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Trailblazers | May 2015

A new star in fashion is born!

Natural...Fluid....Fashion. After two years of intense research, Grasim´s Cellulose Division has breathed a new lease of life into viscose staple fibre (VSF) with the launch of a new revolution in fabric christened LIVA. It was one of the grandest moment in the history of the Aditya Birla Group ´ and was aptly likened to some of its historic launches in the past including IDEA in telecom and Ultra Tech in cement.

KK Maheshwari, Group Business Director ´ Fibres and Textiles, and Managing Director, Grasim, spoke eloquently addressing the press a few hours before the launch of brand ´LIVA´ stating that the launch of LIVA was ´indeed a defining moment for us as we take another major step forward in the continuing journey of Birla Cellulose towards achieving greater heights of excellence and growing leadership globally.´ He said that the business, long-term, has a great future and that VSF once reckoned as a commodity was increasingly moving to raise its share of value added products and solutions.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, the Group´s Chairman states that ´the pulp and fibre business is an integral part of our Group. Over the years, it has contributed significantly to our growth and has taken a remarkable position in terms of global presence. We enjoy a leadership position with over 20 per cent of the world market share. Over the last three years alone our investments have been in excess of Rs 4,300 crore and our capacities have scaled close to 1 mtpa. Let me add that, as a Group, we have always been customer-centric and VSF continues to move ahead of the times.´

´As a Group, we believe the customer at is the core of how we operate. You would be surprised to know that our consumer brands are over Rs 60,000 crore, larger than that of many leading consumer brands put together. With the launch of LIVA, our endeavour is to establish the same connect with the end consumer (who in the VSF business is several steps removed from our operations) and while doing that take the entire value chain along with us.? avers Birla.

Maheshwari highlighted the criticality of the consumer connect, emphasizing that to win with end-consumers consistently, we needed to do several things. Commented Maheshwari, ´Firstly, we needed to create a distinctive and relevant end-consumer promise. With years of experience and several intense rounds of understanding consumers, we have found one that we believe resonates strongly with their desires and beliefs. Not only does it fully satisfy them on the aspect of being a natural product, it also delights them on the distinctive aspect of the product which is its soft drape, or ´fluidity´. I am delighted to announce that we are launching this product under the brand name ´LIVA´ with the very simple but very meaningful and attractive proposition of ´Natural, Fluid, Fashion´. He launched the beautiful LIVA logo.

The second major step taken was the setting up a strong Design Studio backed by a powerful Technical Research and Development Centre. They are geared to work with the value-chain to bring forth every season, new innovations that are in trend and which consumers and trade-partners will see as being really ´in fashion´, remarked Maheshwari. Elaborating further, Maheshwari spoke of how the Birla Cellulose team has been working closely with a large number of value-chain partners, including spinners, fabricators and processors. ´We have created a new partnership concept, called the LIVA Accredited Partner Forum, or LAPF, that is an integral part of this ingredient brand. While these partners work on continuously improving their quality and service to brands and retail, on our part we are working closely with them in

areas of technical support, design development, supply chain and market development. We have over 250 partners now in the Forum´, informed Maheshwari.

Furth

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