Tex-File

Apparel Online - - Content -

Ray­mond UCO Denim evolv­ing rapidly with strong fo­cus on Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment

An Elec­tron­ics & Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions En­gi­neer, and an MBA, Arvind Mathur ded­i­cated his life to the tex­tile in­dus­try as he worked for al­most 3 decades, most of it out­side In­dia, for the fa­mous thread com­pany Coats. He proudly in­formed, “There has never been a dull mo­ment in this in­dus­try. There was a time when peo­ple used to say that this is a ‘sun­set’ in­dus­try, but I must say that there is a lot hap­pen­ing now, es­pe­cially in the new era of tech­ni­cal tex­tiles and digital tech­nolo­gies and pro­cesses. It is a thriv­ing in­dus­try and there is no bet­ter place for this than In­dia. When you go around and find peo­ple mak­ing things in a very dif­fer­ent way, you al­ways learn some­thing new and this is what has kept me in the in­dus­try for so many years.”

Ray­mond UCO Denim, one of the most re­spected names in the In­dian tex­tile in­dus­try and in the global denim space, re­cently com­pleted two decades of its suc­cess­ful jour­ney. With an an­nual global ca­pac­ity of 50 mil­lion me­tres of denim fab­ric and ca­ter­ing to pre­mium and pre­mium plus seg­ments, the com­pany is cre­at­ing a perfect bal­ance be­tween do­mes­tic and over­seas mar­kets with an al­most equal share in both. Us­ing 3 to 5 per cent of its to­tal ca­pac­ity on prod­uct de­vel­op­ment (PD), the com­pany def­i­nitely has a forte in this area. While most of the denim mills across In­dia or even glob­ally are fac­ing mul­ti­ple is­sues of over­ca­pac­ity and smaller or­der sizes, it is in­deed re­mark­able to note that Ray­mond UCO Denim last year was able to in­crease its ca­pac­ity by 15 per cent. In a can­did dis­cus­sion with Ap­parel On­line, Arvind Mathur, CEO, Ray­mond UCO Denim, Mumbai and a pass-out from IIT and IIM, dis­cussed about the com­pany’s unique growth strat­egy that led to such a great suc­cess and other al­lied is­sues.

Ray­mond UCO Denim (50:50 joint ven­ture with Ray­mond and Euro­pean denim ma­jor, UCO NV of Bel­gium), which started with the goal of of­fer­ing a ver­sa­tile range for cus­tomers’ di­ver­si­fied needs and to be com­pletely in­no­va­tive, has made sig­nif­i­cant progress in its jour­ney so far. Over a pe­riod of time, it has achieved a com­mend­able track record of adding new things in denim. “If you look at the top 10 denim brands of the world, we are ca­ter­ing to 70 per cent of them. This is how we are placed and are able to com­pete in that space with the top­most denim fab­ric man­u­fac­tur­ers of Turkey, China, Pak­istan and other coun­tries. Hence, we have a strong pres­ence and are very much in tune with the global land­scape. Ray­mond is one of the most re­spected names in the pre­mium seg­ments,” says Mathur, who as CEO, is re­spon­si­ble for the the over­all suc­cess of the busi­ness. The com­pany has sta­teof-the-art manufacturing units in Ya­vat­mal (Ma­ha­rash­tra) as well as Gi­urgiu (Ro­ma­nia), though the ma­jor pro­duc­tion hap­pens in the In­dian unit. It is also able to of­fer full pack­age ser­vices with Everblue Ap­parel Ltd., Dod­a­bal­la­pur (Ban­ga­lore) which is a state-of-the art den­imwear fa­cil­ity.

Talk­ing about the is­sues of over­ca­pac­ity, adop­tion of buy­ers/ brands’ sys­tem to have min­i­mum in­ven­to­ries, Mathur be­lieves that over­ca­pac­ity, al­though ex­is­tent in the mar­ket, is not re­ally in­dica­tive of a re­ces­sion­ary trend. “Yes, glob­ally the denim busi­ness is fac­ing chal­lenges but there is still low single digit growth. Europe was go­ing through a dif­fi­cult phase but now it has kind of sta­bi­lized. Some Euro­pean brands are show­ing real re­cov­ery which is an in­di­ca­tion that the denim in­dus­try would con­tinue to grow. Large de­vel­op­ing mar­kets such as China and In­dia are con­tribut­ing to this too. And in these cir­cum­stances, the mantra that works for a sup­plier is how you can dif­fer­en­ti­ate your­self from oth­ers.” He fur­ther adds that the other im­por­tant thing is the way in which fash­ion and in­ven­tory lev­els are chang­ing and the im­pact these are go­ing to have on lead times, av­er­age or­der sizes and MOQs. Ac­cord­ing to Mathur, “Now ev­ery­body is

