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Cover Story | October 2014

Raymond: Moving up the value chain

The Raymond Group was incorporated in 1925, and within a span of a few years, the company was transformed from being an Indian textile major to a global conglomerate. In its endeavor to keep nurturing quality and leadership, the company always choose the path untaken from being the first in 1959 to introduce a polywool blend in India to creating the world´s finest suiting fabric the Super 250s made from the superfine 11.4 micron wool.

Gautam Singhania took over the reins at Raymond as Chairman & Managing Director in September 2000. Since then he has steered the destiny with a single-minded focus of making it a globally recognised player in its areas of core competence. He has been responsible for the strategic decisions and overall performance of the group companies and has been instrumental in restructuring the group.

Under the able leadership of Gautam Singhania, Raymond [today] is a vertically and horizontally integrated to provide customers total textile solutions. Only few companies globally have such a diverse product range of nearly 20,000 varieties of worsted suiting to cater to customers across age groups, occasions and styles. It is under Singhania´s leadership that Raymond acquired the high-end casual wear brand ColorPlus and the Portuguese Textile Company Regency Texteis Portuguesa Limitada. While the ColorPlus acquisition has helped Raymond further consolidate its position in the apparel segment, the Regency acquisition has given Raymond a manufacturing and distribution base in the important European market.

Raymond entered into the ready-to-wear business with the introduction of Park Avenue in 1986, catering to the formal men´s wear market. Parx was launched in 1998 to address the growing trend of smart casuals. Both brands have captured major market share in their respective categories due to an inherent advantage of vertical integration and a strong retail presence. In 2000, Manzoni, a luxury lifestyle brand was launched offering a super-premium formal range of men´s shirts, suits, trousers, jackets, ties and leather accessories. Raymond identified the vacuum for a high end, casual wear brand and hence decided to acquire ColorPlus as a part of strategic expansion plan for their ready-to-wear business.

Raymond Apparel (RAL) also ventured into the kids wear segment with its exclusive brand ´Zapp!´ Covering the spectrum of children´s lifestyle products, it includes an entire range of children´s apparel and accessories. In addition to this, Raymond Apparel has also launched ´Notting Hill´, the new apparel brand under the popular price segment. A complete ´value-formoney´ men´s wear brand, Notting Hill, is the perfect combination with fashion, fit, styling and affordability as the key differentiators. Raymond is amongst the few companies in the world who bring wool from the back of the sheep to the back of the man, to become the largest integrated manufacturer of worsted fabric in the world. With a capacity of 35 million meters of wool & wool-blended fabrics, Raymond has over 60 per cent market share in worsted suitings in India. With expansion to 42 million meters by end of the year, it is perhaps the only Company in the world to have such a wide range of suiting fabric to suit all ages, occasions and styles making it the preferred choice of top international design houses in over 55 countries.

Raymond has many firsts to its credit from introducing the polywool blend in India (1959) to the launch of superfine wool collections such as the Lineage Line (1995), the Renaissance Collection (1996), and the Chairman´s Collection (1999). Raymond was also the first company to establish the retail franchise network in India and neighboring countries.

Raymond has mastered the craft of producing the finest suiting in the world using super fine wool from Super 80s to Super 240s and blending the same with superfine polyester and other specialty fibres, like cashmere, angora, p

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