Oriental Weaving and Processing Mill Pvt. Ltd., started in 1975 at Mumbai first than moved to Umbergaon, Maharashtra. The mill manufacturer’s fabric, the processing units also included dyeing, coating etc. Textile Value Chain spoke to Smita Yeole, Managing Director of Oriental Weaving and Processing Mills Pvt. Ltd. Smita is also the member of the Parachute Association Industry in America. She spoke to TVC about her journey, inspiration and achievements. She also spoke about her vision and passion for parachute manufacturing and defence fabrics.

Tell us about your journey with Oriental Mills?

Our mill was started by my father in 1975, with the manufacturing of fabrics and trading yarn. When I joined him, we moved towards innovation like parachute manufacturing. After my marriage I join my husband’s firm which used to manufacturer & assemble aluminium casting. There I learnt assembling and drawing. At that point ADRDE (Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment) approached my father for an joint venture in parachute technology; it was like a dream come true. First we started with a  project in Mumbai with but  logistics and drawing and then we shifted our work station to Agra.

Who’s been your inspiration and list out your achievements?

My father has been my inspiration. He has motivated and supported me in all my endeavours. I got my first finished product in after a struggle of 10 years. I made various kinds of parachutes, but one of the parachutes, which I finished in 2013, it had the capacity to lift 16 tons tank dropped by an aircraft. It was  very huge achievement for me. All parachutes were made India itself as the stitching and the fabrics were done in-house.

You have worked with ADRDE, how was the experience?

The experience was really good, learnt much more in the parachute technology. In the beginning we started with small automatic devices, cargo parachutes. First we made templates, and then the specification of range required, then plugged the parts together and stitched them. India is self sufficient for the dropping of 16 tons parachute after Russia and US and ADRDE has been awarded for this transformation.

What all types of parachutes do you manufacturer and what other products fill your basket?

We manufacture parachutes for defence target practicing, space recovery parachutes, aircrew parachute, cargo parachute, personnel parachutes, combat parachute , medical fabrics like gloves. Defence fabric is an emerging segment in the technical textile world.

You have always focused in the domestic market why?

Yes, I mostly concentrate in the domestic market because the requirement for our fabric is huge in India, if  we give the world class fabrics to our client, then why would they import from aboard. In domestic market we are mainly in automobile sector, tank covers, tent, sleeping bags, jackets & all Military use product (Defence).

What is your Production Capacity?

In a month, we produce about 2.5 lakhs meter of fabrics.  We produce them on imported machine because of the quality demand that can be fulfilled only by these imported machines.

How do you modernise your products? How far is Centre of Excellence useful in your research?

We have in house research and development (R&D) and designing team, but sometimes we do outsourcing for better innovation. Yes we also do take inspiration from the international market.  Our R&D team is adequately strong in innovating and researching for new products. If we require we do take help of Centre of Excellence (CoE).  CoE are well equipped with a good team. They are also in testing and developments of not only geo-textile but also in every segment of technical textile.

Has GST affected your Business?

No not at all. I am very happy with GST.  Our company is much clear with the norms and taxes, so we have no problem with GST.