Special Report

“Archroma’s focus is on sustainability through innovation to help our customers reach new heights and remain competitive”
Interview: Mr. Mujtaba Rahim, President & CEO, Archroma Pakistan Limited.

What are the factors that have contributed to Archroma’s remarkable success?

At Archroma we believe in sustainability through constant innovations. We are a global chemical manufacturing company aiming for minimal environmental impact in all stages of the product’s life cycle from extraction to the disposal of resultant waste.  Within the Archroma world, our Jamshoro plant has the distinction to be the first ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ facility. By that we mean, that we reuse and recycle water and even the residual solid waste is used to make bricks that we happily donate to local community.

Another important achievement is production of aniline-free* indigo at this plant to cater to the needs of our denim sector. Through such constant developments, we are contributing towards an environment that is free from hazardous substances.

Environmental sustainability is directly linked to water and resource saving to reduce carbon footprint. We aim to manufacture products that are clean and safe. Products such as our aniline- free* indigo significantly contribute towards environment protection.

As the concept of aniline free* indigo is new, manufacturers and their labs do not have testing facilities for aniline.  We are thus working with many renowned textile laboratories and voluntarily submitting our product to technical testing for aniline (see under https://www.archroma.com/innovations/the-purest-indigo).

Preservation of water in all processes of production and manufacturing is vital as water is a precious resource. Saving water and recycling it contributes to economic sustainability of the industry. We are saving the time, energy and the water creating long term economic sustainability. When our customers add value to a product using our solutions we are also contributing towards their economic sustainability through cutting-edge technologies and system solutions to maintain a strong market position.

What is the social contribution of Archroma Pakistan?

The ‘Zero Liquid Discharge’ system developed by Archroma in Jamshoro is not only saving water but has also contributed greatly to the society. We provide free of cost drinking water to the surrounding communities around our factory in Jamshoro. The quality of this water is as good or better than bottled water. It is the water which we take from River Indus, recycle, reuse and share with about 1,500 households near us.

Another example of social sustainability is the free training that we are providing since 1986 to the students at Archroma Center of Excellence. We have opened our textile applications labs for chemistry, textile and engineering students. Our six-week internship program is hallmark within the industry and students become preferred candidates for jobs on the basis of our certificates after completion of our training course.

Our Archroma Center for Excellence in Karachi has a section devoted to developments in the denim sector. Both denim professionals and students are using this facility to develop new products and concepts. We are trying to produce local experts and artisans through hands-on  training and enhancing professional expertise. 

We are also working with various organizations such as WWF Pakistan  towards conservation of the environment.

What is your perspective on the future of Pakistan’s textile industry?

We are very optimistic and I see a bright future for our country.  There is great potential in our people:  our youth and our entrepreneurs.  We are a resilient nation and our strengths are unlimited. Strategically too, the geographical location of Pakistan has an edge over other countries in the region.

Being a densely populated country, we also have a large population comprising of young people who simply need right direction and training as they will be the drivers of this economy in the near future.

We are blessed with a number of positivity’s towards a growing and successful economy. What is needed actually, is an enabling environment for our industry to flourish with speed.

How do you see the growth of textile exports from Pakistan?

In my opinion textile and garments exports will continue to grow fast.  Home textiles, due to timely investments, innovations and marketing, attained a leading position in export markets of Europe and USA.

Pakistan also enjoys a strong position in the denim sector. Our denim producers are innovating and investing in the right technology and keeping up with the global trends resulting in strong market position for Pakistan in the world of denim.  Leading international brands are buying denim fabrics and garments from Pakistan. Archroma’s innovation, aniline-free* indigo has been received very well by the denim industry. This is and shall be a game changer for the entire denim sector.

Our weak area still remains stitching that is highly labour intensive due to lack of automation.  As a result, a large volume of our denim cloth is exported to our competitors who are able to export garments made with Pakistani fabrics at much higher added value.  We need to focus on stitching and particularly on automation of the process as fast as possible to have an even stronger global market position.

Can you also comment on the development of the local market for textiles and garments in Pakistan?

With a large population of more than 200 million people, urbanization, female induction in workforce and expansion of middle class segment in the society, the demand for high quality apparel and textiles is increasing with every passing day. Many local brands are serving domestic requirements of primarily fashion garments for women.  This has resulted in a boom for the digital printing sector which is able to meet the requirements of quality fashionwear for women mandating new fashion collection every month if not more.  Archroma is also providing digital printing inks produced in Pakistan for this important sector. 

* Below limits of detection according to industry standard test methods.


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