Swiss Review

“We are hopeful and reasonably confident that textile business will flourish with the present boom.”
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 “new normal”?

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 scenario?

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.”


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