Mumbai based textile chemical company Fineotex Group is an emerging leading manufacturer of over 450 speciality chemicals and enzymes for textile and garment industry, water treatment industry, leather industry, construction industry, paint industry agrochemicals, adhesives and others.
Recently, Sanjay Tibrewala, Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer; Aarti Jhunjhunwala, Executive Director & Head of International Marketing; and Arindam Choudhuri, Chief Executive Officer of Fineotex Group shared their global business status, innovations, future vision to Textile Today.
Textile Today: Could you please share the current global business status of the Fineotex Group?
Aarti Jhunjhunwala: Fineotex Chemical Limited is a Mumbai based emerging solution provider – having extensive presence in the international arena. Our products have made its relevance in ~70 countries including Brazil, Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, USA, Venezuela, and Vietnam. We export directly and indirectly through the export house. We are constantly engaging in new markets and having tie ups with reputed distributors.
Our facilities operate in the Malaysian market as well. Our European partner spearheads the R&D solutions, application research and product development and is approved as a Blue sign partner, the highest sustainability certificate in textile chemistry globally.
The joint venture with HealthGuard, Australia has helped us to become the exclusive global marketing, Technical service, and sales channel partner through our joint operations from Malaysia.
Textile Today: Could you please share the secrets behind Fineotex success?
Arindam Choudhuri: As we know that Asians have a strong approach to cost-effectiveness and bottom lines and European companies are very good at quality control and setting product standards. Our partnership with a European company has been a strong turning point in our journey as our European partner R&D is spearheading our R&D drive very strongly which has enabled us to excel in business.
Fineotex Group design tailor-made chemistry which are sustainable and economical trouble-free and easy to use at the customer end. Also, the supply chain is very fast from Malaysia and India, so we can reach customer demand very quickly. With 2 technical team members in Dhaka and all-round support from Mumbai H.O. and Malaysia technical team member we can swiftly resolve the technical issues.
Textile Today: Can you please share a bit on your product ranges along with the USP in this competitive market?
Arindam Choudhuri: Well to be honest we have more than 400 products in our range for textile chemicals starting from Pre-treatment, dyeing auxiliary, finishing, printing and specialty finishing chemicals. Our main USP is the customer-centric solution, tailor-made products, reduction in COD/BOD/TDS of the existing process by reduction in number of chemicals in the textile process, reduction of Inorganic chemicals like replacement of SODA/CAUSTIC/HYDROSE. Also, we work in process optimization to reduce energy/cycle time with our innovative product range.
Our joint venture with Eurodye-CTC, Belgium, will aid us to commercialize specialty chemicals for the Indian market. HealthGuard products are very much specialized in Anti-Microbial/Anti-Viral/Anti Mosquito segment which allows our group to expand our sales in Special finish Segment in all countries.
Textile Today: We see Fineotex emphasized all the certifications/compliances and the collaboration/partnership in recent times. Could you please share a bit on these points?
Arindam Choudhuri: Yes, we at Fineotex group are pledged to remove all major hazardous substances from our supply chain. We became ZDHC Contributor last quarter and also for our key products we got ECO PASSPORT certification this quarter, which will allow us to serve customers who are producing for all top global brands which require Made in Green Label and ZDHC LEVEL 3 product line. Apart from that for garments products, we have green screen certification for approx. 20 products which precisely use in the garment industry and denim industry, also our green screen product lines are enlisted and visible in EIM software. Also, our JV partner HealthGuard Anti Microbials are already green Screen certified and ZDHC LEVEL 1.
Textile Today: What innovation has Fineotex brought in the recent time? How will factories benefit from this?
Arindam Choudhuri: Most textile manufacturers face the challenge to deal with tough effluents loaded with chemicals, dyes and have high COD & BOD. As textiles specialties and auxiliaries manufacturer address this issue Fineotex group is concentrating on the replacement/reduction in use of caustic/hydrose/soda ash/sodium silicate etc. all inorganic product substitute that majorly causes high COD/TDS in the effluent.
Also concentrating on reduction in process cycle time by low temp. soaping/scouring bleaching process, special levelling cum dispersing agent for reactive dyeing which allows using soda in one bath, etc. Also, in soaping, we innovate a process that enables customers to the soap of reactive dye bath in single soaping rather 2 soaping and multiple water wash or rinsing.
