like every successful entrepreneur, Aloke Lohia’s journey to success is also deeply rooted in his work ethic. Despite his wealthy status, he is known for his humble nature and exceptional work ethic. He believes in the principle of leading by example and works diligently, guiding his team towards better productivity and performance.

Lohia maintains a positive corporate culture within Indorama Ventures. His focus is empowering his employees and facilitating their professional growth, as he believes that the success of his company heavily relies on the success of his employees. This exemplary leadership style has been key to Indorama’s success.

6. He survived the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis

When the 1997 Asian financial crisis hit, many businesses were forced into bankruptcy. However, Aloke Lohia’s business acumen and flexible business strategies allowed Indorama Ventures to survive. This period tested his resilience and strategic capabilities, but his tenacity saw him through one of the most challenging periods in his company’s history.

His experience during the crisis shaped him into a more efficient leader, and he has since then led his company through various challenges, always emerging stronger. The lessons learned during this period also contribute significantly to his remarkable approach to business.

7. He is a strong believer in sustainability

Given the monumental environmental concerns that the petrochemicals industry’s operations often contribute to, Aloke Lohia’s commitment to sustainability marks him as a leader in his field. He adheres to the principles of the circular economy, with a strong belief that business should go hand in hand with environmental conservation.

Under Lohia’s leadership, Indorama Ventures embarks on several sustainability projects, striving to reduce its carbon footprint. Indorama is involved in recycling initiatives across Europe and has set out a robust vision to ensure 750,000 tons of recycled PET is produced annually by 2025.

8. He is a known philanthropist

Despite his immense wealth and success, Aloke Lohia remains grounded and committed to giving back to society. He is involved in numerous philanthropic activities through various foundations and contributes significantly to charitable causes. He believes that wealth should be used as a tool to drive positive change, helping those less fortunate.

One notable venture is the Indorama Ventures scholarship foundation, which provides educational opportunities to underprivileged students, essentially shaping their future and guiding them towards brighter prospects. This way, Aloke is not only responsible for driving business growth but also societal development.

9. Aloke Lohia believes in decentralization

Though each company has specific managerial practices, Aloke Lohia stands out for his belief in a decentralized system. He understands that efficient decision making often lies in the hands of those closest to the respective operations. Therefore, his company follows a decentralized management system where the local management team in each unit is entrusted with decision-making roles.

The decentralized system also ensures that his businesses across different geographical locations can efficiently respond and adapt to the local market demands and changes, fostering the growth and success of the company worldwide.

10. He has made several successful acquisitions

Lohia’s business ingenuity also shines through his acquisition strategies. Throughout his career, Aloke Lohia has made several successful acquisitions, notably the purchase of a major European producer of PET resin. These acquisitions have not only allowed for the expansion of Indorama Ventures but have also driven the company’s profitability and market prominence.

He has also recently made in-roads into the automotive sector with the acquisition of UTT Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH, a German automotive parts supplier. This represents an ongoing drive for diversification into high-value markets, showcasing Aloke Lohia’s ability to adapt to economic changes and spot profitable opportunities.

In conclusion, the life and career of Aloke Lohia demonstrate a mix of business acumen, resilience, drive to innovate, and an unwavering commitment to social responsibility and environmental conservation. His impact on the global petrochemicals industry has been enormous, but the way he carries out his role, with an eye on sustainability and a commitment to his employees and community, is equally impressive.

Find out more about Indorama Ventures
Aloke Lohia on Forbes