Kusumgar Corporates is a leading ISO 9001:2008 certified Indian company in technical textiles and speciality textiles, covering a wide spectrum of industrial fabrics products and technical applications. It started in 1972, and the product basket includes cordura fabrics, custom fabrics, geo-synthetics, recreational fabrics, parachute fabrics, protective fabrics, ballistic fabrics, filter fabrics, parasail fabrics, impression fabrics, medical textile fabrics, etc. Today, the company is not only a weaver and coater of niche, value added technical textiles but also a knowledge provider and a total solutions provider in technical textiles manufacturing business in India.
Siddharth Kusumgar, a second generation industrialist, is the Managing Director of Kusumgar Corporates Pvt Ltd, Mumbai. He shared details of his company in an exclusive interview with Samuel Joseph, Editor of The Indian Textile Journal.
Samuel Joseph: You are one of the pioneers and you have been ahead of times, if you could tell me how it all started.
Siddharth Kusumgar: My father started this company in 1970s. He started this company with the manufacture of parachute with different fabrications. He was consulting a particular company which was manufacturing parachutes and they had some financial issues and then he had to start and he got the opportunity of catering to defence. This was not the only fabric he was looking at. He was looking at filtered fabrics like filter bags and he used to go from place to place and it was a very limited market. Skill, ability-wise defence was biggest market for us in 1980s. Multiple applications from parachute and in parachutes there are 10-12 types. There are mandrop parachutes, cargo parachutes and sleeping bags for army, high altitude clothes for army, bagpacks for army. Interesting part is from 1980s he had his first manufacturing plant, otherwise it was outsourced. He had a plant and it was purely related to weaving and finishing was outsourced. If you take DNA of Kusumgar we were more technical-oriented and this was in 1990 till then we were outsourcing a lot and he had a team of people who were technically sound and they used to take challenge and convert it into a technology.
Samuel Joseph: What was the progress after the company was started?
Siddharth Kusumgar: In 1990 we had a modern plant which had machines and this was from Nissan Japan. Apart from that we had certain machines we imported. That is how it started. As a company we were always more focussed on JV in terms of manufacturing. Today proudly we can say after a journey of 40 years we have a top revenue of more than US $12 million and now the path looks better and job opportunities are more. For 40 years we were on a reactive market where people used to contact us and we never had sales team or a marketing team. It was always goodwill and technology. To have a growth and to have sustained growth, now that we have started to have a different strategy in place. Vertical growth will be much higher than what it was. So originally if you ask about expansion of Kusumgar it was horizontal and we have topped multiple applications of so called technical textiles and we have touched it whether it is medical or packaging or protection.
Samuel Joseph: You are quite well known for geotextiles. Among various areas, which is the latest one? What are the set-up facilities?
Siddharth Kusumgar: Latest is sports. I would famously call it outdoor industry. Sports denotes a narrow range and outdoor becomes a broader range. We are looking at camping equi