Mr. Anjani Prasad holds a B.Sc (Tech) and M.Sc (Tech) in Textile Chemistry from UICT (formerly known as UDCT and now ICT). He started his career in production with Century Mills, where he developed a new process for dyeing with Aniline Black Dyeing, for which he received two patents. He moved to Clarient (India) Ltd. In 1991 as Technical Executive and progressively rose to become Country Head of Textile, Leather, Emulsion and Paper Division in 2006 having turnover of Rs. 5oo crores.

In 2010, Mr. Prasad was given a dual responsibility of Country Head – Textile Business and Head – Asia Pacific – NWC. He was seconded to Clariant International in 2011, first at Switzerland and then at Singapore, where he handled Global SCM projects, managed capital and cash flow for the business, aligned the Apparel and Interior in Marketing and worked on sustainability projects. Since 2012, Mr. Prasad is Global Head of New Business and handles innovation with focus on open innovation, asset light options and new business development. Presently, Mr. Prasad is a Managing Director in Archroma India Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Anjani Prasad is a Chartered Colorists and Fellow of the Society of Dyes and Colorists and a Trustee of SDC India. He published more than 100 articles and presented more than 100 papers in major seminars and conferences in India and abroad. He is also a member of the Bureau of Indian Standards, The Textile Association (India) and FAITMA.

Speaking with Publisher & Correspondent of TAI – Mr. J.B. Soma, Mr. Anjani Prasad, shares the latest developments and innovations at his company.

Q. Give us a brief background of Archroma.
Archroma is a global color and specialty chemicals company headquartered in Reinach near Basel, Switzerland. We operates with 3,000 employees over 35 countries and with 24 production sites. Our three businesses – Brand & Performance Textile Specialties, Packaging & Paper Specialties, and Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants – deliver specialized performance and color solutions to meet customers’ needs in their local markets, touching and coloring people’s lives every day, everywhere. Archroma was formed in October 2013 from the textile, paper and emulsions businesses of Clariant, itself a 1995 spin off from Sandoz, a chemical company which was established in Basel in 1886. In 1997, Clariant acquired the specialty chemicals business of Hoechst, a German chemical company. Through this direct lineage, Archroma has knowledge and experience of chemistry and industry spanning more than 130 years.

Since then, Archroma has been growing organically and with its first acquisitions: 75% of M. Dohmen SA, a company specializing in textile dyes and chemicals for the automotive, carpet and apparel sectors; and the global textile chemicals business of BASF acquired in July 2015.

Q. What are your major products in market?
A. As already mentioned that we have three businesses,• Brand & Performance Textile Specialties: We offer special chemicals for the pretreatment, dyeing, printing and finishing of textiles, from fiber to finish with. Our product packages enhance the properties of apparel and other textiles in applications as diverse as high fashion, home textiles and special technical textiles.

  • Packaging & Paper Specialties: We provide expertise in the management of whiteness, coloration, special coatings and strength for all kinds of packaging, paper and tissue.
  • Coating, Adhesives & Sealants: Archroma’sMowilith® emulsions offer solutions for the paints, adhesives, construction, textile and paper industries.We also serve adjacent markets such as leather, wood, personal care, homecare, or water treatment and many more.

Q. Which are your most developed markets and which markets are coming up in a big way?
Archroma is present in key developed market like China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, most of the European markets and also in Mexico and Brazil.Asia is playing a dominant role in the textile value chain, and fast growing markets such as Bangladesh, Vietnam or Myanmar offer excellent growth opportunities. At the same time, we see markets like Turkey, North Africa or Central America growing and playing an important role to shorten the supply time to the major markets in Europe and America. Europe, is now also from a textile manufacturers market perspective stabilizing after challenging years, and we see segments such as automotive – and technical textiles in general – offer interesting growth opportunities in the years to come.

