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Mr. Johan Berlin
Mr. Johan Berlin
Managing Director

Interview with Mr. Johan Berlin

Lack of experience & technical know-how in developing markets make potential investors cautious

Mr. Johan Berlin is the majority shareholder and Managing Director of Investkonsult Sweden AB (Pvt. Ltd). He had worked previously at Investkonsult Int’l Trading (1987-2002) before taking over that company and renaming it to Investkonsult Sweden. Investkonsult Sweden AB work as consultants and brokers of machinery in the nonwoven and disposable hygiene industries supporting existing companies as well as start-ups. Investkonsult Sweden has also 23 years vast experience in the trading of second hand machines for conventional textile machinery and nonwoven machinery. Mr. Berlin has specialization in nonwoven and disposable hygiene and also he has knowledge of conventional textiles such as spinning, weaving, finishing & dyeing. He is a part time musician and enjoys skiing. He is also a frequent worldwide traveler and often called for large appraisals of nonwoven and disposable hygiene factories. Mr. Joakim Blomqvist, who is associated with Investkonsult Sweden AB assisted Mr. Berlin with data for preparing the answers.

TT: How do you foresee the outlook of Nonwovens Converting Industry worldwide in next five years? Which are the emerging markets according to you?

Growth in the nonwovens industry is strongly correlated to the GDP and the purchasing power. In line with this, the largest increases in nonwoven production, converting and consumption will take place in regions with strong economic growth, especially in those countries that currently have a low penetration. In other words, the demand for nonwoven products will continue to increase in countries such as India and Indonesia.

TT: What services does Investkonsult Sweden AB offers to emerging entrepreneurs in this field?

Since we have been active as a broker of machinery since the seventies, procurement of machinery is our core competence. If we don’t have suitable equipment at hand we can, thanks to our extensive network of producers, offer the required equipment within a short timeframe. With both technical knowledge and good insights in the market we are able to assist emerging entrepreneurs to become successful in this field.

TT: What newer applications in Nonwovens will contribute significantly in coming years?

We see some new applications primarily in the technical markets. Battery separators represent a fast-growing market, due to innovation and new technology both power and life length of the battery will improve. In the filtration market, new value-added filter media is being developed, and the growth in this segment is strong thanks to technological improvements. In the medical sector, we believe a strong product development. The advancements made in the coating/lamination area will continue with for instance anti-bacterial treatments of surgical gowns. Also in protective clothing, we believe that nonwovens will get improved properties and replace conventional woven textiles.

TT: What are the major bottlenecks for investing in nonwoven and nonwoven related converted products in developing markets compared to that of developed markets?

The lack of experience and technical knowledge in the developing markets tend to make potential investors a bit cautious. Our experience is that many clients are eager to enter into the nonwoven industry, and most of them see the great growth potential, but quite few dare to invest in nonwoven equipment. Since we are able to guide these companies in the right direction, we feel that we fulfil an important role in this context.

TT: How do you see the Indian Market as a major consumer / producer of Nonwovens? Where lies the opportunity for a country like India?

We believe in a strong growth for nonwovens in India. Due to a growing middleclass and increased purchasing power, the disposable hygiene sector will become considerably larger, the demand for sanitary napkins will also grow due the governmental subsidies. Of course, there are opportunities also in production of durable nonwovens, especially in the construction market. Due to infrastructural investments, the demand for nonwoven geotextiles will continue to grow. According to Industry research, approximately 37 million square meters of geotextiles were rolled out in India in 2008 and the prediction for 2018 is 113 square meters.

TT: Mergers and Acquisitions seems to be the current trend worldwide. What is your view on technology transfer from developed economies to developing economies?

We believe that this trend will continue the companies will get larger, either through mergers and acquisitions or investments. This applies to all too all stages of the supply chain. Some technology transfer will probably occur when some of the largest nonwoven producers establish themselves in developing countries. It is inevitable that knowledge then will be spread on the new market. The government of developing economies also has a great potential to initiate and stimulate transferring of skills and technological knowledge. The establishment of Centers of excellence for technical textiles in India is a good example of that and will have a positive impact on the country’s nonwovens market. We believe that increased interaction between Developed Economies and Developing economies are essential for transferring of technology. We try to be as active as possible in this area. In April Mr. Lars Berlin held a presentation at Indotex in Jakarta. The seminar was focused on nonwoven technologies and production methods, the audience was very appreciative and we feel urged to continue to spread information and knowledge of nonwovens and disposable hygiene.

Published on: 17/05/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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