Interview with Mr Anjani Prasad

Mr Anjani Prasad
Mr Anjani Prasad
Country Head, Textiles-Leather & Paper Chemicals Division

Headquartered in Muttenz near Basel, Switzerland, Clariant- the global leader in the field of specialty chemicals is represented on five continents by more than 100 Group companies, employing more than 20,000 people, who, in 2007, generated sales of more than CHF 8.5 billion. The businesses driving its commitment to sustainable growth are organized in four divisions: Textile, Leather & Paper Chemicals, Pigments & Additives, Functional Chemicals and Masterbatches. From vibrant colors in luxury goods, to less-visible additives that enhance the value of industrial and consumer goods, Clariant’s products play a key role in customers’ manufacturing and treatment processes. Textile, Leather and Paper (TLP) Chemicals Division at Clariant caters to clothing, home textiles, technical textiles, garment leather, automotive leather, paper, packaging, and construction market. The Division embarked sales of CHF 2332mn for the year 2007 with EBITDA-margin 9.3 per cent. 48 yrs, Mr Anjani Prasad is the Country Head for TLP Division of Clariant. He is the alumni of UICT (BSc & MSc (Tech) in Textile Chemistry). He started his career with Century Mills’ Textile Production division, and had developed new process of Aniline Black Dyeing for which received 2 patents (1983 to 1986). He worked with BTRA Technical Services department; handling Process audits/ Process rationalization/optimization, Cost reduction surveys & problem solving, and Development Projects for all major mills. In 1990, Mr Prasad joined Sandoz’s textile chemicals business and grew from Technical Executive to the Product Manager to Business Development Manager and to the Head of Textile Business. He has authored over 100 articles and papers presented in major seminars and conferences. Besides, he is also member of Bureau of Indian Standards; Management committee of SDC and FAITMA; Editorial board of Colourage and JTA; and is also an Examiner for major institutes. Conversing with Face2Face team, Mr Anjani Prasad discusses vividly about global scenario of speciality chemicals for textiles and business ethics that make Clariant a success synonym.

How does Clariant mark its presence in complete textile value chain - from fibre to fashion?

We have on offer an end to end Product Range of Textile Chemicals and Dyes. Clariant supports the industry throughout the whole production process; helping customers reach a high and consistent quality level for their products and also save energy and time during the production process.

Textile Raw Materials Fiber Finish Sizing Pretreatment OBA Dyeing & Printing Finishing Garment Make Up

Our technological skills and partnerships based on active dialogue with customers are the key elements in maintaining an attractive portfolio. The ‘Fibre to Finish’ concept has further enhanced its value chain to retail / branding services.

With the emergence of consumerism in India and the increased focus on export of textiles, the demand for fashionable, eco-compatible products is rapidly growing. Mounting awareness and concern for consumer and environmental protection, increasingly stringent statutory regulations, retailer standards and various eco-labeling requirements have made product safety testing mandatory for the industry.

Efforts are also underway in educating chemical users on the need to be eco-sensitive, more so after the EU enforced REACH regulations as a monitoring system to detail what is being imported into the EU and whether all required norms on environment safety being implemented or not. Clariant not only helps in setting the processes involved or the chemistry involved for textile processing, but also educates them on how to do it ecologically, economically, efficiently and environmentally friendly manner. This describes the Clariant’s 4E Concept.

Our concept of Apparel and Interior marketing functions to work with Retailer and Brands in the Home textile and Apparel area to understand their overall needs and place our offered effects and service in the earliest possible stage of the textile supply chain.

In another effort to support the industry, Clariant has devised, Archroma, a global color management service with focus on designers, retailers, colour managers, brands, etc. By means of its new design tool, the improved palates, the colour communicator and standards management with regards to inventory management distribution, order entry and order tracking; Archroma is a complete service package for everyone associated with the world of colours.

To extend these services for colour management, Pantone-Clariant Smart Partnership has been designed to give a perfect product to the customers and serves as a single window operation.

We also have in India, Clariant Consultancy Services (CCS), wherein the following services are provided:

•Product Management:

CCS ensures the correct product quality, specifications, conformance to eco-norms laid down by buyers and other certifying bodies like Oeko Tex, Mats, SKAL, etc.

•Process Optimization:

Includes processes, recipes, production and utility optimization.

•ECO Management:

By finding the best balance between environment, social and economic needs, CCS helps the customer in meeting the guidelines of waste management.