Q. Can you let us know about your expansion and acquisition plans?
A. we have plans to expand in all key areas for our future growth, and we look at potential acquisitions based on synergy and benefits they can offer for our customers and markets. This is exactly what led us to the acquisition of M. Dohmen and the BASF textile chemicals Business.

Q. Denim dyeing is no longer restricted to just a few selected colours nowadays. What are the latest trends in denim dyeing?
For us at Archroma, denim dyeing goes far beyond indigo. We continuously challenge the status quo in the deep belief that we can make our industry sustainable. It’s our nature.In fact, one of our most remarked innovation is our award-winning ADVANCED DENIM, an eco-advanced dyeing technology based on sulphur dyes. The main advantage of coloring denim with sulphur dyes is that we are not limited to blue shades. And we do not limit ourselves to color, we create packages combining colors, auxiliaries and finishes for denim colors and effects with a strong focus on resource savings:

  • The ADVANCED DENIM technology, based on our unique Diresul® RDT Blue specialties – allows up to 92% savings in water, 87% in cotton waste and 30% energy compared to convention process;
  • Our pre-reduced Denisol™ Indigo 30 is made in a “zero water discharge” production facility;
  • Our exclusive Diresul® bright ocean blue colors allow for expanded color inspiration;
  • Our Optisul® C dyes, ideally suited for chinos, allow substantial water savings during the dyeing process;

Q. Can you let us know about the latest technological innovations taking place in Archroma?
We invest in innovation because we believe that innovation is one of the most efficient drive for more sustainability in textile manufacturing. We are looking for sustainable solutions to address the major problems of our industry, namely waste of resources, pollution and last not least end-consumer safety.

Archroma’s most recent and remarked innovations are: Smartrepel® a non-fluorine-based water repellent finish with high wash durability for cotton, synthetic fibers and their blends or EarthColors by Archroma, a range of “biosynthetic” dyes for cotton and cellulose-based fabrics that are made from waste left over by the agricultural and pharmaceutical industry after extraction such as almond shells, saw palmetto, or rosemary leaves. The latest in NFC technology on product hangtags enable transparency and traceability through the supply chain to consumers.The Earth Colors range is making quite an impact on the market. It recently won the Gold Winner at the Out Door Industry Award 2017, Sustainable innovations Category, and we see more and more brands adopting it as part of their own efforts to use more sustainable ingredients, such as Patagonia or Kathmandu.

Q. Sustainability has always remained high on agenda. Can you share with us some insights about   sustainability in your organization?
We at Archroma are not just saying that sustainability is important – It’s our nature.
First, we strive for continual improvement in processes, saving natural resources and limiting emissions. In late 2013, for instance, we opened the SET facility in Jamshoro, Pakistan, what we believe is the first sustainable effluent treatment facility for a textile operational site. With an investment of 371 million PKR, the facility not only supported the substantial recovery of 80 percent of water but also allowed effluent treatment based on zero liquid discharge.Second, as a responsible player in our industries, Archroma‘s purpose is to create chemical technologies that minimize environmental impact at all stages in a product’s life cycle, particularly helping to lower natural resource usage at our customers, the textile mills.The result are the previously mentioned ADVANCED DENIM, Smartrepel®, or EarthColors by Archroma.Another example is Foron® Rapid Dyeing, a process for the ultimate dyeing of polyester and elastane blends. It reduces the number of water processing steps both in the pre- and post-treatment stages of dyeing and allows for the dyeing of polyester at lower temperatures, which protects the elastane performance, and in shorter times than ‘standard’ disperse dyes. This results in less impact on the environment with savings on water, energy, and higher productivity levels, all combine to reduce costs while ensuring the high performance required for active sportswear.

Third, it is essential that we break the perception that more sustainable equates to more expensive.  Archroma has thus developed an online tool that can digitize mills current process and then can accurately calculate the reduction in resource utilization and also the direct impact on cost, of adopting Archroma’s signature processes. The online tool takes our ONE WAY pioneering sustainability service, introduced back in 2012, to a whole new level. The new ONE WAY online platform will launched very soon.

