For us sustainability is not a fashion, it’s an obligation- Mr. Jorge Faria, Managing Director & CEO, AQUITEX-ACABAMENTOS QUIMICOS TEXTEIS S.A

img_2720AQUITEX-ACABAMENTOS QUIMICOS TEXTEIS S.A; PORTUGAL is a company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of chemicals for the textile and ceramic industry, with an experience of over 53 years. The company is prepared to meet any and all needs of customers, through a differentiated service. Aquitex S.A facilities are located in Pedrouços, Maia, Portugal, a property with an implementation area of 10 000 m2. Since 1963, the company has been working with a single objective, SATISFACTION OF CLIENTS. The core vision is “Innovate Permanently”. Aquitex S.A seeks to innovate-innovate-innovate and generate profit while maintaining a social commitment, either with the company employees, with customers and other stakeholders, as well as honesty and respect for environmental and safety standards. To innovate Aquitex S.A. has to master the entire chain upstream, with quality being a both a working methodology and an obsession. Aquitex S.A works every day to achieve this goal while maintaining a cohesive team, motivated and imbued with these principles. Aquitex S.A is represented in Bangladesh by Quest Tex Solutions. Recently Mr. Jorge Faria, Managing Director & CEO of Aquitex S.A visited Bangladesh. Textile Focus technical team had a conversation with Jorge Faria along with Engr Md. Touhidul Islam Kakon, Head of Business, Quest Tex Solutions. Key points of the discussion are mentioned bellow for our readers-

Textile Focus: Please give a brief on your business in textiles?

Jorge Faria: The world is moving forward with technological and innovative developments. Textile is the sector which is needed for each and every country. We don’t intend to sell only products but also a quality service. We have been in the industry for more than 53 years, which means we have gained a lot of experience through the years. The people working in Aquitex have come from production and they have a very good view of customers’ needs and high know how. We also work with some universities in Europe for research and development projects for new products and new processes. For us sustainability is not a fashion, it’s an obligation. We are working on reducing waste water which is a big issue in Bangladesh textile industry. Bangladesh is country where more than 80% export is coming from this textile sector. That’s why we are focused on this industry to support for innovative and sustainable products. We have full phase support to provide customized and quality products for this industry. We support our customers as we believe that we will get return of our services given to the customers.

Textile Focus: What is the secret of your successful business over 50 years?

Jorge Faria: In Aquitex we focus largely on innovation. Every year we develop new things according to industry’s needs. We are continuously working on developments on waste water reduction, dyeing process control as we try to think ourselves as our customers to ensure the quality which we consider as our responsibility. Our team is also essential for our success. We distribute a large portion of our profit to workers. 60% of our employees at Aquitex are university graduates and 20% of those have master’s degree including a PhD. Moreover, we sponsor research and development activities in different universities. Investment in R&D is a continuous process in Aquitex as a part of our philosophy- Innovation, Innovation, Innovation. As I mentioned earlier we give high importance to R&D which we believe to be the heart of our innovation and service. Indeed, in the last 02 years we invested more than 1 million euro in R&D and laboratory support.

Textile Focus: How are you considering Bangladesh market for your business?

screenshot-88Jorge Faria: Bangladesh is the biggest and most interesting textile market in the world right now. China is not focusing on textile the same way, only Vietnam is moving forward in parallel. This shif of the textile market from China is an opportunity for Bangladesh market. People of Bangladesh are very humble, polite, cooperative and cordial. The country must utilize huge number of hard working workforce in the development of textile industry. That’s why Aquitex want to be here to support this industry for its sustainable development through our innovative products. We met many professionals in Bangladesh and we have finally found Quest Tex Solutions which is a company in line with our philosophy. The first year will be difficult for us because we need to introduce our products and brand, but from 2nd year onward we hope for the best and success. This is a very important market for us. We want to share the know-how we have acquired to the industry and also want to know the requirements from the Bangladesh industry. We deeply believe we can add value to the industry and provide more innovative products/solutions to Bangladesh industry.

Textile Focus: Do you have any special planning for Bangladesh market?

Jorge Faria: With Quest Tex Solutions we are comfortable and I found the people here are really devoted and I can’t let them down. I can see the future and I believe these people will do a great work. Mr. Touhid is a very dedicated, technically sound and hardworking professional as well as all the team Quest. Right now Bangladesh is facing some crisis regarding pricing, wage increase, increase of utility cost. There is no alternative but to increase the productivity, save production cycle time, reduce the utility cost and other things to be maintained at dye house. So, we have to supply innovative products/process for Bangladesh market in terms of savings, in terms of productivity as well as help making the companies more profitable by using our products/process. We have full phase production facility, we are capable to provide quality and sustainable products based on the requirements from Bangladesh market. Now, with the help of Quest Tex Solutions, we are confident to promote our products to Bangladesh market.

Textile Focus: What are the main products of your company and why those are special to your sight?

Jorge Faria: For the last 03 years we developed the process of wash off reactive dyes at low temperature, we developed the process of bleaching at low temperature, we worked on reducing waste water, steam consumption and reduce the production cycle time . We are very honest and transparent, we mean what we say. We work on developments and now we increased our sales 03 times in recent years. We are the second biggest chemical and dyes company in Portugal, being only after the biggest multinational company in this field, we believe in honesty, speak the truth, show the things, and give support. Believe me, in 05 years’ time if you interview me further you will see the difference.

Textile Focus: Sustainability is now major concern how are you defining your products for that?

Jorge Faria: Sustainability is not only about the environment, is also to teach the worker, develop the process, complying all the requirements, and provide support to the team. We are the only Portuguese company (of chemical products for textile) to be certified as a Bluesign partner. The vast majority of our products are Bluesign approved and we have also a very wide portfolio of GOTS approved products. For certifications issue I believe there should be a single platform from where certification would be issued and validated as it would be much easier to manage and comply with all markets and brands requirements. To me sustainability is also more than dyes and chemicals but respect, improve the working condition, fair wages, and better lifestyle. I see textile industry jumps from country to country based on production cost and wages. If you purchase a garment it costs 10-20 times higher than production cost. We should pay the work at a fair price and there is room for that.

Textile Focus: Any special message from you for our readers and industry?

Jorge Faria: Bangladesh is a promising market for textile industry and I see a bright future ahead. Off course there are still  many things to be done. Visiting Bangladesh, I found that it would be important to invest in developing the infrastructure in transportation. I talked with a professional who informed that he has to stay 06 hours on road from his house to factory to house, which is also a barrier for further development.

Nevertheless, in Bangladesh there is everything needed to improve and grow the textile industry, and we want to be here to help and give our best to the customers.

Textile Focus: Thank you!