The story of the Mafatlal Group is a stirring saga of a blend of traditional values and modern technology triumphing over circumstances. Mafatlal Gagalbhai, the founder, took over the management of a small mill in Ahmedabad, and named it Shorrock Mill. The first mill did extremely well, and Mafatlal developed an appetite for expansion. Six years later, in 1912, he bought a mill in neighboring Nadiad for Rs 6.26 lakh. The second mill was christened New Shorrock.
It was in the 1970s and 1980s, under the leadership of Arvind Mafatlal, that the existing business was consolidated. The group has since diversified into information technology, chemicals and engineering.
Mafatlal Industries´ President & Business Head of Textiles, Vijay Maheshwari, talks to the Editor of the Indian Textile Journal on the company´s turnaround after their erratic sales performance till 2012, drivers and strategies behind its growth, and what made Mafatlals a household name in textile biz.
ITJ Editor: Before 2012, your company´s performance has been erratic. But since 2013, the Mafatlals Centenary year, it started making higher profit. How did this turnaround happen?
Vijay Maheshwari (VM): We had undertaken a large capex plan to modernise our processing plant, which was implemented in 2013. This helped us to show better results.
ITJ Editor: Can you please provide some details about the expansion at Nadiad plant in Gujarat? What will be the total capacity and product portfolios at the end of this expansion phase?
VM: In the first phase, at Nadiad, we installed a new state-of-the-art CBR and a Mercerizing Machine from Goller, a 16 head printing machine from MHMS, new Stenter from Bruckner, a Sanforising machine and an airflow machine. This has resulted in to higher output and significant improvement in quality of our products. Apart from above, we had installed a Cogen Power Plant, which is helping us in reducing our power cost.
We have now undertaken a second phase of expansion at Nadiad. We have placed order for a latest state-of-art fully automatic printing machine from Zimmer, new Print Washer from Menzel, a Loop Ager from Texfab and the latest light engraving machine DLE from CST.
The second phase of expansion will be completed by March 2015 and will help us in raising our volume in prints by almost 6 mtpa. Apart from above, we are adding approximately 5,800 new spindles and corresponding preparatory machines to increase our yarn output by almost 700 tonnes per year. The additional spindles in spinning will help us to produce high quality compact yarn for our yarn dyed shirting.
We are well known for our whites and for our voiles but now we are focusing on increasing our volumes in prints and yarn dyed for RMG and high-end brands in the country. After the ongoing expansion plan, we would be producing approximately 35 mtpa and would be making whites, prints, yarn dyed shirting, linen and dyed fabrics.
ITJ Editor: In uniforms, Mafatlal is a household name, having reached the top. How has this segment grown and what are the strategies to improve performance in this?
VM: Mafatlal has brought about a revolutionary change in the uniform segment by developing a 600 colour combo co-ordinate booklets for shirt, trouser and skirt combination for retailers, school uniform makers/converters, which will give them a wide range of designs to choose from. This makes it convenient and easy to decide on the right combination. All our high quality yarn dyed school uniform fabrics are available in more than 5,000 designs in checks, stripes, twill checks and plains. We are the first company to introduce eco-friendly fibre-dyed suiting in the school uniform range. Fibre dyed suitings have the advanta