New R&D facility for chemicals group as it aims to double revenues

James Robinson team

A global chemicals company specialising in hair and beauty products is targeting double digit growth over the next three years after launching a new R&D facility.

James Robinson Speciality Ingredients (JRSI), which is headquartered in Huddersfield, has taken 2,000 sq ft of space in Hexagon Tower, Manchester, following a management buyout of the heritage brand.

The new Biotome division will explore more sustainable biotechnology ingredients for its global client base and significantly extend the company’s research capabilities and production capacity.

The R&D hub and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities will be overseen be a technical team with over 50 years of industry experience amongst them.

Specialising in ingredients for the hair colourant, cosmetics and ophthalmic industries, the £15.2m turnover company began as James Robinson and Co in 1840.

After nearly 150 years in business, it was procured by Vivimed Labs in 2008.

A 2019 buyout of the Specialities function saw the business rebranded as James Robinson Speciality Ingredients, with Sanketh Varalwar appointed as CEO and Naieem Rahim as Group Finance Director.

With its 20-strong UK team now based across its Manchester R&D facility and Huddersfield site, JRSI is now targeting double digit revenue growth in the next three years.

CEO Sanketh Varalwar said: “James Robinson is one of the most trusted names in chemical development, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this heritage as we launch our Biotome division and get back to our roots in Manchester.

“Hexagon Tower is the ideal setting for our technical team to grow as we continue to innovate and push boundaries in the industry.

“The business has been around for close to two centuries, only possible through a willingness to adapt to the changing needs of clients and the market.

“With increased demand for green ingredients within the cosmetic, ophthalmic and hair care sectors, our Biotome division will focus on sustainable developments that maintain the quality James Robinson has become synonymous with.”

He added: “Supported by our new facilities and backed by industry leading experts, our focus over the next 12 months will be to grow our teams, advance our R&D capabilities and increase production capacity, so we’re incredibly excited for this next chapter in the James Robinson story.”

As one of the UK’s longest-standing speciality chemicals manufacturers, JRSI provides fully bespoke technical support, including a dedicated applications team, and advice on research, testing and packaging.

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