A MAN OF BAL­ANCE

Marwar - - Contents - Text Pooja Mu­jum­dar

For San­jay Ku­mar Jain, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of T T Lim­ited, hav­ing plenty of work does not make him feel busy, but blessed. The man who be­lieves that life is a rain­bow and one needs to live through all the colours, gives MAR­WAR a glimpse into his mul­ti­fac­eted per­sona.

For San­jay Ku­mar Jain, the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of T T Lim­ited, a ver­ti­cally-in­te­grated tex­tile com­pany with global pres­ence, hav­ing plenty of work does not make him feel busy, but blessed. The man who be­lieves that life is a rain­bow and one needs to live through all the colours, gives MAR­WAR a glimpse into his mul­ti­fac­eted per­sona. C OMMON SENSE, IN­TU­ITION AND TAK­ING THE RIGHT business de­ci­sions are San­jay Ku­mar Jain’s forte. These, along with his courage to face the un­known, are what have helped him ad­dress the most dif­fi­cult chal­lenges as the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of T T Lim­ited. The flag­ship com­pany of the T T Group—a business that was founded by Dr Rikhab C Jain in 1970—it has di­verse in­ter­ests that span from agro-com­modi­ties, cot­ton and yarn to fab­rics and gar­ments, a pres­ence in the tex­tile value chain and across dif­fer­ent dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels.

Trac­ing his roots

San­jay Ku­mar Jain has his roots in Ra­j­garh, in the Churu district of Ra­jasthan and is cur­rently based in Kolkata, where his fa­ther had re­lo­cated for bet­ter education and work op­por­tu­ni­ties. It was not long be­fore Jain’s fa­ther moved to Eng­land to­gether with his wife to pur­sue his Fel­low­ship of the Royal Col­lege of Surgeons (FRCS). It was here that Jain and his sis­ter were born. The fam­ily, how­ever, re­turned to In­dia in 1975—when Jain was in the sec­ond grade— af­ter his grand­fa­ther suf­fered a heart at­tack.

Giv­ing him­self a sound education

En­dowed with su­pe­rior in­tel­lect, Jain was con­sis­tently a good per­former aca­dem­i­cally. Hav­ing stood first in his Class 12 board

ex­ams from La Mar­tiniere for Boys, Kolkata, he pro­ceeded to St Xavier's Col­lege, Kolkata to pur­sue his BCom (Hons), while si­mul­ta­ne­ously studying cost ac­coun­tancy and com­pany sec­re­tary­ship and char­tered ac­coun­tancy as well! He went on to earn all-In­dia 1st and 4th rank­ings in the in­ter­me­di­ate and fi­nal ex­ams of cost ac­coun­tancy (ICWA) re­spec­tively, be­fore pass­ing his Bach­e­lor's ex­ams in 1991, rank­ing 13th from the Univer­sity of Cal­cutta. Even to­day, Jain’s eyes sparkle with pride as he says, “I was the first stu­dent in my col­lege to ac­quire a cost ac­coun­tancy qual­i­fi­ca­tion a year be­fore com­plet­ing my grad­u­a­tion!”

Jain, who al­ways wanted to be an en­tre­pre­neur, then de­cided to join In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment Ahmed­abad (IIMA) for an MBA, soon af­ter ap­pear­ing for his com­pany sec­re­tary fi­nals, while do­ing his sum­mer in­tern­ship. At IIMA, he ranked first and was awarded a gold medal by the then prime min­is­ter of In­dia, P. V. Narasimha Rao. He was also hon­oured with a gold medal as the best all-round stu­dent here.

En­try into the cor­po­rate world

Done with his MBA, Jain stepped into the cor­po­rate world, join­ing ICICI Se­cu­ri­ties (then a joint ven­ture firm be­tween ICICI Bank and J P Mor­gan Bank) as an ac­counts man­ager in the cor­po­rate fi­nance di­vi­sion, in 1993. Here, he han­dled fundrais­ing, merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions (M&A) and is­suance of GDR for the Tata Group. Re­call­ing those days, Jain says, “At ICICI Se­cu­ri­ties, I was re­spon­si­ble for the first GDR is­sue that was con­ducted solely by an In­dian in­vest­ment bank.” He quit, any­way, af­ter four years and launched Gan­gour In­vest­ments, an eq­uity bro­ker­age firm, in 1997. In the same year, the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time came knock­ing for Jain when he got to join T T Lim­ited as a di­rec­tor. Five years later, he sold the eq­uity business and ac­cepted the full-time po­si­tion of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at T T Lim­ited and was later pro­moted to the post of man­ag­ing di­rec­tor in 2010. And in the years since he has joined the com­pany, the turnover has grown by leaps and bounds, tak­ing the over­all fig­ure from ` 45.02 crore (in 1995-96) to ` 517.90 crore (in 2017-18), and the mar­ket pres­ence has ex­panded to 65 coun­tries across the globe.

Break­ing new grounds

Ac­cord­ing to Jain, a whole new world opened up for T T

We were the early adopters of com­put­ers and enterprise re­source plan­ning ( ERP). We were also the first knitwear com­pany to be pub­licly listed in In­dia

Lim­ited when the Bt-cot­ton rev­o­lu­tion led to a dra­matic in­crease in pro­duc­tion across the cot­ton-pro­duc­ing states in In­dia. Ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied to make it pestre­sis­tant, Bt-cot­ton had been ap­proved for cul­ti­va­tion in the coun­try in 2002, and there­after, it took over most of the acreage un­der cul­ti­va­tion. Speak­ing about an im­por­tant de­ci­sion that his com­pany took in those days, Jain says, “Keep­ing in mind this sur­plus out­put of cot­ton, we be­came the pi­o­neers of cot­ton ex­ports from In­dia [from the com­pany’s cot­ton pro­cess­ing unit in Gon­dal, Gu­jarat] in 2004.”

