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FACE2FACE | June 2019

GTFL provides application focused differentiated solutions: S. Raut

Many companies usually turn out products like commodities and survive on volumes, but a very few with intense research make products through technological innovations. Garware Technical Fibres Ltd (GTFL) belongs to the later category. “In the UK, seals are a threat to coastal aquaculture, which can bite into nylon net and attack the fish. To resolve this predation, we found a technological solution. A net made of HDPE and patented by GTFL, could reduce the damage by 85 per cent. On the home front, some fishermen in Gujarat reported 45 to 50 per cent more catch as a result of using Garware nets,” said, the soft-spoken but in a voice full of conviction Sanjay Raut, President – Technical & new Businesses, GTFL.

GTFL today rules the roost when it comes to ropes, fishing nets, shade nets, sport nets… and the list is ever-expanding. The company has lived up to the expectations of its positioning ---“Better Ideas in Action”. After having donned its new name to reflect its growing line of businesses, the erstwhile Garware Wall Ropes (GWRL) knew their rope when it comes to technical textiles. “Our focus is now on generating value for the customers. We now talk to customers and understand the pains, and through technology we provide a solution. Now this developing of value-based products is getting our full attention. Commodity products are out because technical textiles are research-based and technology development is our focus,” said Raut, who found some time to have a tete-a-tete with Samuel Joseph, Editor of the ITJ, during a stopover at the Trident in Mumbai before embarking on a business tour to Australia and New Zealand.

GTFL has filed about 37 patents in technical textiles, which speaks volumes of the efforts of the company to penetrate this technically complex field. “Of this 37 patents, most of which happened in the last 4 to 5 years, eight have got the approval and seen the light of the day. We were in ropes, nets and now are deep in products for aquaculture. Canada, UK and Norway are some of the major markets, where aquaculture is one of their mainstays,” said.

The main success in this venture is because of technological breakthroughs achieved by GTFL. Said Raut: “We found out the problem with nylon and changed the basic raw material to a unique blend of HDPE. In nylon, the deterioration inside the water starts early, and in four years, the nets are irreparably gone. But HDPE is different since it allows coating unlike nylon. This unique characteristics help generate huge value for the customers.”

This breakthrough resulting in the V2 net innovation got GTFL ‘The Economic Times Polymers Awards 2019’.

GTFL has also started making inroads into the agrotextile market. “In India, use of textiles in agriculture is very little and still at an early stage. But it is developing. The shades for protection and better yield are used widely in countries like Israel. The Government has already started encouraging use of technical textiles in various areas, including geotextiles, but still India has a long way to go before reaping all the benefits,” said Raut.

It is not just aquaculture alone that has netted a global acclaim for GTFL. “In sports nets and such products, we are making a headway. The entry into this field began 15 years ago. Here also we have replaced nylon with HDPE. Acceptance of our products internationally is wide,” said Raut. The company’s research is so deep-seated, now it is talking of the next level of innovation. Said Raut: “UHMWPE is the in-thing now. This is the next level of innovation. We are doing very well in this. Very expensive fibre, this is, but still people prefer this because of its higher value and reliability. The end-users have started understanding their value.”

When asked to give the three mantras of values that have propelled GTFL to the forefront in technical textiles, pat came the reply from the President: “Better ideas and action. Delivering higher value to customers. Proper application of values. All these have given us steady growth and we have a total control on the parameters to achieve excellence.”

GTFL has filed about 37 patents in technical textiles, which speaks volumes of the efforts of the company to penetrate this technically complex field.

GTFL today rules the roost when it comes to ropes, fishing nets, shade nets, sport nets… and the list is ever-expanding.

Raut is firm that cheaper products would not be able to compete in these areas of technical textiles. “The users of technical textile products for aquaculture, sports nets, etc are highly technical-minded people with engineering background, and so will not accept any sub-standard goods. This is where we have achieved excellence and hence made a name for the company.”

Commenting on the research and production process, Raut said; “GTFL has a fool-proof gate system with five stages of development Then the products go for bulk trials with various customers and after taking their suggestions into account, the final product specifications are arrived at and the products are made and released.”

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