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Pravin Sheth

(Chairman Emeritus) of Fiberweb (India) Ltd
by Surendra Sharma - May 11, 2020
Pravin Sheth, Interview, KonexioNetwork.com

Success means Quality Control & Timely Delivery to our customer.

Pravin Sheth (Chatered Accountant) is a stalwart and pioneer in the Industry with experience of more than 5 decade.  He is always been a visionary as his company was the first in the industry which started manufacturing of non-woven based fabrics. The first plant in India was established in Daman with 85K sq ft area.

Fiberweb(India) is a leader of Non-woven based Fabrics in International Market. In today’s economic crisis also the company is with “Zero Debt and very high liquidity”.

The company is working hard today along with its vendors to support India in this epidemic by increasing the production of key safety requirement e.g PPE KIT, N95 & N-99 masks  for our Corona fighters. 

Can you tell us something about Fiberweb and its history?

Fiberweb (India) is around 34 year old company. The company initially was manufacturing conventional polymer products, & we then moved on to manufacturing monolayer & multilayer films. This was followed by ambitious pioneer project: Manufacturing of spunbond nonwoven fabrics, a product many people in india at that time had not even heard of.

From 1996 we are 100% EOU, the company exports in United States, Europe, UAE, Australia etc & across the world. Since it’s an Export Based company the plant has been created and maintained as per the international standards required. We have reinvested in modernisation and de-bottlenecking.

In 2016 company did expansion in Meltbown. Today they have capacity of around 5000MTPA in Spunbond fabrics & 1500MTPA for Meltblown fabrics in our facility at Daman. 

Where are the products manufactured by you, used?

The Geotextile market in india is around 3.65lakhs MT in 2016 with a growth of around 16% per annum, but in that most of the production is mainly low end of non-woven fabrics. Which is used for shopping bags & carpets & backings etc
Today Fiberweb(India) has mainly two Products segment: 

1. Spunbond fabrics: It is mainly used in Agriculture applications - crop cover, soil cover, Industrial garments, PPE Kits, Hospital Garments, Masks like in N95 & N99, personal hygiene applications like baby diapers, female hygiene & adults diapers, Textile applications & Geo-technical and structural applications etc.

2. Meltblown fabrics: This product today is most in demand which is used for N95 & N99 masks & PPE kits. It is also used in Oil Absorbents, Medical fabrics, Wipes, filterations, sanitary products, apparel etc.The Meltblown fabrics has multiple uses and Fiberweb is the only company in India which is producing Meltblown fabrics as per international standards.

What has bèen the impact on business due to corona virus?

Yes, we have a positive impact due to corona. Both our products are used in WHO standard Masks such as  N95 & N99 masks. Both the masks requires around 175-180 MM Meltblown fibre. The standard procedure to prepare mask is that Spunbond is used to create the upper & Lower while middle layer is through Meltblown fibre. 
Fiberweb (India) is one of the player in India today in Meltblown fabric. Hence that’s reason  we are booked for next 6 months.

Have you been able to run your business normally under the lockdown?

Our products comes in the essential products list, so government is helping us to run our factory 24*7.
With the Government norms naturally, whatever norms Human resource ministry issued, we have to follow, but we are very much happy with the work done by government officials.

How have the lower crude prices impacted our input costs?

Definitely our product is crude related product and input cost currently are  comparatively lower, but in the international market the prices of the final product is decided after considering the input cost which include the raw material etc. 

What is your business strategy for the next 2-3 years. Kindly elaborate?

We are planning to double the production of meltblown fabrics which is expected to get completed within next 1-2 months. After the capacity expansion, the production is expected to be around 3000MTPA. We are also planning to make PPE kits in our facilities in Daman. 

The Company has planned to enter in new product segement of  Flat Bond Fabrics for that  they have already planned infrastructure in Daman & also have initiated first step to get “BBB- Outlook stable” to the done from India ratings & research. This is required at this stage of business expansion.

Does the company need any additional capital in the next 24 months. Debt or equity?

Yes, definitely for flat bond fabrics expansion we require additional capex, but we will do it through internal accrual and if required then Debt funding. Hopefully by March 2022 the entire project will be completed and then commissioning of the plant.