INTERVIEW WITH MR. RAMESH PODDAR, MD, SIYARAM SILK MILLS
TVC : Siyaram Silk Mills is a gigantic name in the textile market today. What is the history behind it and how has the journey been so far?
RP : Incorporated in 1978, Siyaram Silk Mills Limited is the Flagship Company of the Siyaram Poddar Group. Initially the company started with trading activities in fabrics and in 1981 we started manufacturing activities at tarapur with 66 indigenous looms. Over the period of time, we have modernized upgraded machineries gradually in stages by inducting modern technology machines. Siyaram’s today is the largest producer of blended suiting and shirting in India, producing 40 million meters annually. Siyaram’s has been in the business of Fashion for almost 3 decades now, in this span of time, Siyaram and other brands under the group have become house hold names. It may be one of the very few brands in the country which has an Urban and Rural brand acceptance and penetration.
TVC : Today Siyaram’s has more than 1000 direct employees and 5000 indirect employees? Please highlight on the core team who started the entire Siyaram Silk mills and brought it to a place this far?
RP : Siyaram Silk Mills started in 1978 by Shri Dharaprasad Ji Poddar and Shri Ram Prasad Ji Poddar. In 1980 – 81 Shri Rameshji Poddar joined Siyaram’s at a turnover of less than Rs.10 crores. He worked relentlessly & acquired many skills of business under the expert guidance of Shri.Ramprasadji Poddar. He took full charge of the business in 1982. Since then there is no looking back for Siyaram’s. Over the years Siyaram’s has scaled new heights and reached a turnover of Rs.1000 crores. Started with merely 4 employees, today Siyaram Silk Mills under the astute leadership of Shri Ramesh ji Poddar has not only expanded its presence in India but also reached out to Global Markets.
TVC : What are the core beliefs and the vision of the company?
RP : Siyaram’s is founded on the principles of mutual respect and appreciation for human capital. The vision of the company is ‘To grow forever by consistently achieving customer delight and being the most preferred partner to every stakeholder. It has been our philosophy to provide its customer value-for-money products, world-class quality and the latest in international style and design. We have stayed contemporary with a vision well-focused on the future.
TVC : What is the driving force behind Siyaram’s success, in both the fabric as well as readymade sector?
RP : One of the core factors which has influenced the growth of Siyaram’s has been the ability and the quick turnaround time to launch innovative and fashion end products. We have continuously re invented to create excitement both for Trade and for consumers. Our Ability to spot international trends and the infrastructure to develop and launch great designs in India and Overseas is something that is driving us always.
TVC : Could you please highlight the various brands under the Siyaram umbrella?
RP : In the Fabric Space, we have Successful Brands like Siyaram’s, J.Hampstead, Mistair. In the readymade space, we have once again established brands like Oxemberg, MSD and we have also recently introduced J.Hampstead in the Premium Ready to wear space as well. Siyaram Home Furnishing is a relatively new business that we have introduced some time back. This Segment also has a huge potential and we definitely see ourselves as a prominent player in the time to come. We are also catering to the Hospitality & corporate Business through one of our brands Unicode and the School Uniform business which has gained growth in recent times gets handled through our brand Little Champs.
TVC : Siyarams’ journey started with fabrics but has grown extensively in readymade sector as well? Your thoughts on the same?
RP : Siyaram’s was launched in the year 1978 and initially we were engaged in the trading of suiting and shirting. Over a period, we expanded, diversified and integrated our facilities substantially and currently we are the market leader of man-made fibre (MMF) fabric segment. We produce 60 million meters of fabric per annum. Our processing unit is also one of its kinds in India and it can process diverse fibres such as wool, cotton, and polyester blends under one roof. In fabric, we have different brands for different segments of the market like Siyaram’s, Mistair, J Hampstead, etc. Siyaram’s is a very popular brand and present around 65,000 odd retail outlets across the country. Keeping this in mind we thought to leverage on this, hence extending the brand to readymade known as Oxemberg & MSD. They are basically a brand extension from fabric to garment
TVC : We see a certain trend with hiring a-list celebrities as brand ambassadors for the textile brands. Any specific reason for Siyaram’s to have different brand endorsers for the various brands?
RP : The Trend was started by Siyaram. In the Late 90’s siyaram was quick to identify the importance of having the right celebrity for the brand, soon thereafter Siyaram has been associated with some of the biggest names in Fashion, Sports and Bollywood. Be it Boris Becker, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati, Vijender Singh or Lara Dutta, Bipasha, Priyanka Chopra, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Dhoni, Manish Malhotra or Hrithik. We have them all. More imp we have not just roped in celebrities, we have used them tactically to the advantage of the brand in different markets. This has helped the brand to get out of the clutter and carve a space for itself. Today being trendsetters that we are and also the larger Portfolio that we have, we have strategically identified the right celebrity with the brand and have used them effectively
TVC : Networking in the textile industry is an integral part of the business. What is your take on building relations with the traders?
RP : Like in every business, the role of a retailer is very crucial. A retailer is a bridge between the wholesaler, supplier and mill. He is an important marketing intermediary who by his timely communication informs the manufacturers/distributors/dealers regarding which product is acceptable in the market as they know the pulse of the market. Due to this information the wholesaler also confidently distributes his products even in the remotest part of the country. I believe that the real India lies in the rural parts of our country. We have always strived to develop the best of relations with these retailers, by encouraging them and supplying the most fashionable goods at best rates. We are also proud that with our growth, our channel partners have also grown .This has been the underlying philosophy of Siyaram’s.
TVC : How is the distribution network for Siyaram’s?
