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Sustainable and Personalized Color Solutions with Tangible Value to Customers Bottom Lines

SpecialChem – Jan 21, 2021

An Interview with Jashan Bhumkar, Company Director at Soujanya

TAGS:  Environmentally Friendly Coatings    

Sustainable and Personalized Color Solutions with Tangible Value to Customers Bottom Lines“Adding life to color” – keeping up to its motto, Soujanya has been at the forefront of innovation in colorant manufacturing and research for paints and coatings applications among others. With more than 35 years of niche expertise in colorants, it is continuing to take new strides to overcome challenges faced by the industry for years with their unique manufacturing expertise and sustainable solutions.

Recently, we interviewed Jashan Bhumkar, Company Director at Soujanya where he shares his insights on color solutions industry trends, challenges and how to meet each customer’s specific needs.

Let's hear from him...

#1 What is Soujanya’s positioning in the world of color solutions?

JB: Soujanya is a global leader in providing sustainable color solutions. By size and market share, we are among the top three independent manufacturers of liquid colorants. Soujanya is a multinational company with its headquarters in Mumbai (India), a subsidiary in Mexico, branch offices in Brazil and Singapore, and sales to over 30 countries globally.

We have 37 years of niche expertise in colorants. For most of this time, we have focused on paints & coatings. We have recently diversified into coloring myriad applications including:

  • Printing inks
  • Personal care
  • Cosmetics
  • Plastics
  • Composites, etc.

In terms of paints & coatings, we offer color solutions for pretty much all types of coatings (decorative, industrial, wood, floor, auto refinish) for various points in the value chain (point-of-sale as well as in-plant tinting).

In the POS (point-of-sale) segment, today, over 50,000 tinting machines globally are loaded with Soujanya’s universal machine colorants, and this number continues to grow rapidly every year.

Machines Loaded with Soujanya's Colorants

#2 How is Soujanya unique and why is this relevant?

JB: A key aspect of why our customers love and trust us relates to our excellent service offerings. We are able to bring about a quick yet thorough turnaround of projects. For example, in one of our key Asian markets, we helped the market leader launch a full-fledged country-wide tinting system for its new wood coatings range in a record time of just 3 months!

Given our strong process expertise and ability to handle complexity, we are almost always able to say “Yes” to whatever our customers demand, whether it is:

  • Customized packing
  • Efficient inventory management (such as JIT)
  • Stringent adherence to regulatory standards (country-specific regulations), or
  • Hygiene standards (such as microbial specs).

Super Jet Black for Solvent-based Coatings On the other hand, with our relentless focus on pigment dispersion technology, we have made breakthroughs on the technical front and ameliorated some challenges faced by the industry for years, such as:

Our excellent dispersion capabilities also ensure that we are one of the very few to offer stable nano-dispersions of pigments for coatings and digital inks applications. Our product Super Jet Black for solvent-based coatings, is one of the most jet dispersions of carbon-black with D90 < 100 nanometers.

#3 What are the most critical challenges customers are facing nowadays and how your innovative solutions are helping them?

JB: Our customers, who are leading consumer brands in their markets, are facing ever increasing pressure from the end-consumers on various aspects, such as:

  • Durability for over 15-20 years
  • Variety in shades and finishes
  • Best value for cost, etc.

By working as an integrated, natural extension of our customers’ business, we help enable them to sync faster with these changing needs. For example, we have carefully handpicked the pigment grades and conducted extensive stability studies for our façade colorant series keeping in mind the many issues faced by our customers in equatorial regions, in particular, that of the dual effects of harsh UV attack along with a highly alkaline environment.

Our customers are now able to offer enhanced guarantees in these markets, which in turn help them differentiate from their competitors. In another example, in India, there is now an increasing focus on premium products, variety and customization.

In lieu of this, our dedicated Color Lab has devised novel ways for rapid shade matching. In the last one year, our Color Lab released formulas for more than 1 million shades, enabling our customers to offer new, unique shades ever so frequently to end-consumers.

Color Lab & Technical Support
Soujanya's Dedicated Color Lab & Technical Support

#4 What are the current and future market trends / shifts and how Soujanya is leading them?

JB: In light of the pandemic and the resulting uncertainty, we see that it has become imperative to have a global outlook and at the same time have support available locally. Doing so strengthens our position as a reliable partner for our customers, there with and for them in both good and bad times.

In light of this, even during the pandemic, our team is working relentlessly to set up a manufacturing plant in Mexico and a technical support lab in South East Asia. We are eagerly looking forward to both of these ventures being operational in early 2021.

The same global-local dual mindset has also become essential in matters of regulation and regulatory requirements. While we are expanding globally into newer regions and end-applications (such as food-contact inks and personal care), we have been putting together back-end resources and expertise that make us increasingly agile with newer and changing regulations.

On a different note, another shift we are experiencing across the industry is increasing sensitivity to cost and value. Our position of leadership in colorants mandates that whilst delivering excellent services and solutions to our customers, we simultaneously pass on tangible value to their bottom lines in a significant and obvious manner.

#5 Can you further detail the green / eco-movement across industries and your contribution?

Smartint™ VOC-free universal machine colorants JB: Soujanya has always been at the forefront in leading the green/eco-movement in our industry. On the product side, we were one of the first movers in offering VOC-free, APEO-free and glycol-free colorants for various applications. Currently, we have in the market:

Our Smartint™ VOC-free universal machine colorants have recently won recognition from the Indian Government, where these colorants align well with the government’s green building agendas.

We continue to do extensive work in green formulations, with some product lines already successfully launched and scaled-up using bio-based resins, and a biodegradable colorants range in development. Our green philosophy permeates into all aspects of our business.

In Mumbai, we operate Asia’s largest color manufacturing unit, which is a zero-discharge plant. During the last year, we were able to reduce water usage by 27%, paper usage by 47%, hazardous waste generation by 31%, all in lieu of a sales volume increase of 25%.

Indeed, as a colorant company, we say: We love all colors, but green is one of our most favorite!

Soujanya's Green Initiative
Soujanya's Green Initiative

Commercially Available Colorants Supplied by Soujanya

About Jashan Bhumkar

Jashan BhumkarJashan is the Director and third generation entrepreneur of Soujanya Color Pvt. Ltd, a global leader in sustainable color solutions. He received his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley and Master's (MPhil) in the same field from Cambridge University, UK.

He is working in Soujanya Color to develop and bring-to-market high-performance color for different applications including printing inks, composite materials, automotive sector, personal care, cosmetics, etc. His work is instrumental in making Soujanya the first company in India to enter the booming automotive composite industry as a color supplier. In this end-application, Soujanya won the TATA Innovista Award 2019 for being this year's most innovative partner across the entire TATA group. Earlier this year, the company also won Zee Business Dare-to-Dream, Company of the Year Award 2019.

Jashan has also focused on global expansion of the business; with a subsidiary in Mexico and branch office in Brazil, Soujanya is now a multinational company. Jashan is a member of the EO (Entrepreneur's Organisation).

Aside from business,he is a professionally trained Indian Classical and Ghazal singer, and has numerous concerts and recordings to his credit. He has been featured on AIR (All India Radio) acknowledging his work in both the fields of business and music.

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