Interview with Mr Paul Hulme

Face2Face
Mr Paul Hulme
Mr Paul Hulme
President
Huntsman Textile Effects
Huntsman Textile Effects

Well, we have covered news on your company's ventures into India. So, what drives it into this country? Any more countries looked upon as emerging markets?

India is one of the fastest growing economies a very important market for TE. Here, we maintain a leading position, holding the #1 position in overall specialty textiles business, including dyes and specialty chemicals.

The World Bank estimates India will be the largest growing economy in 2010, and PricewaterhouseCoopers cites India to become the 3rd largest economy by 2012, trailing only the US and China. By 2020. Indeed, India might grow faster than China. The textile sector is India’s second largest employer and an important industry, as it is in China. We intend to make sure that we enjoy the ever-increasing market.

India and China are highly competitive markets but we are also seeing an upward trend in South-east Asia and Pakistan. ASEAN had combined export over US$30 billion with Malaysia itself reporting RM10.5 billion worth of textiles and apparel in 2008. Vietnam also reported steady export value of $4.08 billion. The key factors behind this are the advancements in technology and growing status of the middle-income people. With spending power increased, families are becoming sophisticated in the textile choices which attributes to the growth of the textile industry.

About 55% of sales turnover of the company is originated from Asia while 25% from Europe and 20% from the United States. Market-wise, products targeting apparel applications offer 60% of revenue of the company, and the rest from applications of technical textiles. We are the number one player in the global technical textile arena, and the strongest supplier of these (technical textile) segments in India.

Will the off-shoring be a continued trend in coming time or is it time to rethink the offshoring?

By offshoring, I think you mean outsourcing. Companies have been outsourcing work for many years and for many, it may make sense. It is a business decision that some companies choose after looking at the bottom line impact on both the local business environment, as well as the work force.

We have a different approach, led by our global restructuring programme, which offers value to our customers that just cannot be substituted by any shortcuts. Our move to Singapore has helped us to better understand our Asian customers, and we want to strengthen our state here so that we can also help in shaping the Asian environment and development.

How significant is being Innovative in today’s environment? Any new product launch in pipeline?

Innovation is critical to maintaining our leading position in Asia. Last year alone, we launched 30 new products and in 2010, we are looking at a lot of new chemistry in the area of technical textiles.

One example of great innovation at work at TE is the upcoming launch of AlbaFlow Conti. This innovative, newly-developed product is a highly efficient wetting agent, which provides our customers with rapid dye penetration, instant de-aeration, all while being free from silicone and solvents, APEO-free and readily degradable. This offers more level and consistent dyeing, fewer reworks and excellent quality in a trouble-free process. Most importantly, it is friendly to the environment – an area of where we see increased demand and are greatly involved with.

This is only one of a wide range of eco-friendly products that truly makes a difference not only to our customers, but with the end users and the environment.

Recently, you have joined hands with Alps Industries in India. Can you delve out more about this JV?

We are looking to further strengthen our leadership position in Asia through strategic partnerships in key growth markets, such as India. Back in February, we signed a strategic partnership with Alps Industries, which called for the exclusive supply of materials from our business to their eight production facilities in India. In addition, we will supply them with technical service support to ensure compliance with stringent global customer requirements.

India is an important market for us as we continue to expand in Asia Pacific, and we recognise the importance of our key partners in India, who also have a great presence globally. We are excited to partner with Alps Industries and look forward to helping to provide a bright and sustainable future for their business.

How will you express your concern on growing popularity for green clothing?

Innovation is a key driver in our business and one that is fully ingrained in our culture. In turn, this helps to drive our business and ultimately benefits our customers, the public and the environment. Indicative of our efforts is the theme for our customer conferences which will be held in key markets in Asia - “We See A Better World” including one in Mumbai on 5th March. Through our corporate culture and beliefs, we look to provide the key factors and strengths to make our vision a reality.

To illustrate how we incorporate sustainability into our innovation, you just need to look at our core key products such as Gentle Power Bleach, AlbaFlow Conti, High IQ Intelligent Effects, Novacron and Lanasol. These, and many more in the pipeline, share a common focus on the environment and we will continue developing innovative and sustainable products.

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Click here to view previous interview with Huntsman

Published on: 01/03/2010

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 Fibre2Fashion.com.

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