Interview with NN Mahapatra

NN Mahapatra
NN Mahapatra
Colorant India
Colorant India

What are the latest technological innovations taking place in green chemicals?

Industries are focusing more on application of enzymes in processing like bioscouring, bio-washing, bio-desizing, etc. The latest introduction is in soaping at room temperature using enzymes, colour removal in effluents by the use of enzymes. Instead of inorganic chemical coagulation method in effluent treatment is replaced by microbial bio-treatment which leads to less sludge formation.

What are the issues plaguing this segment?

The fluctuating prices of dye intermediates (raw materials for dyes manufacturing) is making this segment difficult. The government policies at place have become outdated. Once upon a time, India was very strong in manufacturing dye intermediates, but later China took over. Now China has issues, where our Indian dyestuff industry suffers, who depend on Chinese imports. The government should come out with a clear-cut policy for establishing or expanding the dye intermediates industry. Initially, the government should give subsidies to such upcoming industries.

Which are the developing trends in various textile dyes segments?

Reactive dyes with better exhaustion and better fixation. Ink jet dyes are gaining importance for digital printing. Our R&D is busy developing reactive dyes having more exhaustion and fixation leading to less environmental issues. These products will be launched soon and create a sensation in the textile dyes segment. There should be more research in ICT (former UDCT) and it should come up with new dye molecules for better chemistry. We should not depend on European or American researchers to give us the technical knowhow. They charge hefty consulting fees. The dyes manufacturing units should work hand in hand with ICT and other dye research organisations in India.

What is the carbon & water footprint of the company?

Chemicals are the main raw materials for Colron products. Dyestuff manufacturing processes consume water and energy, and generate wastewater and waste. Reducing water use, cutting carbon emissions and treatment and safe disposal of waste are the key environmental areas of concern for both our stakeholders and us. Apart from the environment, workplace health and safety are other important areas as our production plants involve the transport, storage, handling and processing of a wide variety of chemicals. Our customers have a growing interest in understanding the carbon footprint of our products. They also expect us to be able to innovate and offer products, which have lower environmental impact.

What percentage of your revenues is earmarked for R&D in the textiles industry?

We have one of the best application labs in India with all latest machines and automation to give technical service to our customers. The lab does all R&D work needed to support the textiles industry. But basic research on dyes molecule requires highly sophisticated lab equipment which we don't have. Such type of researches can be done in ATIRA, BTRA, NITRA, etc.

What has been your growth percentage in the last two years? What is the target set for the next two?

Two years back the price of H acid was at the peak as a result the dyes industries suffered heavily. It was about 15 per cent last year. After we get the required permission for expansion, our target for next two years will be about 25 per cent.

What are the future plans at the company?

We plan setting up a dye intermediates plant at the upcoming GIDC Industrial Estate in Bharuch, Gujarat. Besides this, in the present set-up we are planning to double our production capacity of reactive dyes. (HO)
Published on: 01/06/2018

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

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