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“Apna Organics is fashioning its R&D to find cost-effective and sustainable solutions”

The Mumbai based Apna Organics Pvt Ltd holds an exceptional identity in the textile and apparel industry as a prominent solution provider for the textile industry and garment industry. It intends to work with clients now and in the future having its existence in the global arena, national and regional markets with cherished brand equities to which the Apna Organics Pvt Ltd would like to contribute.

Shivam Saraf, Director, Apna Organics Pvt Ltd. is the third generation leading the company as the Director. In a recent interview with Textile Today, Shivam Saraf shared his vision, exclusive insights on Apna Organics Pvt Ltd, business aspects in Bangladesh.

Figure 1: Shivam Saraf, Director, Apna Organics Pvt Ltd.

Textile Today: How did you transform yourself in Apna Organics Pvt Ltd business?

Shivam Saraf: Apna Organics Pvt Ltd. is a family-managed business for over 50 years. I am the third generation in this business. I accomplished my under graduation from the UK in Business Administration and then ccompleted Masters in Marketing Management. After that I have done a specialized course at SP Jain School of Global Management. They are specialists for family-managed business courses it gave me a better outlook on how to run a family business in a ever-evolving market.

I have several chemical engineers in my own family that shaped my mind on how the chemistry of a product works, what are the needs of customers, bottlenecks, areas needed R&D, etc. Thus, I have transformed myself into the textile chemical business.

Textile Today: How do you see the business growth and progress in Bangladesh and the global aspect? In addition, Kindly share with us the future business aspect in Bangladesh.

Shivam Saraf: We have been working in the Bangladesh market for the last 30 years and this is one of our biggest market. There were ups and downs in the business. Despite the apparel price shrink, local apparel manufacturers are looking for sustainable chemical products, good value for money, good products and customer service. This is what Apna Organics is excelling right now and we are seeing double-digit growth here. We are confident that this trend will continue.

As for other markets, the recent sourcing shift from China is making chemical manufacturing in India stronger as well as neighboring Asian textile and apparel manufacturing countries. Besides we will see a continuation of this trend as a dependency on a certain country is dangerous for business.

Future business aspect in Bangladesh

As for the future business aspect in Bangladesh, during the COVID-19 pandemic, very few countries’ textile and apparel industry has been able to sustain and maintain growth like Bangladesh. As an Indian, myself, the Indian textile and garment industry has been witnessing negative growth for the last couple of years. Similarly, other textile manufacturing countries are having trouble as well.

So, there is an enormous scope of growth for the Bangladesh textile and apparel industry – besides knit and woven, home textile and technical textile is also will be the future. I think the COVID-19 has opened the door for technical textiles in Bangladesh.

Figure 2: (Left to right) Amzad Hossain Monir, Head of Business Development, Textile Today; Shivam Saraf; Sandeep Dave, Country Head, Apna Organics Pvt Ltd.

Textile Today: What kind of product range do you have for the textile and apparel industry? Also, manufacturers are getting into high-end garments which need special chemicals. How are you catering to these diverse segments?

Shivam Saraf: Having vast experience in this field, Apna Organics Pvt Ltd. has an excellent idea about chemical product ranges – from pre-treatment, dyeing, finishing to printing and also technical textiles.

In the Bangladesh market, it is paramount to understand the local cultural dynamics. The local working pattern – these two things are vital for textile chemical manufacturing companies who want to work here.

As for product ranges, Apna Organics is catering to woven, knit dyeing, yarn dyeing, denim, printing, garments and home textiles – although this segment is small it has a huge prospect in the future – meaning we have an entire range ready to cater for the customers.

Textile Today: How Apna Organics is contributing to sustainability? Also, the company has a ‘Green-Tag’TM product range, kindly share with us the sustainability vision.

Shivam Saraf: Many companies are green-washing the customers by claiming their product being sustainable. In the industry, there are several certification bodies and processes. But the bottleneck is that the end-customers do not comprehend these certifications nor do they know the criteria for the certifications.

‘A legacy of quality’ is the theme of Apna Organics Pvt Ltd. and ‘Green-Tag’TM is a platform where end customers will receive the ‘Tag’ after they make products complying with our standards. We call it Green-Tag’TM.

Besides, we are also committed to the UN global compact’s 10 principles. At the moment 90 to 92% of Apna Organics products are completely sustainable.

The Green-TagTM shows that the garment or the fabric has been fulfilled with the best processes with the best chemicals. There has been no water wastage and used less chemicals. A lot of Apna Organics recent products require less energy consumption and saves a lot of water. For example, we have recently launched an enzyme-based product that is waterless. ‘Green-Tag’TM educates the customers about the whole sustainability process.

We have recently done extensive research on cost-saving per garment between Apna Organics and other chemical solution providers available products in Bengaluru – a garment hub in India. The result shown is quite outstanding. Producing a garment with our products on average will cost Rs. 7-8 – including overhead cost, water, energy and other costings. Whereas, using other chemical solution providers’ products it will cost Rs 28. That is a significant recovery in terms of value addition, cost recovery and also in sustainability.

In Bangladesh, chemical companies are selling sustainable products at higher costs. Which is a big hindrance for readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers. It is putting the apparel manufacturers in great danger of losing the business. In pre-treatment baths it requires 7 to 8 products. with Apna Organics, it has come down to 3 to 4 products.

Textile Today: What are the innovation coming for the textile and apparel industry? How is your R&D working?

Shivam Saraf: R&D is an ongoing process for any company and R&D evolves according to the needs of customers. There are two ways of seeing this:

  1. Like Steve Jobs said, “the customer does not know his requirement.”
  2. You should know customers’ end requirements.

Having well versed in both the perspective, Apna Organics is fashioning its R&D to find a solution where it is cost-effective, consumes less energy, time chemical and water.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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