Udaipur-based agrochemicals maker PI Industries is looking to foray into the pharma sector for manufacturing and export of early intermediates. "Building on our knowledge base in chemistry, we have also planned to foray into the pharma sector for manufacturing and export of early intermediates. We see synergy at the R&D manufacturing and customer end in this area," the company management said in its annual report. The company is already working closely with its global partners, focusing on two to three high-potential molecules for the Indian market under the in-licensing arrangement. "We have made an investment to the tune of Rs 321.44 crore in FY16 to set up two new state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities at Jambusar and R&D centre at Udaipur. "The 60,000 square feet R&D center is equipped with best in class infrastructure and would house around 150 research scientists," PI Industries Chairman Salil Singhal told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting (AGM). The company said its product development team is working on a rich pipeline of products that are being evaluated and are in different stages of registration and it will continue with its tradition of introducing one-two new products every year. "To meet with the requirement of our global customers, combined efforts of our R&D, product development and manufacturing teams resulted in commercialising three new high potential molecules during the year. "We follow a strategy of launching two to three high potential molecules every year leading to sustained revenue growth and healthy margins," it added. The agrochemicals industry is expected to play a pivotal role in driving food security for India, which is on its way to replace China as the world's most populous country. With dwindling land under cultivation and an alarmingly lower portion of that under irrigation, the need to increase farm productivity with efficient use of plant nutrients and protection is pressing. Estimates suggest that the country loses more than 30 per cent of its farm produce to pests and weeds, which warrants containment through adequate usage of plant protection chemicals, Singhal said. The company performed well in 2015-16 given the backdrop of a slowdown in the global agrochemicals industry. Its revenue grew by 8.1 per cent to Rs 2,097 crore, while net profit rose by 28.8 per cent at Rs 313 crore. "In terms of order book position, we closed the year with a record high of USD 850 million. The robust order book with revenue visibility for coming years will continue to drive our investments towards further strengthening our capabilities," PI Industries Managing Director Mayank Singhal said.