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BW Businessworld

‘Our Quality Kept Us Alive’

Gautam Singhania, Chairman and managing director, Raymond, spoke to BW Businessworld about textile industry and its secret of survival

Photo Credit : Subhabrata Das,

Gautam Singhania, Chairman and managing director, Raymond, spoke to BW Businessworld about textile industry and its secret of survival

How bullish are you about the economy and the industry growth projection?
As far as India is concerned, the growing consumption base is an amazingly positive sign of a healthy economy. It gives the industries great confidence about investment in manufacturing, market expansion, etc. But the bigger challenge that many industries, including textile, face here is on the policy front, where some of the rules, especially with regard to labour, are still not reformed according to time. For example, most of the industries which are able to bring in manufacturing efficiency through automation and higher productivity solutions with the help of technology, are still stuck with unwanted labour force. Although one would say that technology can create unemployment, it’s not true as there are parallel opportunities being created with the same technologies in one or other sectors.

Textile is a people-oriented industry. So, is it likely that large players like you will outsource the process once you establish the brands and market leadership?
I don’t want to get out of manufacturing as it is my strength. Most of the economies of scale we achieve in our business are through our special expertise in manufacturing. And the other most crucial part is maintaining quality of products, which is very important in building brands and retaining market leadership. But I admit, it is a difficult industry to be in.

How did Raymond survive when many bigger textile brands have simply disappeared from the market due to cost and market pressures. What is the secret?
There is no secret. It’s the quality that we maintained consistently that kept the brand alive all these years and, growing. We have couple of other global distinctions as well in the industry. Our staggering range of suiting begins from Rs 300 a metre and goes up to Rs 3,00,000 a metre; we are the only brand in the world that transcends 1,000 times in price points. Also, Raymond is the only company in the world to make Super 250 count wool, where each fibre is 11.4 microns thick, or one-third as fine as human hair.




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