Dr. Girish Nagarkar
VP (Specialty and Performance Chemicals Division) Indofil Industries Ltd (KK Modi Group)
Can you please throw some light on Indian Non-wovens’ industry growth trend too?
The non-woven sector has witnessed a phenomenal growth since 2007. Current estimates put the growth at about 11% YOY. However there is a large scope for further growth as per capita consumption in India is a mere 80 grams whereas developed economies like USA and Europe have a per capita consumption of non-wovens over 3 kgs. Key areas of growth will be in Meditech, Geo Textiles, Automobile Sector and Home Textiles.
We are looking forward to make our presence felt in these sectors as a committed supplier through innovative products from our R&D and International tie-ups.
Chemical companies are having series of acquisitions in recent years all across the globe. How this is going to shift the dynamics of the overall business?
There is increasing pressure on companies to grow faster than market growth rates in a very short period. Apart from Organic Growth, Inorganic Growth through M&A is fast catching up. However investors are not very keen on Strategic Projects. So most companies today are looking for M&A to improve their market share, enter new market segments, technology upgradation, and manage costs and volatility in markets in a better manner.
Overall M&A in chemical segments will mean that existing medium or large players will strengthen their position and expand into new markets putting in lot of pressure on smaller players.
As you mentioned about Volatility; what is Indofil's take on fluctuations in raw material prices?
Chemical raw materials to textile industry are also very much dependent on petro-based products. For example, in our case, Acrylic monomers are the major raw materials. The monomers have been showing serious fluctuations in the past few years due to oil prices and supply demand factors .However as a committed supplier to the industry we have been trying our best to limit these fluctuations to our end users to a bare minimum by intelligent sourcing.
What value Indofil assigns to innovations in product offering? While ‘Sustainability’ is innovation’s mantra these days, has your R&D wing been framed in this new approach of corporate affairs?
Product differentiation has always been a key to our business and innovation will continue to serve as the backbone of our business.
R&D is a prime focus area for Indofil with plans to quadruple investments over the next five years. Today Indofil’s well-equipped Synthesis Laboratory is capable of developing new molecules and manufacturing processes that can be rapidly commercialized. We continuously collaborate with premier institutions for development of new solutions for the industry.
Our R&D works on the basis of Innovation Index to ensure that the products reaching our customers add value in terms of technology and value.
How has the financial performance of the company been? How do you foresee your group’s textile business in next fiscal? Any plans to venture into apparel/textile retail as KK Modi Group has presence in other retail sectors?
Overall the Speciality Business is growing at a healthy 25% CAGR and this growth pattern should continue in the years to come. Apparel and Textile retail is a possibility in future. For the moment Chemicals for Textiles will continue to be the Mantra.
Thanks for insightful comments, Dr. Nagarkar! It was a great deal of information on textile specialty chemicals.
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