Starting operations in 1940 as Associated Research Laboratory, a partnership firm, Arlabs was converted into a private limited company in 1954 and to a public limited company in 1962. The company was originally promoted by the late Vitthal Dattaram Desai and was taken over by Hiralal Khatiwala in 1967.
The company started with the manufacture of rapid fast dyes and moved on to the manufacture of solubilised vat colours. In 1985, the company began to manufacture pesticides, pharmaceutical raw materials and organic compounds. Its manufacturing unit is in Bhor, Pune.
Arlabs came out with a rights issue in Mar.'95 to finance the project of additional production of vat dyes, disperse dyes. It also proposes to manufacture 150 tpa of 3,4,5-trimethoxy benzaldehyde, which is an important intermediate in the production of trimethoprim (an anti-bacterial drug). Commercial production started from Jan.'96.
During the year 1999, the company has been declared as a Sick Industrial Company by the BIFR and has appointed ICICI Ltd as its operating agency and has submitted restructuring proposal for its consideration.