Chennai based Surfactants & Allied Chemicals Pvt Ltd has come a long way after foraying into cleaning and hygiene solutions backed by a comprehensive product range, effective customer service and customized innovative solutions. P Prabhakar, Director talks to Clean India Journal
Your company has been making steady progress ever since it started operations in 1985
We are a 27-year-old company having operations across the country. Our manufacturing unit is in Chennai and our dealer network covers the length and breadth of India, except the North East. We now have more than 105 products and manufacture entire range of cleaning solutions for institutions and industries. Our unique products include Ve-Vette, Safe, New Solvex, Plesantair, Instaclean, Degreasol, Sac 700, Sac 900, Brite HD, Sac Magic, Platinum, Sapphire, TCS and CD7.
Our primary customer segment is hospitality industry. Our products are widely used in hotels, hospitals, restaurants, industries, commercial laundries and housekeeping services. In short, we are ready to serve any industry which cares for its environment and interiors. We also get queries for unique cleaning problems for which we develop customized solutions.
The journey so far has been towards continuous growth only. Along the way, we have been witnessing increased customer awareness, brand recognition and demand for better service. Thus, today’s discerning customer has encouraged us to develop more innovative solutions.
What are the new products launched?
We have launched a number of new products in the last three years like the anti-greying liquid, rust stain remover, blood stain remover, fabric freshener (for laundry); automatic shoe shiner, stain remover, marble crystallizer, metal surface cleaner, tap cleaner and shiner, bike and car wash, glass scale remover, ink and marker stain remover, herbal mosquito repellent (for housekeeping) and vegetable & meat wash (for kitchen).
Along with product development, are you strategizing on expansion also?
It is impossible to have developed the vast range of products that we have today without a full-fledged in-house R&D. For us, innovation and product development are synergistic as one leads to the other. Our plans of expansion include commissioning of new manufacturing units in North India and abroad. We are also into exports and on the lookout for channel partners in Asian and African markets. The company wants to increase its presence in more cities and towns. There are also plans to develop exclusive product line up for specific segments like textiles and leather. In any business, the primary concerns of the customer are quality, prompt supply at reasonable rates. We provide reliability too along with these services. We also regularly participate in exhibitions like Clean India Show to reach our products to a wider market.
With the evolving cleaning sector and changing customer preferences, what are the challenges you face?
Owing to intense competition, housekeeping service providers tend to go for cheaper and substandard products which earn a bad name for them. Increasing fuel prices resulting in higher transportation costs is another worry. Lack of regulatory initiatives for detergent industry is pushing up the prices of raw materials. Varying taxations from state to state and lack of certainty in the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) add to the confusion in financial planning. However, we are prepared for all the challenges.