“ The growth in demand for polyester fiber and yarn, particularly in Asia, will continue to be robust due to population growth, increasing affluence and the current low consumption per capita compared to developed markets like North America and Europe. ”
The past year has been challenging for the industry so our efforts were mostly geared towards staying competitive. As such, we went through a gruelling process of implementing cost-cutting measures in every aspect of the business while maintaining our product quality at its best. These measures involved trimming the organisation down to be as lean as possible in order to buffer rising labour costs. This was done through streamlining of operations and processes across departments for improved productivity. We also focused on increasing energy efficiency. In re-working the energy mix, we invested in coal-fired boilers and increased our PLN usage while reducing dependency on other costlier sources of power. As a means of ensuring that we are always at the forefront of the industry in terms of adopting technology, our group continues to add new machinery and equipment as part of our ongoing efforts to upgrade and modernise our plants.
While rising labour and utility costs pose challenges to our industry, it is not a phenomenon unique to Indonesia. Cost-push inflation in countries like China & India has, in recent years, been even more severe. As such, our relative competitiveness in the region has not been too adversely affected. I believe that the growth in demand for polyester fiber and yarn, particularly in Asia, will continue to be robust due to population growth, increasing affluence and the current low consumption per capita compared to developed markets like North America and Europe. Being the world’s 4th most populous country, Indonesia is a huge market in itself and will continue to support the development of the textiles sector. Besides, it is one of Indonesia’s oldest and most strategic industries that contributes significantly to national GDP and employs over 10% of total industrial labour. Given its importance to the economy, I believe the government will help play a part in ensuring the sector stays strong even in the long-run.
Across different textile applications, there has been a gradual shift from natural fibers towards synthetic fibers. This is largely due to highly-volatile prices of natural fibers as they constantly compete with crops for scarce arable land. Supply can also be unpredictable as they are impacted by weather conditions. An added draw to polyester being the fiber of choice in the apparel, home and industrial textile space is that through technological developments, polyester now possesses increased functionality, elasticity and durability as compared to natural fibers. The other trend I’ve observed is an increased awareness amongst consumers and a conscious choice of being eco-friendly. This has led to a small but growing demand for recycled or “green” sustainable textiles.
Being vertically-integrated, Shinta possesses the ability to have direct communication with end users along the value chain, providing for quick and accurate feedback for our prompt actions and ongoing product development. Having close working relationships with our machinery suppliers also ensures we are always kept up-to-date with technology. Through such dynamic communications with both our customers and suppliers, we have been able to constantly adapt and meet the ever-changing needs and demands of consumers.
It is important in our industry to be innovative and it is equally important to benchmark ourselves against our competitors to know our strengths and weaknesses.
Unlike some of our competitors in the region, our growth strategy remains conservative and does not involve any large-scale capacity expansion. We are focused instead on moving up the value-chain and being more selective in the product range that we offer as we do not believe in compromising quality for quantity.
With the support of a strong technical team that has extensive experience and rich knowledge in polyester, we are able to channel our energies towards developing and producing specialty products while at the same time diversifying into sectors other than apparel and home textiles to include the more stringent automotive interior sector as well as the packaging film and geotextiles industries.
As we continue to roll-out and develop specialty products to move up the value-chain, we hope to further grow our presence in sophisticated markets like North America and Japan. The other market in which we see potential for growth is Turkey given the expiration of trade remedy actions like anti-dumping and safeguard measures this year. This will help us regain competitive market access. There are markets in which we are still not very active, such as the Middle East and African countries. We do hope to penetrate these markets as we believe that diversification into new geographies will help us in our overall risk management through reduced dependency on any one single region.
Indeed our SulCool moisture-management brand has been met with great success for uses in both active wear and hosiery. The end-products are currently sold under leading international sporting brand names and are retailing widely both in Asia and in North America. More recently, we received enquiries on SulCool for use in the healthcare sector. As such, we are now seeking further improvements to this product by developing it into one of multi-functionality, combining properties of anti-bacterial traits to the basic moisture-management function.
Shinta Group has been in the business for over five decades now and has established a strong presence and significant brand in markets spanning the globe. We differentiate ourselves by positioning the Group as a boutique that’s able to deliver products of specific specifications even in smaller volumes, according to our customers’ requirements. Over the years and through the economic ups and downs, we take pride in the reputation that we have built of being a fair and reliable supplier that is committed to providing total customer satisfaction in terms of excellent quality, price, delivery, and service. That is the core of our business philosophy.
Indonesia is often described as the investment darling of Southeast Asia and rightly so, with its rich natural resources, supported by a large population of ever growing affluence. Despite the global economic slowdown in the last two years, Indonesia's performance remained strong by global comparison. The elections this year may serve to further revitalise the economy but we will have to wait and see.
As an integrated Group, Shinta is capable of offering a complete range of products and customised solutions to our customers. Today, Sulindafin is the 2nd largest private polyester fiber and yarn producer in Indonesia and Sulindamills has firmly established itself as one of the leading spun yarn producers. A reliable supplier with a proven track record of over 5 decades, Shinta Group remains committed to serving its customer base across the globe to the best of its ability offering nothing short of excellent quality, price, delivery, and service.