At Ramkrishna Group, we believe in innovations, says Vasudev D Jhanwar, Director of Ramkrishna (Jhanwar) Group, the first company in the unorganised textile sector, which produces fabrics evolving an extensive portfolio.
In an interview with the ITJ, Vasudev speaks on how the company is staying ahead of the competition with their unique innovations.
Excerpts...Kindly give us some background information about your company.
Started in 1974 in Kolkata, Ramkrishna (Jhanwar) Group started with the manufacturing of dhotis in the Ichalkaranji (Maharashtra) area. In the year 1993, the company ventured into made-ups. Earlier, we used to manufacture fabrics only on shuttlelooms, then we gradually shifted to airjet looms. In fact, we were the first company in Ichalkaranji to manufacture fabrics on airjet looms.
In 2006, we bought our first Benninger sizing machine for the decentralised sector. This was the very first machine in India for this sector. After that, we never turned back. We kept on developing new products. In 2010, we installed around 60 airjets and another sizing machine. In 2016, we added 38 rapier machines to our tally. Our in-house capacity is around 98 looms, two sizing machines, ERP machines, an autoconer machine and a few warpers. We have a tie up for processing in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Faridabad. Any customer requirement, we get it processed. Our per day production is around 55,000 metres.
At Ramkrishna Group, we believe in innovations. Our innovation is in super fine fabrics in textures, jacquards, linos. Those are our post strength. We develop these products based on the customer’s requirements. We don’t make the product first and then sell it to the market. Our buyers give us imagination. If we see a particular product somewhere we make sure that type of product is produced at Ramkrishna Group too. Our products are all made to order.
Our vision is what the customer desires, and we try to give them that. We never say that we match 100 per cent, but we always say that we have something closer to what our competitor offers. We may reach around 95 per cent of that. After the trial and testing, we reach 100 per cent. That’s our core strength.
My father is a keen believer that we should always develop new products. Keep on innovating and keep on developing. He is a design addict. He always want something new to be developed.What kind of set up do you have for these innovations?
Our designs are buyers imaginations. They send us mails that they want some ‘x’ type of fabric. We have a design team, and have authentic software like TeXCAD or top software from other companies. We are a good 4-5 people in a team who keeps on developing new products. One is customer requirement and the other is our own in-house innovation.
We have sample warpers and sampling looms. I think, we may be developing around 30 new products every month. You can say that we develop one new fabric every day. We have a library of around 300+ varieties of fabric and ‘n’ number of designs. In fact, in this exhibition itself, we have displayed around 700 items. Every fabric is different from the other one.
The world-class Benninger warping and sizing machines help produce with a daily capacity of nine tonne using eco-friendly chemicals. We weave fabrics from 60 GSM to 600 GSM. Weaving an intricate important stage of production where standards are set with utmost planning total integration with stringent checks at each stage with a systems and process work formula for every machine and operator.
Our well trained team of Q.A. personnel allow no compromise at the Greige checking stage to meet the stringent four point international standards of fabric checking.What about the grey fabrics? Is there any export market?
Yes. My buyers [right now] are Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Calvin Klein, American Eagle, American Navy, Zara, to name a few. Our fabrics pass through all types of testing norms as per the buyers specifications. We get the nomination from buyer that you have to ship the product to ‘x’ exporter or ‘y’ exporter. Even if we sell in India, the buyers tell us to give the fabric to this exporter. Then, he will ship the garment to us.
Out of my total turnover, around 25 per cent is in exports, 65 per cent is to the exporters in India and the rest 10 per cent is to the traders.Tell us more about your link with the one of the top brands like Liva.
Liva has been just been around two years in the market, but our collaboration with Birla Grasim started in 2012 itself. One of our customers wanted Tencel fabric, but Tencel fabric was not easily available in the market at that time. We got a reference from Grasim and branded its as XL. We got the order for XL fibre. It was not successful for the first time, but the second time we were quite successful. We got a good association from Grasim. In fact, we got all the help in developing viscose, XL and Modal. We also gave our valuable inputs that we should go ahead with innovations in such a way. This is how our collaboration went off. Starting from burning our hands to being successful. In fact, we have received an award from Liva.
Apart from developing new fabrics, what are your future plans?
At the moment, we are planning something in garments. I cannot divulge more details on this. But this wont happen currently, it may take us around three to four years. Firstly, we want to get ourself well established in fabrics. We look forward in setting up of garment factory.
"In India, Surat in Gujarat is our biggest market. Even Delhi and Kolkata have good markets. The southern India is not so good.”