RP : Today Siyaram has more than 65,000 retailers selling Siyaram’s and its other brands. Siyaram Today is a National Player operating in both Metro’s and Tier I /II Towns. We are happy to be a part of their business and are constantly striving to make their business with us more profitable.
TVC : Has the budget 2012 any repercussions on the textile industry?
RP : We wholeheartedly compliment the Government for continuation of exempted route for clearance of textiles under Notification No.30/2004-CE. Although the excise duty on branded readymade garments and made-ups has not been abolished, its impact is reduced from 4.5 per cent to 3.6 per cent which is also a welcome step. The Hon’ble Finance Minister announced in his Budget Speech that automatic shuttleless looms are exempt from basic customs duty of 5 % which is also a welcome step. However, in the present Budget, duty on cotton stream of production has been increased to 6 % from 5 %, but that on man-made stream from 10% to 12 %.Thus, the difference in duty has widened, at a time when the man-made textile industry is facing rough weather. Government should therefore fix a uniform rate of 6 per cent for both the streams of production.
TVC : How much is the monthly production at Siyaram Silk Mills? For the same please specify the production quantity, the manufacturing facilities as well as the machinery?
RP : Today Siyaram produces more than 60 million metres of fabric per anum. It has state of the art world class fully automated weaving and Processing Machines at its factory in Tarapur and Silvassa. Siyaram’s also has one of the best facilities in Daman to Produce Garments. Besides this Siyaram’s also has a strong and dedicated R&D team at our Design Studio
TVC : What are your expectations from the overseas market
RP : The Overseas Market is growing. Thanks to Many Indian’s settled Abroad. There is a great acceptance for Siyaram fabrics and its other brands. Indian Consumers abroad are connected to their roots in India. Siyaram through their positioning of “Come Home to Siyaram’s” has been able to create a strong space in the Minds of Global Indian Consumer and this has been accelerating the Growth pace of Brands like Siyaram and Oxemberg in the global markets. We are catering to Markets in Middle east, USA and Europe as well
TVC : Siyaram has also been into Home furnishings – what are your future plans to promote this vertical?
RP : The Home Furnishing Segment is a fast growing segment. This segment is largely dominated by Unorganized, local and Imported Fabrics, there are barely few organized players operating on a national level in this space. Siyaram Home Furnishing is Modern Luxury at Affordable prices and with the equity and the Penetration that Siyaram brand has in all Markets across India. We hope to piggy ride on this and grow the business
TVC : What is the road ahead with regards to the value added products vertical?
RP : Going Forward Value Added Products is going to be a large part of our business, through our Focused R&D, we are constantly exciting our trade and consumers with new Products which the Consumers have seen or experienced it in global markets but have not been able to get it in Indian Markets. We have recently launched Royal Linen Collection with Manish Malhotra. The collection is 100% pure linen and is one of the finest linen fabrics in the world. Also Moretti is another brand that we have launched which is into Premium Cotton Shirting Fabrics. Today’s consumer is all about Individual identity and that reflects in his clothing as well
TVC : Way forward 2012- 2013, future investments and expansions plans, if any?
RP : Siyaram aims to become a 1500 crore company in the next 2 years and would be investing close to Rs.160 crores in expanding the manufacturing capacities of the Business.
TVC : Could you describe the entire value chain of your company?
RP : The textile value chain starts from making / producing synthetic/natural fibers which is then converted into yarns through spinning. This yarn is weaved into fabrics and subsequently converted in desired garments. While fibers and yarns are industrial products, fabric and garments are directly usable by the end consumer.
TVC : In any textile company the fabric used is very important. Could you throw some light on the fabric you manufacture? Are they natural or synthetic or both?
RP : Fabric is the core product which can be sold as is or used to convert into garments. Hence the feel, fall and texture of the fabric is extremely important as it has to be appealing to the end user. The texture of the fabric is the outcome of the yarns used for production as well as the value addition done through processing the fabric into various finishes.
Siyaram’s is a market leader in blended Suiting pioneered to cater to the ever- changing trends in the fashion world. We used both natural as well as synthetic yarns to manufacture our fabrics. However now we have ventured into 100% natural fabrics like cotton and linen through our recently launched new brands Zenesis, Moretti and Royale Linen. Currently there is huge demand for natural fabrics.
TVC : Do you have in-house yarn production at Siyaram’s? What are the types of fibers getting manufactured at your end?
RP : We are not producing yarns however we are in the business of value added Dyed & fancy yarn with expertise in the manufacturing of wide range of cotton and synthetic yarns catering to the fashion fabric manufacturers across India.
TVC : Could you explain the garments in detail specifying topics like export, domestic etc…?
RP : The Indian consumers are converting from stitched apparel to ready-to-wear clothing range. Accordingly those companies which are engaged in business of manufacturing and distributions of quality fabrics to garment industry have promising future. Indian companies are now eyeing the huge opportunity in partnering with luxury brands wishing to enter India. Retailers and private equity firms on the other hand are ready to make huge investments in promising growth of apparel brand. Meanwhile brands are also buying stakes into retail companies to grasp a wider market. The textile companies are strengthening front and back end operations through mergers and acquisitions in the textile industry.
Manufacturing is a thrust area for the Indian government, as Indian industry and the government see foreign companies more as partners in building domestic manufacturing capabilities rather than a threat to Indian business. Following this through, the central governments as well as various states are executing various schemes such as integrated textile and apparel parks.
Thus, India’s garment business is poised to fuel the country’s textile segment as this segment provides the highest per unit realization and has high value added content. Thus we can see that the textile industry has an important role to play along with being one of the key growth engines of the economy.
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