Exclusive Interview With Mr. Akhil Malhotra, Chairman And Managing Director At Rudra Evocation Ltd

In this interview, we gain insights from Mr. Akhil Malhotra, a visionary leader in the recycling industry who has been at the forefront of innovation and sustainability.

Mr. Akhil Malhotra, CMD, Rudra Ecovation Photo: RAHUL.SHARMA

In this interview, we gain insights from Mr. Akhil Malhotra, a visionary leader in the recycling industry who has been at the forefront of innovation and sustainability. From taking over an engineering workshop in 1980 to pioneering polyester fibre recycling from PET bottle waste in 2009-10, Mr. Akhil Malhotra has continually pushed the boundaries of what's possible in the industry. His company, Rudra Ecovation Ltd. is the largest integrated plant in Asia spread across 100 Acres in Ludhiana with the capacity to recycle 8.8 million plastic bottles daily and is engaged in manufacturing of Filament yarn, Spun yarn, Home Furnishing, Non-Woven, Carpets, rPET upcycled fabrics, B2B (Bottle to bottle) and even innovative products like acoustic panels.

Sustainability and Innovation:

Q: Sustainability is a core value for Rudra Ecovation. What inspired your commitment to sustainable manufacturing?

A: Sustainability has always been a personal and professional priority. Witnessing the environmental impact of plastic waste motivated me to find ways to reduce our ecological footprint. We saw ample opportunity to use plastic waste as a resource and the wide range of products that we can make with them. Our commitment to sustainable manufacturing is driven by a belief that businesses have a responsibility to protect the planet for future generations.

Q: Can you explain the process and benefits of transforming PET bottles into fabric through your Anaura line, and what sets Anaura apart from other fabrics in the market? 

A: Transforming PET bottles into fabric involves collecting and cleaning the bottles, and then processing them into polyester fibre. This fibre is used to produce high-quality, durable and sustainable fabrics. Anaura's product range is not only environmentally friendly but also comfortable and durable, making them ideal for various applications from fashion, lifestyle to home furnishings by utilizing plastic waste to valuable resource we are reducing landfill waste, ocean bond plastics as well as reducing carbon emission.

Q: What sets Anaura apart from other fabric options?

A: Anaura (rPET Upcycled Fabric) is our commitment to a closed-loop recycling process and our focus on innovation in manufacturing technology. We continuously strive to improve the softness, breathability, and performance of Anaura while maintaining sustainability at the core of our production. While traditional fabric utilizes environment resources our product Anaura transforms PET bottles into fabric, we are significantly reducing plastic waste and benefiting the environment by lowering the demand for virgin polyester and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Q: How does Anaura-Home extend your sustainable ethos to home textiles, and what has been the market response to these products?

A: Anaura-Home offers eco-friendly home textiles for throws, curtains, bedsheet sets, and cushion covers using recycled materials to maintain our commitment to sustainability. When it comes to any product, we focus on the quality, high performance, durability, and comfort of our Anaura. The market response has been very positive, with consumers appreciating the combination of quality, style, and environmental responsibility. Additionally, our latest product line aims to create Indian alternatives to Chinese imports has also received appreciation from customers and potential partners.

Future Vision and Challenges:

Q: Looking ahead, what are your key strategic priorities and business goals for Rudra Ecovation in the next five years?

A: Looking ahead, our key strategic priorities include expanding our recycling capabilities with Rudra Ecovation and Shiva Taxfab association where we see a strategic growth overview with a focus on achieving 100% capacity utilization by FY 2027 we strive to achieve an estimated topline potential of 1700 Crores. Developing high-quality sustainable products and enhancing our technological infrastructure. We aim to strengthen our position as a leader in sustainable manufacturing by focusing on international expansion.

Q: What challenges do you foresee in the sustainable manufacturing sector, and how do you plan to address them?

A: First of all, we don’t see challenges; we only see opportunities in our sector. With major brands committing towards the use of recycled material, there is a huge demand for quality sustainable fabrics we plan to address this by investing in advanced recycling technologies, collaborating with stakeholders to shape industry standards, and continuously innovating and enhancing our capacities to stay ahead of the curve. 

Q: How do you see the role of technology and innovation evolving in your industry, and what steps is Rudra Ecovation taking to stay ahead?

A: Using waste as a resource, we recognize that technology and resources are our two best friends. We are investing in automation, capacity enhancement and research to enhance our processes and product offerings. By staying at the forefront of technological advancements, we aim to maintain our competitive edge and continue delivering value to our customers. Consequently, we have introduced AI in our manufacturing process to meet the requirements of international brands, installation of new cutting-edge plant machinery, focusing on high-margin products like Anaura and Carpets. Today with a daily production capacity of 320,000 square meters. Our dedicated R&D efforts are focused on launching new innovative products and achieving excellence in product quality.

Collaboration and Industry Impact:

Q: Many brands are interested in collaborating with Rudra Ecovation. What factors do you consider when forming these partnerships?

A: At Rudra Ecovation, we prioritize partnerships with brands that share our commitment to sustainability and quality. Our production capacity of 3,20,000 square meters per day capability can deliver at scale. We aim to promote a shared vision of sustainability, a value increasingly embraced and advocated by leaders and governments worldwide. With growing consumer preferences and awareness shift towards sustainable products. Brands are recognizing the importance of incorporating sustainable materials so they are introducing sustainable uniforms and pledging to use 100 % sustainable raw materials including fabrics within the next 2-5 years. This trend is reflected in the repeat orders and new collaborations we're attracting, driven by the superior quality of our products.


Q: How does the government support sustainable practices through incentives, regulations, and programs?

A: The recent introduction of the MIP (Minimum Import Price) Policy, along with the reinforcement of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and mandates for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards at various levels, marks a significant step towards sustainability awareness and government support for sustainability focussed organizations.