•Training of Technicians:

CCS imparts training to client’s employees for appropriate use of materials along with different processes involved in their management.

•Inventory Management:

CCS sets up inventory levels based on production and supplies-


CCS identifies the new customer needs and works together with customers to develop innovative, efficient solutions for value addition and growth development.

•Brand Co-ordination:

The Brand Co-ordination Group liaises with the brands with specific needs and co-ordinates with the vendor for developing end products as per the brand requirement.

CCS helps the vendor in achieving the desired goals of the brands.

Going through your website it was impressive to notice ‘Customer Relations’ placed prior to all menus. How is this being epitomized in business ethics and affairs?

Customer data file known as CDF has updated details regarding top customer activities, DMU, product profile, competition tracking and other key details. As given above we help our customers, with these concepts, using the mantra, ‘Close to You’.

Our commitment to service contributes to the success of our customers. We combine leading-edge technology and innovations with superior applications and customer service skills.

We concentrate our efforts on the individual requirements of our customers and help them strengthen their competitive position and performance. We are a trustworthy, loyal and respectful partner in all our internal and external relationships. We contribute towards sustainable development by finding the best balance between environmental, social and economic needs. We utilize our extensive know-how and experience throughout the company to continuously bring new services, applications and products to the market.

Service and customer orientation begin with a question of necessity: "What do you need?" This is the question at the core of the entire advertising concept. It serves as the byword for service, partnership, dialogue, customer orientation, and innovation strength. At the end of the day, these are the values and attributes for which Clariant stands.

The answer to the central question, “What do you need?" is embodied in the brand promise: “Clariant - exactly your chemistry.” “What do you need?” becomes a central theme and platform for all Clariant advertising measures and a linking element among all advertising levels.

How is your business faring in India?

Clariant Chemicals (India) Ltd. is a market leader. We have more than a sustainable growth over last decade in accordance with changing priorities of our organization. We are continuously re-aligning ourselves with a focus on Profitability, Sales General and Administrative expenses, inventory management and Range Pruning.

Clariant is a global leader in the field of specialty chemicals. How does it estimate the growth prospective in the speciality chemicals industry?

Clariant’s innovative products play a key role in its customers’ manufacturing and treatment processes or else add value to their end products. The company’s success is based on the know-how of its people and their ability to identify new customer needs at an early stage and to work together with customers to develop innovative, efficient solutions.

With the textile and apparel industry always on the lookout for new finishes and aesthetic values on the fabric, our chemicals enhance both the physical appearance and performance of the end – product. Amongst the leaders in the field of Textile Chemical industry, Clariant provides Complete Solutions from Fibre to Garments. We offer a wide range of chemicals for spin finish, pre-treatment, dyeing, printing, finishing and also garment processing.

Technological skills and partnerships based on active dialogue with customers are key elements in maintaining an attractive portfolio.

The ability to develop innovative products and services efficiently safeguards the customers’ success and is essential to the sustained growth of the Clariant Group.

Growth Perspective - Clariant is committed to generating genuine, sustainable added value. This requires the best possible balance between ecological, social and economic needs, the highest priorities being personal safety and environmentally sound processes and products.

Clariant’s mandatory principles on environment, safety, and health (ESH) are laid down in the Group’s ESH rules. In addition to compliance with national laws and regulations, the goals of the Business Charter for Sustainable Development of the International Chamber of Commerce and the Responsible Care initiative of the chemical industry serve as guiding principles. With regard to social responsibility, Clariant’s models include the precepts of the International Labor Organization.

In global dyes & pigments market, what are current movements, and how is the company positioned compared with other players?

In terms of dyes, there are many companies solely dealing in the same with lots of local dye manufacturers involved. India is a big hub of Dyes manufacturing and we are considered as one of the prominent partners for dyes. Sourcing from China is again a threat to our Dyes Business. Nevertheless, over the last decade we have grown manifolds.

Chemical Business has a sustainable and phenomenal growth over the same period. Post merger in India, we have good package of pigment emulsion and are now leader in printing.

Can you let us know more about AMicroS™ (Advanced Microbiological Services), and their applications in select industry?

We are currently exploring various possibilities of using Amicros for Textiles.