Started ini­tially as a man­u­fac­turer of un­der­gar­ments un­der the name ‘T T In­dus­tries’, the com­pany—which was re­named ‘T T Lim­ited’ in 1998—next turned its at­ten­tion to dif­fer­ent av­enues in or­der to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions. In 2006, state-of-theart gin­ning fac­to­ries (for treat­ing cot­ton in a gin) and oil mills were set up in Gon­dal and Ra­jula in Gu­jarat. Down the years, as part of its sus­tained ef­forts to keep abreast of chang­ing times, the com­pany has un­der­gone a se­ries of up­grades in­clud­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of wind tur­bines for cap­tive con­sump­tion in Gu­jarat and Tamil Nadu. Then in 2010, T T Lim­ited ven­tured into on­line re­tail by start­ing an e-com­merce por­tal for its prod­ucts.

The dis­tin­guish­ing fac­tor

Dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is very im­por­tant when it comes to business, and for T T Lim­ited, the com­pet­i­tive edge comes from the fact that it fol­lows a ver­ti­cally in­te­grated business model, which gives it an ad­van­tage in terms of cost and qual­ity. For the unini­ti­ated, a ver­ti­cally in­te­grated business model in­volves con­sol­i­dat­ing mul­ti­ple steps in the typ­i­cal dis­tri­bu­tion process, so that in­stead of op­er­at­ing solely as a dis­trib­u­tor, man­u­fac­turer or re­tailer, the business also

per­forms tasks typ­i­cally car­ried out by sup­pli­ers or trade buy­ers.

T T Lim­ited has also woven dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion into its cul­ture, and ac­cord­ing to Jain, the com­pany has al­ways been at the fore­front when it comes to em­brac­ing the lat­est trends and sys­tems. “We were the early adopters of com­put­ers and enterprise re­source plan­ning (ERP). We were also the first knitwear com­pany to be pub­licly listed in In­dia. Lastly, we have al­ways be­lieved in be­ing lean [a con­cept wherein busi­nesses elim­i­nate waste to use less cap­i­tal and fewer re­sources],” he says. All this has helped the com­pany to not only de­liver value to cus­tomers, but also make a name for it­self in the in­dus­try. Jain says, “The tex­tile in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly spin­ning, has not seen a proper boom cy­cle for the last 20 years, yet we have been able to swim and make the com­pany a re­puted leader.”

Along the way, T T Lim­ited has won pres­ti­gious awards such as Ex­cel­lence Award 2010 from the In­sti­tute of Eco­nomic Stud­ies (IES); Mas­ter Brand 2012 from CMO Asia; In­dia’s Small Gi­ant Award 2014 from In­dia SME Fo­rum, TEXPROCIL Sil­ver Tro­phy from The Cot­ton Tex­tiles Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil in 2014, In­dia’s Most Promis­ing Brand 2015 from World Con­sult­ing & Re­search Cor­po­ra­tion (WCRC), and Most De­sir­able 30 Power Brands 2018 from In­dian Coun­cil of Mar­ket Re­search (ICMR).

Be­yond the board­room

Apart from lead­ing T T Lim­ited, Jain also serves as a men­tor and jury mem­ber in dif­fer­ent edi­tions of The Eco­nomic Times Power of Ideas and as a men­tor at the Men­torEdge pro­gramme of IIM Ahmed­abad’s Cen­tre for In­no­va­tion, In­cu­ba­tion and En­trepreneur­ship (CIIE) and Global So­cial Ben­e­fit In­sti­tute (GSBI) of Santa Clara Univer­sity’s Miller Cen­tre for So­cial En­trepreneur­ship, amongst oth­ers. Fur­ther, he is the chair­man of Con­fed­er­a­tion of In­dian Tex­tile In­dus­try (CITI), North­ern In­dia Tex­tile Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion (NITRA) and Tex­tile Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil (TSC). He is also the vice pres­i­dent of Fed­er­a­tion of Hosiery Man­u­fac­tur­ers' As­so­ci­a­tions of In­dia (FOHMA) and West Ben­gal Hosiery As­so­ci­a­tion, and a com­mit­tee mem­ber of other in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions in­clud­ing Cot­ton Tex­tiles Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (TEXPROCIL), Cot­ton As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (CAI), Na­tional Skills De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (NSDC) and South­ern In­dia Mills' As­so­ci­a­tion (SIMA).

Jain also loves to travel and meet peo­ple and has explored 56 coun­tries till date. Oth­er­wise, he speaks on a

Above: San­jay Ku­mar Jain at the Bom­bay Stock Ex­change, on the oc­ca­sion of ring­ing the Sil­ver Bell af­ter T T Lim­ited com­pleted 25 years of pub­lic list­ing in 2017

Bot­tom: The Cham­pion Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil Award (in­sti­tuted by Min­istry of Skill De­vel­op­ment and En­trepreneur­ship), went to the Tex­tile Sec­tor Skill Coun­cil (TSC) in 2017. Here, Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley is seen giv­ing away the award to San­jay Ku­mar Jain (Chair­man of TSC) and Dr J V Rao (CEO of TSC)

Top: San­jay Ku­mar Jain re­ceiv­ing the Most De­sir­able 30 Power Brands 2018 Award on be­half of T T Lim­ited, from Moushumi Chat­ter­jee and Vidya Balan Bot­tom: San­jay Ku­mar Jain re­ceiv­ing the Top 100 SME Award on be­half of T T Lim­ited, from Vi­jay­alak­shmi Iyer, the then chair­per­son and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Bank of In­dia, in 2013

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