Covid resulted in increased focus on health and hygiene
Rising global population and escalating demand for apparel with varied textures and styles. This is one of the most important reasons boosting the market’s growth. In this interview, Puneet Arora, CEO – Textile Specialty Chemicals Global, Rossari Biotech Ltd, highlights on the status of the textile chemicals market and the company’s plans to capitalise on emerging opportunities.
How was the performance of the company in 2021?
We have delivered a resilient performance in 2021, despite unprecedented operating challenges posed by the pandemic. Our Textile Specialty Chemicals (TSC) division was affected marginally due to the second wave of the pandemic earlier this year, but we witnessed gradual stabilization in demand and volumes towards the latter half. Overall, our textile specialty chemicals business has reported improved performance on a year-on-year basis. We are also witnessing healthy traction in new engagements with several customers from the textile space. In fact, these engagements with new customers, both in India and globally, have improved our overall performance as evident in the FY22 H-1 revenues, which more than doubled on a y-o-y basis. We expect FY22 to end on a strong note.
What is the status of the textile chemicals market in India?
The textile chemicals market in India is growing exponentially. Indian textile chemicals market stood at $ 1.5 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 10% to reach $ 2.6 billion by 2023. The state government of Maharashtra is taking initiatives to establish around nine textile parks, which is expected to encourage domestic textile manufacturing, which in turn is anticipated to spur the demand for textile chemicals in India in coming years. This translates into a great opportunity for the Indian textile chemicals market sales that are set to increase at 11% CAGR according to Future Market Insights.
The industry continues to innovate against the backdrop of the pandemic with the processing of textiles to incorporate features such as antimicrobial finish to the final product. Currently, we are focusing on manufacturing textile specialty chemicals for the domestic market. Apart from India, the company has its operations spread over 17 other nations, including Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mauritius and we are confident that we will be able to expand further into newer markets across the globe and establish Rossari Biotech as a leading player.
How is your company helping textile customers to overcome some of the challenges that they face?
As the competition rises, most textile manufacturers opt for cheap and quick processes that give rise to ‘fast fashion’. Hence, that is what most clients are familiar with and there is a serious lack in availability of right information regarding sustainable textile and green chemistry. The processors are not educated on the right use of green chemicals and creating awareness is a major issue that we are trying to tackle at Rossari Biotech. Additionally, the frequent fluctuation in raw material price has given rise to more challenges in effective manufacturing of textiles that we are trying to address from a long-term perspective. Lastly, there have been some logistical issues driven by the intermittent lockdowns but we reckon that this concern will be resolved in the coming quarters owing to businesses going back to normal.
The textile industry is considered to be one of the most pollutants releasing industries. How are you helping the textile industry to reduce pollution?
At Rossari, we are committed to discovering green solutions that effectively contribute to the green foundations like ZDHC (Zero Discharge for Hazardous Chemicals) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards). Our sustainable manufacturing practices and safety standards go through timely reviews. These processes help us identify and mitigate any loopholes that might hamper our impact on the environment. A pioneer in sustainable chemistry, we are contributing greatly to conserving the environment by making green chemicals such as Greenacid series and Greensoda, series that have now set industry benchmarks.
We have vowed to adhere to sustainable manufacturing practices and embrace sustainability and eco-friendliness across business operations. Both our manufacturing units at Silvassa and Dahej use state-of-the-art technologies, thereby ensuring cleaner and efficient operations. Water consciousness remains at the core of Rossari’s sustainable manufacturing priorities. Rossari continues to implement green initiatives like plantation of trees in corporate offices and manufacturing premises, developing and maintaining gardens near factory premises and maintaining green bodies around its plants.
Could you please brief us about some of your recent launches for the textile industry? Any new offerings in the pipeline?
In 2019, Rossari got its textile auxiliaries range approved by the Global Organic Textile Standards and was recognised as a leading innovator in the textile industry. Since then, the company’s sincere endeavour has been to make these products and wellness solutions more sustainable without compromising on their robustness. Rossari contributes to every niche corner of the market with safe and green solutions.
Our sustainability-driven solutions include Greenacid series Greensoda, series Greenhydro 400 Powder, sustainable solutions with antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral products, UV protection finish, antistatic finish, hydrophobic finish and protective finishes. In line with our sustainability and well-being goals, the value chain of the TSC division comprises customer centric products that are affordable and ensure health and hygiene.
Greenboost Liquid is an innovative product which is a blend of bio-catalysts for effective scouring balancing aqueous solutions’ pH level in textile processing. Being the green replacement of toxic chemicals, it resolves environmental problems. Additionally, these green solutions have been very well received by Indian audiences and this gives us the confidence to keep focusing on sustainability as a business priority.
What is your outlook on the textile chemical industry in India?
In India, the demand for apparel is rising exponentially and the country is emerging as a very strong player in the specialty chemicals domain. Our vision is to reach 10% of global demand and we believe we are on the path to attain this goal in the coming years. The growth of the specialty chemicals sector in India will also be fueled by increase in demand for textiles due to rising affordability, improved economic activity, evolving aspirations towards a healthier and safe lifestyle in light of the pandemic.
With increase in consumer preferences for foreign textile brands, there is a rush among companies to produce fast and cheap textiles for meeting the demands of the infamous fast fashion industry. It is crucial that the impetus must be on growing sustainably by adopting green chemistry as that is the need of the hour. Also, with several companies adopting a China Plus One strategy, the focus has shifted to India as one of the key players for manufacturing of textiles and this will continue to boost the textiles specialty chemicals segments in the country, encouraging even more companies to Make in India.
What are your growth plans for the company?
Being pioneers in customised green solutions, Rossari is focused on providing wellness products and intelligent solutions that range from softening to antimicrobial textile auxiliaries – creating smart textiles that boost health and wellness. We have pioneered the new-age textile and garment manufacturing chemicals. With its modern innovations, the company endeavors to provide textile solutions that perfectly combine wellness and sustainability. We aim to continue adding to the product line and create high-performance textile finishes, focusing on hygiene and wellness.
Rossari is well-poised to capitalise on significant growth opportunities, given its diversified range of product offerings, fungible and agile manufacturing establishments, and the ability to constantly innovate and launch diversified products for its growing customer base. As we look ahead, we will continue to focus on growing wallet share across the existing customer base while tapping new customer divisions with an aim to consolidate our market position as a preferred supplier. Integrating the Unitop Chemicals acquisition will be another key focus area for us. Across our existing divisions, we are seeing a healthy offtake in hygiene products and anti-viral portfolio sales. Our TSC business is also witnessing gradual stabilisation in consumption patterns. Overall, the outlook for each business vertical within Rossari remains positive in the medium-to-longer term.