ex­pect­ing shorter lead times. While we have be­come more nim­ble and flex­i­ble, we have seen the de­mand for quick turn­around grow­ing and our av­er­age or­der size re­duc­ing with time. In fact, speed car­ries the high­est im­por­tance for us whether in the area of new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment or sam­pling or de­liv­er­ing bulk. We have put our max­i­mum ef­forts in re­duc­ing any bot­tle­necks and im­prov­ing ca­pac­i­ties, pro­cesses and de­ci­sion mak­ing and have so far been very suc­cess­ful in these ini­tia­tives. We have many long­stand­ing and loyal cus­tomers and we have to of­fer them our best.”

Mathur briefs that Ray­mond’s sim­ple way of at­tain­ing an edge over oth­ers is to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self from them, be it in terms of prod­uct range,

PD, pro­cesses or other such ar­eas. Apart from be­ing one of the lead­ing com­pa­nies in In­dia with the best of tech­nol­ogy, it is also cred­ited for be­ing the first com­pany to have brought in ring denim. High­light­ing Ray­mond UCO’s ex­cep­tional fo­cus on PD, he shared, “3 to 5 per cent of our ca­pac­ity is ac­tu­ally uti­lized to sup­port PD ini­tia­tives. We have re­tained lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional tal­ent and ex­perts to man­age the PD process ef­fec­tively and are glob­ally at par with the best in this sense. Both the In­dian and In­ter­na­tional mar­kets to­day de­mand a high level of PD sup­port and it is grow­ing. Throw­ing more light on this, Mathur avers, “When we look at the value chain from the yarn stage to the fin­ish­ing, you can gen­er­ate value ad­di­tion at ev­ery step of the process, at the spin­ning and weav­ing stage in terms of con­struc­tion of your fab­ric and, as im­por­tantly, in dye­ing and fin­ish­ing. It is this value ad­di­tion across the chain that de­fines what the fi­nal value is, i.e. whether a prod­uct is mid-range or pre­mium or pre­mium plus. You could fo­cus more on one process and less on an­other but it is the fi­nal look and feel that de­fines whether the sum is greater than the whole.” Ray­mond’s vi­sion, in the words of Mathur is, ‘To be the best in class glob­ally’. He adds, “To main­tain our com­pet­i­tive edge, we have to re­main in­no­va­tive and re­li­able in our of­fer­ings. In­no­va­tion is not rocket sci­ence. It is all about the choices you make in terms of the ma­te­ri­als one uses, the pro­cesses ap­plied and the at­ti­tude and be­lief sys­tem one es­pouses. We keep em­pha­siz­ing in­ter­nally the need to con­tin­u­ously ob­serve, learn and en­quire and not nec­es­sar­ily limit our­selves in this re­spect to the denim space. Our teams are al­ways on the look­out for rel­e­vant tech­nolo­gies, sys­tems and re­searches for learn­ing and po­ten­tial adop­tion.”

De­tail­ing his fu­ture per­spec­tives, Mathur stated, “In terms of manufacturing, we in­creased our In­dian ca­pac­ity last year by close to 15 per cent. It is now com­pletely sta­bi­lized and filled up. Look­ing for­ward strate­gi­cally, Ray­mond

UCO will now be work­ing on an as­set light model as a means to sup­port growth of sales with high ROI.” Mathur spec­i­fies on a con­clud­ing note that his com­pany has to grow above the mar­ket growth and keep pace with swift ad­vance­ments in fash­ion and tech­nolo­gies.

RAY­MOND HAS AN­NOUNCED AN IN­VEST­MENT OF RS. 1,400 CRORE IN A PHASED MAN­NER ON ITS NEW PLANT AT AM­RA­VATI. COT­TON SHIRTS, LINEN AND DENIM, AMONG OTH­ERS WILL BE PRO­DUCED AT THE PLANT, WHICH IS EX­PECTED TO BE COM­MIS­SIONED BY THE END OF THIS YEAR. THE AM­RA­VATI UNIT WILL CRE­ATE AROUND 8,000 NEW JOBS. OUR GREEN­FIELD PROJECT IN AM­RA­VATI IS LIKELY TO START BY THE YEAR END WITH AN INI­TIAL CAP­I­TAL IN­FU­SION OF RS. 200 CRORE.

– GAU­TAM HARI SING­HA­NIA. CMD, RAY­MOND GROUP

Arvind Mathur, CEO, Ray­mond UCO Denim

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.