Founded by K.P. Bhargava in 1945, Associated Chemicals Industries began its operations with the manufacture of surface-active agents for leather and textile industries. The beginning of the company’s operation coincided with the boom of leather industry in Kanpur, located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The country’s first industrial city was amongst the foremost centres both in India and abroad for the manufacture of vegetable tanned leathers. To tap this growing market ACI started making fatliquors based on sulphated and sulphonated oil and their blends. In fact, the company was the first to introduce fish oil-based fatliquors to the tanners in Kanpur and Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

Over the next two decades, in the 1950s and 1960s the company established itself as a quality manufacturer of fatliquors. In the mid-1970s there was a change in the leather industry in Kanpur as tanners started switching over to manufacture of chrome-tanned leathers. In the meantime textile companies started closing their manufacturing units and this encouraged ACI to focus on the manufacture of fatliquors. A lot more time and investments were made in strengthening research and development of new chemicals. This subsequently paid rich dividends as a range of new products were developed that were in demand especially from those leather makers who had overseas orders. Associated Chemical Industries had to gear up to the needs of the change and took up the challenge with the help of its own research and development along with the collaboration with Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai to acquire knowhow of most sophisticated fatliquors based on sulphated, sulfited oils and esters.

Thus by the mid-1980s the company started manufacturing a range of semi-synthetic and synthetic fatliquors. In the early 1990s, one of the sister company’s started marketing the leather finishing chemicals of Pidilite Industries Ltd., one of biggest chemical makers in India. In 2000 it started manufacturing new range of fatliquors.