Q. How do you see the Indian textile industry evolve in terms of technology by 2020?
The latest innovations in technology are towards sustainability. Textile manufacturers are looking for ways to reduce water consumption, because water is clearly a huge concern for the processing industry where many of the state governments have made zero discharge mandatory. Textile manufacturers are searching for processes which consume less water and allow more bio-elimination because BOD, COD controls the bio elimination and biodegradable products would be of interest. The latest Archroma technologies, supported by our ONE WAY sustainability service, aim at helping our customers select solutions for lower liquor ratio, energy consumption and higher productivity.We also see Ink Jet picking up slowly in India but development in terms of machineries are still required. That is where our Inkpresso® system comes to the rescue. This is a revolutionary concept, where inks are developed on site at the customer end in the machine. In normal systems, there are different inks to be developed for different print-heads. Inkpresso® allows for a single system to cater to different heads. Furthermore it also allows customization in terms of colors and viscosity of the inks. The total carbon footprint of the system is also much lesser since transportation is reduced significantly. We are already seeing a lot of enthusiasm for it in India.

Q. Which are your major markets for textile chemical product?
The major markets are:• Apparel –Includes clothing of all types and fashions

  • Home textiles –Such as towels, drapes, linens, and furniture fabrics• Technical textiles including nonwovens –for applications including medical, construction, industrial, carpet, automotive and sports
  • Carpet – Includes indoor and outdoor floor coverings.
  • Transportation – Fabrics in hard-wearing transport applications (planes, buses and trains)

Q. What percentage of processing units in India have incorporated sustainable operations and waste water treatments?
Most of the units are connected with CETP plants many markets like Ludhiana and Surat still to undergo this changes. Overall say about 40% of the market is well controlled but 60% have to get reorganized. Small units are there and the capex for waste water treatment is high so they would more or less relocate in to areas where Government already builds up CETP Plants.

Q. Do you have any tie-up with Chinese company or any other countries to boost your company?
We have been present in China for a long time, with our own organization and production. We have therefore been able to build a well-established business there.

Q. How is the Environmental Impact & Key Statistics of your products & technology?
We have implemented sustainability targets in both our sales & marketing, and manufacturing objectives, so sustainability is clearly a focus for everyone at Archroma.

Q. How do you commercialized your product & technology with a sustainable position in the global market?
With Archroma’s constant flow of innovations that bring ever more safety and sustainability both in products and application processes, we are in the position to offer our customers the possibility to adopt more sustainable technologies in their own production and portfolio. And with ONE WAY pioneering sustainability service, we can help them substantiate and market the benefits and added value of doing so.

Q. How do you see your market segment growing in the next 5-10 years both locally and internationally?
Key market segments will definitely grow, apparel and home textiles, and also denim and fashion. Technical textiles have still lot of scope to grow, as the per capita consumption is low in India and China at the moment. Once this increases, then the market will increase too.

Q. What are the effects of Digitalization?
It is helping us to have better communication both in terms of information sharing, business ecommerce model in dyes & chemicals. It has become easier for the customer to place order in the online portal and also easily trackable of entire supply chain management.

Archroma was actually one of the pioneers of digitalization – in the area of color management. For the past 17 years, Archroma has been offering its color management services using web-based tools for the formulation, standardization and management of custom colors along the entire textile supply chain. We recognized back in 2000 that fashion designers, brands, retailers and their suppliers were all facing challenges, ranging from global sourcing to ambitious deadlines. Since then, our specialists helps them to achieve accurate colors, and accelerate their time to market with color management services, unique software tools and support systems. We recently made a new remarked introduction with the Color Atlas by Archroma®, a color library 4,320 color swatches, available in six volumes and online. Color Atlas even allows users to capture an image using a smartphone, and identify the closest Color Atlas shades with the possibility to purchase a color sample instantly.

Published on: 17-10-2017

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of The Textile Association (India).