“We are hopeful and reasonably
confident that textile business will flourish with the present
Mujtaba Rahim, President and
CEO, Archroma Pakistan Limited.
The crisis and tragedies inflicted by Covid 19 have
engulfed the entire 2020. Now with signs of recovery, what
aspects do you see for the textile industry?
Whilst there have been enormous disasters, disease, and
calamities, I would say that the world did not experience this
type of catastrophes at least in recent times. We are deeply
saddened by the death toll, disabilities, and financial losses.
We had never come across a lockdown situation in our lives. So,
our industry was unaware of how to make adjustments but we
adapted fast to the changing scenarios. During the lockdown, in
addition to the travails of keeping the businesses afloat, the
industry also contemplated how to re-model internal costing
systems with supply chains. Businesses diversified themselves,
for example, the textile industry took fast action towards
designing, producing and marketing medical textiles e.g. face
masks, protective gears, and numerous application areas for the
health and hygiene sector. Pakistan is now able to capture some
of the export markets of PPEs.
What initiatives did Archroma take to be in line with the
At the very onset, we promptly adopted the SOPs laid down by
our global and local Safety & Health teams and Government
directives. Strict checks were implemented during the lockdown
period from March-August 2020. Safety gates were installed at
our sites along with changes in office ergonomics on social
distancing, frequent handwashing, mandatory use of masks for
everyone. In mid-year, our Jamshoro site completed Two Million
Safe Working Hours which is a compliment in its own right.
In line with our sustainability vision, we assessed the
impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on communities.
On a war footing, the R&D Team at Archroma Center of
Excellence developed the Kieralon® hand sanitizer range in three
formulations, strictly based on WHO recommended formulation.
Kieralon is now registered with the Pakistan Council of
Scientific & Industrial Research (PCSIR) and Chemicals
Regulation Division, Health & Safety Executive, UK. Kieralon®,
due to its specific hygienic properties is being used within our
organization as well donated to charitable institutions enabling
public to fight the pandemic. Since June 2020, Kieralon® hand
sanitizes have been adopted by Serene Air in Pakistan and
presented to all air passengers in their commercial flights as
a complimentary gift.
How do you see the textile market dynamics in the present
The government announced relief policies e.g., soft loans,
rebates, reduced interest rates on bank loans to support the
industry. These measures provided the much-needed oxygen for
business especially for entrepreneurs, small & medium-sized
enterprises. Now the industry is gradually reviving.
The textile industry is in good shape. Our mills are getting
sizeable orders for export and the local market is also gaining
strength. Medical textiles emerged as a new sector and here too,
our industry is performing very well. The windfall orders we
received during the peak of the pandemic should be capitalized
permanently. Keeping costs and quality balance coupled with
perfection in the supply chain will enable continuous growth.
The best time to convert challenges into opportunities is now.
We are hopeful and reasonably confident that the textile
business will flourish with the present boom.
Mujtaba Rahim, CEO of Archroma
Pakistan comments, “Within Archroma we are cognizant of the
acute community need for high-quality hygiene products that are
also comfortable for users, as hand sanitizers tend to be harsh
on the skin, so we took on the challenge to develop and start
production in record time. The Archroma team in Pakistan won’t
rest in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and hopes this new
product will help to stop the spread of the virus and the
suffering that it causes.”