Arvind Ltd. – a flagship enterprise of Lalbhai Group, is one of India’s largest textile conglomerates having its presence across the chain from yarns to finished goods, with a turnover of USD 1.40+ billions. In-depth know-how and continuous product innovations make its products stand tall in the eyes of its users, located in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Arvind Advanced Materials is an ISO 9001:2008 certified facility that manufactures high performance protective and industrial fabrics. The company’s aim is to offer textile solutions for the rapidly growing sectors like general, industrial, manufacturing & processing, infrastructure, transport, energy and personal protection. Fabrics at Arvind are produced with world-class technology based on a strong foundation of knowledge, research & market needs.
Moving ahead, the company has come up with a solution for signage industry this February, regarding which we, at Sign & POP World, met Sohil Deshmukh, Head – Sales & Marketing, Arvind Ltd. to know on why one should rely on Arvind and what are their future plans. Following is the edited excerpts of what he shared with us:
What is your media?
Textile print media is one of the preferred options available for greener and sustainable advertising, these days. For print, we have been catering to the media market from last one and a half years though; for signage industry, we have just introduced. Our textile media offers maximum environmental compliance in order to achieve responsible advertising and promotions. Arvind products, though the base is polyester, come with PVC-free and recyclable properties which make it a clear winner and definite choice against the alternatives currently available in the market like PVC flex and banners.
What are the attributes?
Keeping in mind the environmental requirements, our print media fabrics are produced under controlled manufacturing processes. Our fabrics provide value for money and don’t leave any hazardous pollutant or face any recycling challenges as it is with flex. Also, being lighter than flex it reduces the transportation cost to a huge extent. Apart from all these, our fabric does provide excellent resistivity to weather, and hence, delivers protracted life to the campaign even in the outdoor applications.
For which all applications are your media is available?
Our product range includes backlit, front-lit, hoardings and banners, besides the canvases for fine art. All our products are PVC-free & recyclable and are specially developed keeping in view the applications. Available in various colours like Gloss, Matt, White Back, Grey back, inkjet, etc.; the width of the media varies from 4ft to 10-ft depending upon the requirements.
Our backlit fabrics are engineered to promote optimal light dispersion to produce impressive backlit displays. These fabrics evenly distribute light across the surface to maximise the backlighting effect and are excellent for lightbox. For front-lit, our fabrics not only deliver vibrant prints but also ensure the environment is cleaner and healthier at indoor locations.
Our No-Flex range, meant for hoardings & banners, overcomes all the disadvantages of PVC flex advertising media and doesn’t emit hazardous chemicals during the life cycle. It is as well recyclable, which adds to its benefit. Apart from these, the finely coated artistic canvases are excellent for wall murals and fine art reproductions. Our canvases are compatible with Eco-solvent, Latex, UV and Inkjet printing inks.
What about its affordability & compatibility?
It’s not that the fabric-based media isn’t there in the market, but are highly priced in range from Rs.10 to Rs.40 per sqft. Our media has been launched with a very interesting price proposition and starts from an affordable rate i.e. Rs. 6.95 per sqft, which is viable for short-lived campaigns like political ones. Its applications start right from indoor and can well be suiting to outdoors. We are also in process to come up with self-adhesive media option for indoor usage to replace vinyl. We already have done the prototyping and are successful in our experiment. The adhesive used in the process don’t leave any mark on the surface.
As far as the compatibility is concerned, our No-Flex range is formulated to meet the ever-evolving demands of the signage industry and offers green solutions to the society. It’s eco-friendly and is compatible with all types of inks. Our fabrics work on diverse ink range like Solvent, Eco-Solvent, Latex & UV to offer unmatched print results, variety of textures and ultimate performance. Quality and consistency is a prime motive at Arvind. And to achieve this, each and every fabric of ours undergoes stringent testing in our manufacturing processes.
How do you market your products? Who are your target customers?