Mostly we are trying to make a concentrated formulation so that we can reduce the wastage of packing material and reduction of transport cost and indirect pollution load to the mother earth. Undoubtedly, effluent is one of the biggest challenges for textile manufacturers and as the environmental norms are getting stricter, they are now compelled to switch to sustainable chemistries and adopt cleaner processes and reduce water consumption.
FCL group has been at the forefront of developing green products that can enable this industry to realize sustainability goals.
Textile Today: We see the cost of chemicals has increased a lot in recent times due to raw materials and supply disruptions. How are you dealing with these issues to maintain an ethical business relationship and how can we overcome this issue?
Sanjay Tibrewala: Well, it is all about control in your product formulation, forecasting of raw material, alternative raw material sourcing. As we have 43000 MT capacity, we always keep raw material stock for a 2- 3-month supply chain except for few commodities product range.
Though this time we were forced to deploy double working capital to have advance booking of raw material. Regarding Ethical business with the right price marketing of products in turmoil of raw material scenario, we at FCL group already passed on only the raw material hike percentage cost increase without any extra addition of margin. We are here to establish a long-term bond with customers not considering any short-term gain.
Textile Today: What new initiatives taken by Fineotex Group to ensure environmental, social and business sustainability?
Aarti Jhunjhunwala: Sustainability is an integral part of our business strategy around which our business processes, products, partnerships, and markets are aligned. We have created a sustainability framework which helps us to create, deliver and share value with our business ecosystem. The national and international certificates that we have received bear testimony for our focus on eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives. We deem it as our prime duty to safeguard the environment by developing sustainable product portfolios. We aim to be the company following the highest level of sustainable practices by collaborating with leading industries with a similar vision. We have also received the prestigious ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX® certification. To know more about our sustainability-led initiatives, please visit our ESG profile on our website.
Textile Today: What is the business proposition of Fineotex Group for its customers in the coming days?
Sanjay Tibrewala: As a matter of fact, we love to work with chemistry, which we are doing for so many decades, and continuously try to find more avenues for it in our research facilities. We are bringing more and more values and products for the textile industry at the same time as we are doing the reactions of polymerization, which we do homopolymer, terpolymer, phenylacetate, butyl, acrylic, styrene acrylic, malic acid, malic hydrate, sulphonations, esterification, condensations, etc.
In addition to performance chemicals for the textile industry, which is our mainstay, we also supply specialties to the healthcare and hygiene sector and drilling fluids for the upstream oil and gas sector. There are many chemicals that can be applied to cleaning and hygiene polymers. There are about 40 new products that we have launched for housekeeping and kitchen and have started selling them through our newly established network of distributors and marketing team. Last year we have received FDA certification from Maharashtra for cleaning and hygiene business which is a milestone for us. In the home care segment, we offer polymers for detergents, which is again one of the key areas for our future growth. We have partnered with international companies for R&D and started this activity very strongly. We also offer drilling specialties for building viscosity for the oil field drilling chemicals and have a technology partnership with again internationally accredited company, a leading manufacturer in this space.
Textile Today: How do you see the textile and garments business prospect in Bangladesh? What’s the plan of Fineotex Group to expedite the business in Bangladesh?
Arindam Choudhuri: Bangladesh’s textile and garment market is growing and will more expand in the coming years. Though during the last 1 – 1.5-year growth was not so high due to pandemic, we are expecting huge growth in next 2 financial years. We are concentrating on top and a medium-level customer base who are buying specialty value-added textile auxiliary with all-round certifications. As FCL group has an end-to-end solution so we are catering woven/denim/knits and garment to all customer base and we are keen to have 5 Million USD business in FY 22-23. Well, looking at Bangladesh, there are two big prospects which you get excited about. First, everyone in the world wants a substitute for China is it for chemicals or textiles.
So far, China has been one of the key destinations for textiles manufacturing, but now the international companies are looking at diversifying to countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Pakistan to curb the risks and as cost-effective destinations for textiles. Bangladesh is likely to lead the growth of the apparel industry with woven textiles and over the next coming years producers are likely to double the capacity and the trend is likely to continue. This is something big and will provide a lot of exciting opportunities and ample scope for the expansion of our business.