AMicroSTM Advanced Microbiological Services from Clariant

As a part of Clariant’s acquisition of BTP in 2000, the activities of Nipa laboratories were integrated into Division Functional Chemicals. More than 70 years of experience with preservatives and a broad range of different actives and blends were combined with Clariant’s wide range of performance chemicals, contributing to solve nearly every formulation problem a customer can imagine. With extensive experience of microbiology and biocides, Clariant offers an advanced service under the name AMicroSTM. AMicroSTM offers microbiological testing services for evaluating optimum dosage level of biocide for longer shelf life of the product for various industries, preservative system recommendations, Plant hygiene audits and microbiological problem solving. AmicroS Services in India are offered through Clariant’s Microbiology laboratory which is situated at Balkum, Thane.

AMicroSTM Products:

Microbiological test services & Preservative system recommendations-

Through our wealth of knowledge and expertise AmicroS offers an extensive range of microbiological testing e.g. In Can Challenge Test, Dry Film test, etc for different Industrial application areas ranging from Paint, Polymer, Metal working fluid, Leather, Paper, Concrete admixture, Guargum, Disinfectants etc.

The test methods include: 1. Industry recognized methods: In can and dry film challenge testing for a wide range of industrial applications. 2. BSEN ISO Standards: These include total viable count, disinfection testing etc. 3. Japanese standards: Unique methods for the testing of antimicrobial surfaces. 4. ASTM Methods: Includes diffusion tests and the testing of leather. 5. Testings as per customer request. AMicroSTM Plant Hygiene Audits-

Plant hygiene is of huge significance in maintaining product quality. It is essential that the hygiene status of a plant process is regularly monitored as it varies over the time. As part of a program to continuously improve product safety and integrity, a microbiology audit of your plant will identify problem areas with a rectification plan to optimise and control the hygiene of your plant. This will ensure that products received by your customers will be free from microbial contaminants.

Every Production Plant has Microbial Contamination that has many adverse affects on product quality; this can invariably lead to product failure, product recall and can also have potential human health issues.

AMicroSTM will monitor your plant, highlighting areas contaminated and give advice on the appropriate measures required to keep hygiene under control.


The audit includes sampling of various parts of the process, taking samples from pipe work, vessels and tanks. During an audit the following points will be addressed:

- Raw materials & process waters - Manufacturing process, hygiene and QA controls - Plant clean down procedures and their impact - Overall process / plant design and its influence on plant hygiene - Microbiological condition of the finished product

Detailed and annotated reports are provided following a plant audit. This will highlight any contaminated areas and include observations on aspects of plant design, working conditions and manufacturing / operator working practices, which may influence microbiological quality and hygiene.

Increase Employee Awareness-

On request AMicroSTM can also provide a comprehensive training guide to industrial plant hygiene prior to the audit. This aims to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of good plant hygiene and how to maintain it.

Regular audits are essential in maintaining good plant hygiene. The primary audit is designed to provide a detailed initial hygiene report; this is recommended where no previous audit has been carried out in the last 12 months. A regular secondary audit should provide a tool to monitor and to maintain a good standard of hygiene in the plant.

How would you relate Clariant and EU REACH?

REACH is the new European Union (EU) Regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) with the main objectives of the protection of human health and the environment. REACH requires the registration of about 30,000 existing substances (industry-wide) in the following timeline:

•The registration process requires manufacturers and importers to generate data for all chemicals produced or imported into the EU above one ton per year. The registrants must also identify appropriate risk management measures and communicate them to the users.

•Clariant is well prepared for the implementation of REACH. The Clariant REACH organization comprises a high-level steering committee with members of the Clariant Main Board, an Operating Committee responsible for managing the REACH implementation process, and dedicated expert teams.

•Clariant supports actively the targets of REACH. Ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment is a clear obligation for Clariant.

Clariant cares for a close communication with their customers and suppliers to ensure the REACH Implementation.

What is the kind of growth the company expects in the years to come? Do you have any CapEx plans?

We have a state - of - art site at Roha. Apart from this, Kanchipuram is also being upgraded for synthesis of dyes. In coming years focus on growth is in co-relation to profitability.

We will exploit all the opportunities which the Indian market would provide. Clariant will take measures to improve the cost situation of the customers with innovative, effective and eco-friendly products and process packages. The investments will be made to fill-up any gaps and servicing their customer or harnessing their opportunities. We will definitely grow higher than the market growth. Clariant will provide the resources for improving the market share and will make all attempts to grow higher than the market growth.

Published on: 12/05/2008

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