Founded in 1986, Transfar Group is a private enterprise group with diversified businesses. Transfar Chemicals is an important part of the Group’s five largest utility transmission platform, with more than 12000 employees and annual sales of over USD 1.2 billion. Based on its global production and supply network, it is actively pushing forward its internationalization strategy by building wide international market networks in APAC, America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It has also established strategic partnerships with some well-known multinational companies including BASF and Shell. Recently, TANATEX Chemicals, a global leader in specialist textile chemicals become the part of Transfar Chemicals Co. LTD.
Michael Zhou, President of Transfar Chemicals Group, who has the versatile knowledge and a huge experience in this industry gave an interview altogether with Youlin Fu, Vice President; Shengpeng Wang, Technical Center Director and Bruce Liu, Senior Sales Manager with Textile Today Research Team recently. Through this conversation, many domestic and global issues came out with solutions.
Textile Today: Earlier Transfar Chemicals was a Chinese based company but now it expressed itself as a global company by taking the full share of Tanatex Chemicals, a Netherlands based company. What actually thrived it to go in the global platform?
Michael Zhou: Transfar Chemicals is in the global platform with a vision of ethical and sustainable business. First of all, we studied about the global market for such a long time and then we are here now and purchased Tanatex Chemicals which we are considering as an important move for Transfar Chemicals to be a global company.
China has been a key player in the textile industry for all of the time but except China, there are many more markets of textile auxiliaries and chemicals. This is the first reason why we are in the global platform. Again, we already have more than 30 years of experience and we have almost all chemical solution for a dye-house. Precisely, our strength actually thrived us to go in the global platform and we are committed to sharing our ideas and experiences to all of the customers for providing a better solution. So, this is the second reason for the globalization of our company. Then coming up to Tanatex Chemicals, which is the biggest step to coming up to the form of internationalization. But it is really important to understand the global market.
Textile Today: Recently Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) shut down many chemical factories in China, how does it affect the business? And what are your strategies to cope with the new Chinese regulations?
Michael Zhou: Changing MEE policy definitely affecting the whole chemical business in China, in the greater angle it is actually dominating the world chemical business. It has two impacts, one is negative-it is affecting the customer collaboration, another impact is positive- this policy of Chinese ministry will accelerate the transformation of our customers from the low-end product order to high-end product order which actually will make the scope to develop the economy and improve the structure of the product better than anytime. So, we want to provide continuous solutions by improving our service and product structure according to the customers demand. We also want to provide some clean chemicals and that is the low emission chemicals which will be the energy saving product. Some more services we are providing as to reduce the emission of the chemicals and about the proper use of these chemicals. Now we are thinking of differentiating the chemicals from the wastewater, which are very necessary for the dyeing factories. This is how we are reshaping us in a better way though we were always conscious.
Textile Today: Do you think Chinese policy on the environment will cause many dyeing mills to shift to countries such as India, Bangladesh, and Southeast Asia? How does this trend impact the whole value chain?
Michael Zhou: Actually, before the policy changing chemical industries started to shift from China to other countries. So, policy-changing is not the only reason behind shifting. Transformation is a manufacturing habit as different countries opened a new market. So, production factories location inspired the chemical manufacturers in some points. However, in China, we have an integrated supply chain, which is very important for upgrading the product structure and design to a certain level, which is the best for this continuous marketing system. I think, in future due to this type of change in the supply chain, Chinese chemical manufacturers will pay more attention to develop their ability of garments design, fashion etc. which can really make the impact on the trend of shifting in other countries very well.
Textile Today: We know Transfar has a huge products variation. Please share your products range and what new products you are going to bring in the Bangladeshi market.
Michael Zhou: Actually, we have a long range of products for various industries including textile. We are providing different types of products mainly knit dyeing dyes and chemicals, as we know that Bangladesh is very strong for knit processing. So, we are focusing right now in this segment and our products are structured in the same focus. But we are also concerned that Bangladesh woven sector is booming gradually and we have also planned for that.
We are also developing some energy saving low emission products and we want to introduce some functional products in Bangladesh market.
We also noticed that the Bangladesh government has some special policies like ‘tax-free policy’. In that case, we are developing some high solid content products and hopefully, we would be able to work here more intensively in the future.
Textile Today: Transfar Chemicals Co. Ltd. is now in the global platform along with its ideas, products, and surveys. So, what is Transfar Chemicals doing to establish ZDHC and sustainability in the textile industry?
Michael Zhou: From very beginning, Transfar Chemicals is committed and actively working for sustainability. ZDHC is one of the important commitment of our company’s roadmap and from 2014, we have associated with ZDHC. To ensure ZDHC and sustainability in the textile industry, it is very important to work all the parties in the supply chain to keep the environment safe. Of course, it is not only our responsibility, brands and manufacturers should also take responsibility. To comply with the ZDHC and sustainability standard, we are structuring our product carefully. Not only ZDHC, there are other bodies to ensure the environmental safety and we are actively working with them also.
Transfar Chemicals acts as the secretariat of Subcommittee on Textile Auxiliaries of National Technical Committee on Dyestuff of Standardization Administration of China and is a National Work Safety Standardization Grade 2 Enterprise. We are also an important member of the Textile Supply Chain Green Manufacturing Industry Innovation Alliance and other organizations. Our labs are certified by CNAS (China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment). In addition, Transfar Chemicals passed the certification of bluesign®, a Swiss certification for textiles impact on the environment and goes onto the supplier list of internationally known enterprises such as H&M.
Textile Today: As we have already seen that Transfar Chemicals expanded its business in the global platform. So, how is your business growth in Bangladesh and does Transfar Chemicals has any expansion plan in Bangladesh based on the global promotion plan of an international company?
Michael Zhou: Actually, we have a different strategy and plans for the different countries based on the market situation. We are very proud to say that in Bangladesh we have a very good response from our customers. Our yearly growth is 20% which is satisfying and also in Bangladesh yearly sales volume is about 30 million RMB.
In the question of expansion in Bangladesh, we are still researching on our customers and their feedbacks and assessing the prospects of the Bangladesh textile industry, we will take the decision.