We are doing it at multiple levels. We already have a well-established distribution network. Going forward for this particular segment, we are tying up with printer manufacturers as they offer end-to-end solution. Also, their machines would as well need to be compatible for textiles, which has been flex so far. We have done numerous profiling for various printing machines. We are also approaching the brands directly. Apart from all this, we do participate in the concerned trade shows including the one which focuses on environment. Recently, we were in India Environmental Week, wherein entire organisers’ printing was done on our fabric which was appreciated in classes where nature is considered as important. However, we are looking forward to reach masses by educating them. We are confident that the product has a great potential in India and someone has to take the initiative.
What initiatives have you taken for educating the market?
Most people today don’t know the disadvantages of PVC Flex which it imposes on health and environment. We will also be using a platform as yours for this purpose. Let me share you a fact with your readers which is as well in public domain that PVC been restricted in many applications because of its toxic nature. It has been restricted in toys, hospitals, etc, as it keeps emitting loads of VoC that mix up with the air and continue polluting the environment irrespective of it being installed inside or outside. In addition to this, the recycling challenges of PVC are a major concern, which our media doesn’t really have. Meanwhile, the pollution control board has also acting against such plastics which would create many future challenges to environment.
How is the ban imposed on flex going to help Arvind?
The ban has been welcomed from the majority. It would help improve water management, besides restricting the air quality from getting polluted. Ultimately, it would bring some positive impacts on the health of the people. The recent ban in Maharashtra would lead other states to follow as cities like Mumbai and Pune may set an example by using PVC free media. I am pretty sure that soon this media will start getting greater acceptance from the masses.
However, government can’t take sole responsibility for eradicating the evil from the society. It usually issues a directive and then people need to come forward to support the cause. The market is driven by the end consumers. Unless there is mass awareness about the harmful effects of flex, people won’t ask for greener media. Further, renowned users/brands/promoters should come forward, use this media and lead by example to create an impact on the society.
What about the competition that is gearing up?
Oh yes! A couple of manufacturers in India are actually manufacturing & supplying fabric-based media for the purpose. The competition is always good but at the same time the headroom is huge for these products. If even half of India shifts, we would need more than 10 manufacturers to feed the market. All this would certainly lead to a greener environment and healthier society. The time factor required for a makeover of the industry would also be good for those who have recently invested in flex manufacturing for this make-shift to adapt to the new technology. What we believe is that if the change is for bigger purpose which is nature and human life, everyone should keep the arm open and embrace it because it will only benefit us.
Why should the market rely on Arvind?
We are 85+ year-old, financially strong publicly listed corporate with experience of delivering high quality products to our global customers. We boast on the scalability with sufficient resources to expand. We have very strong in-house processes for production planning, export logistics support and quality control to ensure total customer satisfaction. We do have all round-capabilities across various teams supported by their respective expertise across various areas. We have facilities that comply greener manufacturing. We have the complete infrastructure comprising entire chain right from yarn manufacturing to dealer-ready media solution, which very few companies have. And the range we cater to includes canvas, polyester-cotton, polyester, foam, etc. These are all nothing but the testimony to prove that it’s worth relying on Brand Arvind.
Which legacy are you talking about?
With a rich legacy of around 85 years, we have been evolving continuously. Arvind is the company to bring Denim to India in 1980s. Today, we are the world’s 3rd largest denim maker. In 1990s, we brought yarn-died shirting. Today, we are the biggest integrated vertical in this segment. Our Brand Business is wonders, 10 years back, we started in advance materials and promoted the technical applications of textiles. Today we are providing solutions in personal protection, industrial processes, environmental protection, composites, etc. All these have essence of textiles, but the applications are different.
What investment did the company make to cater to signage industry? How is this media going to contribute to the company’s turnover?
Our intent is to offer textile solution to various industries. Accordingly, we have invested heavily in to setting up a coating line, a manufacturing line and lab & equipment – all are specifically meant for these kinds of applications. For now, we are the only 10-feet wide textile media maker in India. Our advanced material business is targeting to reach Rs. 3,000 crore in next five years and this media would certainly add substantial share to it.