Covid-19: Welspun to use textile capacity to make disinfectant wipes, masks

Amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country, the Welspun Group is switching capacities at its textiles plant of Welspun India Ltd in Anjar, Gujarat to manufacture disinfectant wipes and masks to meet the demand-supply gap for personal protection.

The company plans to build a pipeline of a few hundred thousand masks and wipes in the coming weeks that could be made available to all on-ground workers and their families attending to essential services, B K Goenka, chairman of Welspun Group told Business Standard.

The plant that makes home textile products for largely exports along with domestic market also has technical textiles capabilities for products like disposable wipes, wound care, diaper, drapes and gowns apart from technical textile durables for automotives, protectives and home textiles, among others. Now, as a natural extension, the group is looking to manufacture disinfectant wipes and masks to bridge the demand-supply gap in the country.

"Welspun Group has always been at the forefront when it comes to supporting Government initiatives and the Society at large. From the business point of view, we have been making smart non-woven products and medium for diverse applications around safety clothing, filtration, personal hygiene and cosmetic segments. Hence, manufacturing face masks & disinfectant wipes for combating the crisis is a natural extension for us," said Goenka.

With this, the company aims to bridge the unhealthy gap between demand and supply for personal protection and wipes in the country even for non-specialised application need, he added.

While it is working on using technology and skill set that are not optimized for such finished products, the group feels it can build a pipeline of a "few hundred thousand masks and hand wipes" in the coming weeks.

"However, the current lockdown poses its own challenges for sourcing of key ingredients and managing workforce. For this, we are working with the Government and local authorities who are extending all the support to ensure no disruption in the manufacturing process," Goenka added.

With its prime focus currently on speedy production of such essential supplies, Welspun is focused on making these masks and disinfectant wipes available for all on-ground workers and their families who are at great risks by attending to essential services amidst the pandemic.

Among the top global makers of bed and bath linen, the company has been manufacturing cotton terry towels, beach towels, bath rugs and mats, bath robes, cotton sheets, pillows and comforters among other things at its Vapi and Anjar facilities. 

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