We recently interviewed Vikram Bhadauria, managing director of Alok Masterbatches regarding the developments since the company’s agreement with Microban International that we became aware of at the K exhibition in Dusseldorf in October 2019. As Bhadauria points out, the Covid-19 crisis has brought a heightened sense of hygiene and sanitation needs at an individual and community level in the country. As he also suggests, Alok’s antimicrobial solution stands out to be the need of the hour.
Naresh Khanna, editor, Packaging South Asia – Since the formal agreement between Alok Masterbatches and Microban International, what are the steps contemplated to bring Microban’s technology to India?
Vikram Bhadauria – Alok has been working on antimicrobial technology for a few years. Therefore, the first step was for us to find a trusted partner to elevate the potential of this solution for the Indian market. We had the opportunity to join hands with Microban, the global leader in antimicrobial technology, to revolutionize the approach to cleanliness and hygiene. We have seen success in some domains, like water storage and cleanliness, and are now in the testing phase for solutions across the packaging, healthcare, and other industrial sectors.
PSA– Which steps have gone into implementation and execution?
Vikram Bhadauria – We have built a strategic partnership with Vectus, a water storage solutions provider for residential, commercial, industrial, infrastructure, and agricultural sectors, to test the technology on water tanks. The product was tried and tested by them and later on, formally introduced to the market.
PSA – If you recall, I contacted you in February to ask if you had any products that would be of use in combatting Coronavirus, and at the time, you said that nothing was ready. Has the situation now progressed, and do you have anti-bacterial solutions for hospitals, offices, factories, or other public uses such as mass transport?
Vikram Bhadauria – The development is still at a nascent stage. However, Alok’s antimicrobial masterbatches aim to offer microbial protection for applications like hospital beds, linen and furniture, toilet seats and public sanitation facilities, door handles and handlebars, plastic bathroom wares, school, children’s toys, escalator handrails, electrical and electronics.
PSA – Has the Covid-19 crisis made you move faster with solutions that can help in preventing its spread?
Vikram Bhadauria – The Covid-19 crises has reinstated a heightened sense of hygiene and sanitation at an individual and community level. In lieu of the demand for ‘cleanliness’ and market penetration of plastics, Alok’s antimicrobial solution stands out to be the need of the hour. This technology is proven to inhibit the proliferation of microbes on a treated surface by up to 99.99% and actively reduces the risk of premature product degradation for its expected lifetime. We have combined all forces to reduce the risk of communicable infections within the community.
PSA – What is your Microban strategy in the short, medium, and long-run? What are the products or solutions that you plan to bring to the Indian market or to license to others?
Vikram Bhadauria – As highlighted previously, through this exclusive partnership for the Indian markets, Alok’s antimicrobial masterbatches powered by Microban’s technology will transform the approach to cleanliness, hygiene and sustainability of plastics used in packaging, healthcare, and industrial sectors, by inhibiting microbial growth.
PSA– What will be the business model of the collaboration with Microban? Will you develop only ingredients or also develop solutions?
Vikram Bhadauria – Our approach and business model will be more solution-centric for the sectors mentioned above and applications.