A.A.Bambardekar
Works Director/Plant Head Raymond Plant Vapi

Mr. A. Bambardekar, Raymond’s works director of Vapi (Gujrat) plant. Under his leadership the palnt has received prominent accolades like Greentecch safety Award and Quality Mark Award. Mr. Bambardekar is a Textile Engineer from DKTE Textile Institute, Ichhalkaranji, Maharatra. He has also done his DCA (NITIE) & Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering (VJTI) from Mumbai University. He is soon to lead the suiting business of 3 plants i.e.Vapi, Chhindwara and Jalgaon w.e.f. 1st of January 2023. 

TEXTILE VALUE CHAIN Media visited Raymond , Vapi Plant and taken exclusive interview with Plant head Mr. A.A.Bambardekar , explore his views here : 

Share your Journey in Raymond

Mr. A.A.Bambardekar is Currently working as the Plant Head at Raymond Vapi, one of the most modern plants of Raymond. He started his journey at Raymond in 1987, when he joined as a management trainee at Raymond, Thane. In 1989, he was transferred to Chhindwara plant, where he had an opportunity to work on a greenfield project. He was there till 2009. He was then transferred to Vapi plant and he is heading the Vapi plant since 2010.  Now, he has been elevated as Suiting Manufacturing Head to lead the Suiting Business of 3 plants i. e. Vapi, Chhindwara and Jalgaon. His journey at Raymond has been wonderful and an inspiring one!

The journey of Raymond Vapi plant has highly been a rewarding one. Commissioned in 2006, we are one of the finest worsted fabric producers in the world. Equipped with all the modern machineries and technology, our plant has always given consistent results on a year-on-year basis.

The Corporates or the Start-Ups # Choice ! 

Both have their own pros and cons. In corporates, SOP has laid out and planned efficiently. But these days the youngsters are more inclined towards working in start-ups. I believe that these start-ups give you more knowledge than the corporates because there, you are the boss of yourself and are responsible for your own success /profits and Failures / losses. There are more responsibilities in the Startups. In Corporate, there is lot of hierarchy. Advice to all startups is that there is possibility of start-ups can fail, but don’t be afraid, these failures will only lead to success eventually. Tough people last in the difficult times and grow out of it. 

Technique and theory of Production used in Raymond 

We use “Theory Of Constrains (TOC)” which emphasis more importance to through put time than the productivity and efficiency of individual department. Earlier 12 years before, we were focusing on efficiency of each department, that we were focusing so much on efficiency but warehouse was not getting those fabrics which are required by customers. In 2009, we changed the technique and adopted the concept of Theory Of Constrains (TOC). 

Values follow at Raymond

The critical values that we follow at Raymond are excellence, Quality and Trust. These qualities are imbibed in everyone at Raymond, and this is why we are able to sustained for 100 years. We are celebrating our 100th Year in 2025. All the people working at Raymond are very well aware of the importance of the value.

Sustainability, quality control is key for manufacturing. 

Raymond is committed to the sustainability, its working on Product, Energy and Culture to reduce the carbon footprint (At Vapi plant 40% power is renewable power and wind & hybrid power. Ours is the first plant in Gujarat to have hybrid power). 

Vapi Plant is certified with:

  1. GRS
  2. RWS
  3. OEKO-TEX

On product front, we are using the Recycled Polyester, Organica Wool and 100% certified OEKO-TEX Dyes & Chemicals.

Raymond has been able to build its brand on the trust of its customers on the quality it provides to the customers. At Raymond, quality cannot be compromised or negotiated. But as all good things come with a lot of effort, in Raymond too, a lot of effort, energy and time is put into maintaining quality. 

To maintain the quality of the product, we know the exact product criteria and specification. Several quality checks are carried out during the production and quick corrective actions are taken in case of any deviation. The products are tested and through a rigorous product inspection, every meter of fabric is checked.

There is a focus on continuous improvement as per the requirement of the market, new products are developed without compromising the quality.

Through all the earlier mentioned factors, Raymond has been successful in maintaining its product quality and a sustainable brand. Sustainability and quality goes hand in hand. Quality is there with us, so we have sustained for almost100 years. 

Ever increasing cost and make factory unviable. fuel, wages, power cost are always increasing, and the same amount we are not recover from customer 

We have to find innovative ways of saving from utility cost, this is major concern is facing of all textile industry. 

Operations and Technology have been changing and growing at an ever-increasing pace making it pertinent for industries to catch up with the pace of change and growth so as to be able to retain their brand image. Industries are leaving no stones unturned in their endeavour to provide the best product and service to the customer as they are fully aware that  this is the key parameter for brands to sustain.

Raymond has the best operating systems due to which it has been able to be at top for years. Raymond is now almost a century strong, over these years it has been able to learn, grown and sustain its brand and this was mainly due to its operational excellence. Due to its operational excellence and adaptability to change ,Raymond has been able to produce the best products for the market. There have been several competitors in the market but Raymond has stood strong due to its operational excellence.

