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 with minimal environmental impact in all stages of the product’s life cycle from extraction to the disposal of resultant waste. We were the first chemical company to have zero discharge at our Jamshoro plant. One of our most important recent innovations is aniline free indigo for the denim sector. Through such constant developments, we are contributing towards an environment that is free from hazardous substances.
Environmental sustainability is directly linked to the saving of water and resources through reduced carbon footprint. We are making products that are clean and safer. Products such as our aniline free indigo are significantly contributing towards saving our environment. Our aquatic life and life on earth both are positively affected by our developments resulting in products free of all environmental hazards substances. We are reusing and recycling water and disposing of the solid waste in the shape of solid bricks that are provided to the local community for meeting their building requirements.
As the concept of aniline free indigo is new, manufacturers and labs do not have the testing facilities for aniline which is changing rapidly. We are working with many renowned textile laboratories by providing testing for aniline.
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 which is economic sustainability. When our customers add value to a product using our solutions we are contributing towards their economic sustainability through cutting-edge dyeing technologies and systems solutions supporting their creativity to maintain a strong market position.
What is the social contribution of Archroma Pakistan?
The Zero Discharge system developed by Archroma is not only saving the amount of water but has also contributed greatly to the society. We provide free of cost 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 the Sindh River purified for our use and shared with about 1,500 households near us.
Another example of the social sustainability is the free training that we are providing to the students at Archroma Pakistan. We are providing our facilities and laboratories for students of NED University, Sindh University, Mehran University, Textile Institute of Pakistan and the National Textile University.
Our Archroma Center for Excellence (ACE) has a section devoted to developments in the denim sector. The professionals and students are using the facility to develop new products and concepts. While big players of the industry are hiring Turkish and Italian consultants/artisans, we are trying to produce some consultants, experts or artisans in our own country by providing them with practical training and enhancing their professional knowledge.
We are also working with various organizations such as WWF 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 very bright future because I see a great potential in our people: our youth and our entrepreneurs. It is a potential in people and the resources that by large is untapped. We have the raw material cotton and our infrastructure and logistics are better than many of our competitors. Strategically, Pakistan has a location that is better than any other country in the region.
We also have very large population of young people that simply needs the right direction and training as they will be the drivers of this economy very soon. So we are blessed with all the best things of the most important factors for a growing and successful economy. What is needed is the right direction, and an enabling environment for our industry to flourish and grow.
How do you see the growth of textile exports from Pakistan?
In my opinion textile and garments exports will continue to grow fast in the near future, because of the strong position Pakistan enjoys today in denim and other value added sectors. Our home textile sector due to timely investments, innovations and marketing attained the leading position in export markets of Europe and the USA about 20 years ago.
Similar enviable position is now enjoyed by the Denim sector of Pakistan. Our denim producers are innovating and investing in the right technology and keeping up with the global trends resulting in a very strong market position of Pakistan in the world of denim. Our aniline free Indigo has been received very well by the denim industry and leading international brands that are buying denim fabrics and garments from Pakistan. 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?
As I mentioned before, Pakistan enjoys a very strong and highly conscious consumer market of 200 million plus people.
The demand for high quality apparel and textiles is increasing every day and many of the local brands are serving the 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 demands for 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.