Cosmo Films Limited, a global leader in specialty films for packaging, lamination and labeling applications, plans to enter the B2C and E-commerce markets with its Fabritizer product. Fabritizer is an after-wash laundry sanitizer for germ-free clothing with AATCC 100: 2012 and 2019 Standard certified.
We speak to Mr. Pankaj Poddar, CEO, Cosmo Films Ltd and Director Cosmo Specialty Chemicals to understand more about the company’s aim and its talented R&D.
What is the reason behind your plan to foray into the B2C and E-Commerce markets?
PP: Cosmo Films has always been a major B2B player, with export capabilities across the world. Last year, we established our subsidiary, Cosmo Specialty Chemicals with a vision of acquiring the textile auxiliary market in India & abroad by providing the best and the most competitive products through innovations based on sustainable science. With an expert team of researchers and Chemical bioengineers already part of the Cosmo team, and with the pandemic on the rise, we thought of developing a product that could help people stay safe from different kinds of viruses and bacteria.
Fabritizer, which is developed both for the B2C and for the B2B market, is a laundry sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs from the fabric and is effective even after ironing for the next few days. This product was the need of the hour and our teams worked day and night to make it available for the public at large through our venture.
Cosmo Films Limited today is a global leader in specialty films for packaging, lamination, and labeling applications. You deal with more than 80 countries worldwide. How has the pandemic impacted your business? How do you deal with each country’s pandemic measures?
PP: Pandemic has affected almost every sector and we are no exception. We had to shut down our plants in the first lockdown and we implemented several precautionary measures to keep our employees safe. Then, there were significant issues with freight and raw material costs going up and payment delays in some cases. Our biggest mantra was to focus on increasing our specialty sales and I must say that the Cosmo team did phenomenal work by growing specialty sales by more than 20% in FY 20-21. Our second focus area was to diversify in new areas and the team again responded so well by making Cosmo entry into Fabritizer, niche textile chemicals; master batches and Pet care business.
With increasing demands for hygienically packaged food items, sanitizers and hand washes; the demand for our specialized barrier films and labeling films saw a steep growth during the times. During the past year, we have been able to over achiever on our targets and that can be seen clearly in our year-end financial results.
Cosmo owns multiple patents in India (6) and the US (3). As the patents differ from country to country. How different/unique is your product from other solutions in the same space? How important is it to point out when applying for a patent?
PP: Patents differ from country to country. We have recently applied for 7 new patents. The patents are maintained to have the first-mover advantage and protect the innovation from infringement. The patents also are a means to display to the customers the technical and innovation capabilities of Cosmo.
Research and Development are at the core of Cosmo Films Ltd. We have a highly experienced team of doctorate and postdoctoral scientists in our research team who create innovative product solutions based on our customer needs. We create products in accordance with the needs of our customers. This is what differentiates us from our competitors.
Some of our products are quite unique. Like, when we first made the base substrate for thermal films, which did not require primer, or the heat resistant films for Packaging. We apply for a Patent only once we are convinced that it will drive long-term value for Cosmo and its customers.
Cosmo Films has won several awards for innovation. How much do you invest in R&D and how often do you work on coming out with newer products?
PP: Research and Development play a very significant role here at Cosmo Films. We have recently established a new state of the art research facility in Waluj with the most sophisticated equipment required for testing all the innovative products we manufacture. Our R&D team consists of several doctorates and post-doctorates from the US, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Germany and India, with a collective experience of more than 250 years in the fields of chemical and polymer engineering.
In our research, our focus always remains at identifying technical growth areas through customer activities, exhibitions, publications and technical interactions. We are working on innovations in several different areas including Direct Thermal Printable Films, Textile Chemicals, Synthetic Paper, Adhesives, Master batches and so on.
Our R&D team continuously researches new product innovations, analyzing the requirements of the end consumer to create products that suit their requirements.
Cosmo is the largest BOPP film exporter from India with manufacturing units in India and Korea. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of thermal lamination films. With the pandemic in place, how has your export business been affected? How do you have your supply chain in place and logistics without getting disrupted due to unexpected circumstances?
PP: The business is impacted positively for some product lines such as self-adhesive labels and food packaging while negatively for wrap-around labels, textile and lamination films. We have been adjusting to these challenges by re-allocating our capacities based on the customer requirements.
We have strong supplier and customer partnerships in most cases and therefore, could get the priority. The situation has been challenging, but the Cosmo team has done phenomenal work in doing advance planning and ensuring that we have the necessary raw & other material on a timely basis. In a couple of cases where availability was a challenge, R&D could provide quick alternatives.
Moving forward, what are your expansions plans in bringing about new products to customers and a new manufacturing unit?
As for our films business, we are on track with the commissioning of our specialty BOPET line, which will be completed by the second quarter of 2022. This line will open up several new avenues and will help expand our business.
We have also recently launched DT Films, Anti-Viral and Anti-Bacterial Films, Fragrance Lamination Films and TeploR, which is a heat resistant film specially made to replace PET Films in heat resistant applications.
We are also focusing a lot on our flagship product, Cosmo Synthetic Paper, which is a unique replacement of wood pulp-based paper and is being used in a variety of applications like certificates and mark sheets, QR code stickers, tag applications, in restaurants for menu cards and coaster applications, magazine and book cover printing and much more.
In the textile chemical space, we have formulated/synthesized 18 new chemicals to provide sustainable solutions to our customers. Overall it has been an exciting journey for Cosmo. The textile chemical plant shall be up and running in Q2 20-21.
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