We manufacture fabric from Rs. 300 / meter to Rs. 3 Lac / meter . this type of capability no other company in the world having . Any company in the world can’t be able to do this. 

Technology helps to make radical change and supports the business to grow, at Raymond too, new machineries have been inducted and digital technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been adopted.

Operation and Technology importance being a sustainable brand

Operation and technology have played an important role in developing Raymond as a sustainable brand in the industry.

I feel proud to say that we have 40% renewable energy portfolio as of now. We have an inhouse 640 kW rooftop solar power plant and we are purchasing wind power of 3.04 MW and hybrid power of 3.15 MW through bilateral. 

We have reduced our carbon emission by over 20% over the last 3 years.

Every year, we are implementing projects that are ensuring reduction in carbon emissions and reduction in energy consumption. We have used technology to implement digital energy monitoring system, which is helping us move towards sustainability and energy reduction through proper maintenance and analysis of energy data

We are making changes in our existing production and operations like altering our dyeing recipes, optimizing heat temperature in the stenter, which leads to reduction in utility consumption. We have also introduced sustainability in our line of products and fabrics.

Sustainable Fibers used in products 

We have received the following international certifications which has enabled us to create sustainable fabrics.

The plant has received Organica Precious Fiber Certificate in Jan-2019. The certificate signifies that the raw material i.e. wool which is procured for processing is completely organic and environment friendly. No harm is done to the animal during the wool extraction process.

In Sept-2019, Raymond Ltd, Vapi plant has been certified with Recycled Polyester Certificate after being assessed and found in compliance with GRS STANDARD. The certificate signifies that the unit is manufacturing fabric from yarn processed from existing plastics which are non-biodegradable.

The plant has received Oekotex Certificate in Sept-2019. The certificate signifies that the chemicals which are used for producing fabric are eco-friendly and meet the human- ecological requirements of the STANDARD 100 by Oekotex.

Also, in this November2022 month we have received RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) Certificate.

The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) provides an opportunity for farmers to demonstrate their best practices to the public, and a means for brands and consumers to have the certainty that the wool products they buy and sell are in line with their values

We have produced sustainable fabrics of around 2 lakh metres in the last financial year which is worth Rs 10-12 Crores. We have also introduced sustainable spandex fabric which runs on lower heat set temperature leading to reduction in coal consumption.

We use Wool, recycled polyester, cool max, feel fresh polyester, cotton, linen fibres in our fabrics. 

Plant capacity is 70000 meter worsted fabrics per day , 40000 is polyester – viscose and 30000 will be wool – polyester. We also produce 5 lac stretch fabrics using spandex yarns.

Digitalisation in industry

Digitalization in business has proven to be almost essential for business success today. Digitalization in business helps to improve the efficiency of operations across all functions, reduces human errors, it is safer to store data, reduces operational cost and enables fast data analysis.

Due to the implementation of digital technologies, workflows are becoming streamlined and there are fewer human errors, all of the operations are executed more efficiently which enable businesses to reduce operational costs.

The implementation of digital technologies not only increases the company’s digital presence but also sparks the creation of new communication channels. It has increased the chance of boosting sales revenue and customer loyalty, it also encourages innovation.

Raymond too has adopted digitization in big way in all functions like operation, HR, Marketing, system, finance, etc.  due to which there we are able to get better data analysis, lesser human error, operational efficiency and lower operational cost.

Research and Development / Innovation Strategy of Raymond 

For us Research and Development / Innovation is iterative process of learning what does and what doesn’t work. To carry out this iterative process of experimentation we have inhouse team at specific plants and central level. This team carry out experimentation by connecting with internal and external stake holders (Suppliers, education institution to name few). They follow principle of MVP (Minimal viable product) making. The team first create simple first version of product and get the feedback back from different interested stake holders. They study the feedback and response which is received from different stake holders and relevant things goes as input in process of iteration. In this process of experimentation, they follow certain principles: –

i)  Learning early

ii) Be fast

iii) Fall in love with problem not solution

iv) Get credible feedback

v)  Measure what matter to end user

vi) Test your early assumptions

vii) Scale the final model to commercial level or fail smart.

Expectation from India ITME 2022 

We use latest technologies , we are looking forward to new technology in ITME 2022. Raymond always look forward to such kind of exhibitions where we get to learn lot of new technologies and we are among the first one to buy machine. 

Costs are soaring high and with ever increasing cost, make manufacturing viable, we need to do cost savings. With that point of view, expectations are how innovation, modernization, digitization, and automation will help reduce cost in the textile industry.

In many conferences, many speakers speak about IOT ,AI etc. but their implementation in the textile industry are very less. 

We are using Cobots in the factory. We are looking forward for such technology which can be utilities in reducing cost.

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