The strength of a company lies beyond its infrastructure and in resolving and putting forth futuristic strategies that guides the company through challenging times in business. And no one can deny that the current conditions are ‘exceptional and unprecedented’ to say the least. With a business philosophy that subscribes to the notion ‘Growth is life’, Coimbatore-based Quantum Knits (a unit of KPR Mill Ltd.) has leveraged its strengths built over years to arise from this critical phase with fortitude.
Capturing the core reason that makes the company stand out, Dhanabalan, Vice-President of the garment division of the company says with confidence, “More and more buyers prefer to work with units having vertically integrated production set-up and we have a cohesive set-up right from yarn to final garment. All kinds of value addition take place inside the company’s facilities at various stages. It makes us cost-effective as well as serves as one of the key reasons that we always deliver on time with the right quality as required by customer.”
The growth of the company is purely based on the wide visionary of Chairman K.P. Ramasamy, who is actively involved in day-to-day activities and business expansions. Also he is very much keen in growing women employment and higher education and he is a well-known social activist in South India. So under his direction, the company is growing in different models and diversified business strategy.
The company, over a period of time, acquired the reputation of being a proactive textile player that has moved with the needs of the market. It has also recently gone for various expansions with the recent one being Vortex Spinning machine where CVC blends like poly cotton, cotton modal, cotton viscose, poly viscose are produced. It also invested in knitting unit where machines of Mayer & Cie, completely based on German technology, were installed more than 100 in numbers increasing the capacity and the quality of the product.
As per the annual report 2019-2020, the total group turnover is Rs. 3389.09 crore for KPR Mill, which was initially known more for its strengths in spinning, and is now strongly into garment manufacturing that contributes 40 per cent revenue to the group. The client base of the company has also grown steadily over the years “We are always looking for opportunities and just few weeks back, the management had taken a clear decision to go in for a massive garment expansion plan of approximately 50 million garment units a year.”
With dedicated focus on technology and the entire workstation being fully air conditioned providing a better ambience and working condition for the employees, the company also has a team that brings in benchmarked best practices. Amongst the most important is the consistent effort to ensure zero WIP on its sewing floors and strict adherence to lean system. To ensure smooth functioning, it keeps enough stock of fabric.
Moving further, the company is also investing in 3D fitting. Barcode-based tracking/traceability system too is followed by the company, wherein each and every panel can be traced through this system. “Our thrust is on the latest technology as well as strong workforce, the combination of both works well for us. Our strong HR and compliance teams treat workers in a very ethical way and indulge in continuous training,” Dhanabalan adds.
Apart from providing jobs to thousands and thousands of girls, the company also provides part time higher education in well-reputed state level universities to the girls who are staying in company’s hostels. And most of the girls have dual degrees as they are being motivated in the right direction and encouraged to grow further.
The audacious move to invest at a time like this has been made possible because of the strong workforce strength and the financial position of the company that has come from the built-up strength of its core operations over time. Besides the asset of being vertically integrated, other strengths that the company has leveraged in its growth journey are bulk production, consistently adding new buyers, focusing on worker welfare, targeted product category (knitted and mainly essential), state-of-the-art production units, high efficiency and cost-effective green energy practices.
No wonder at a time when most of the companies are underutilising their capacity, Quantum Knits is running with its regular capacity even now. Even today, the company is getting consistent enquiries and positive response for more orders from existing customers, which is the biggest reason for the company to decide on adding another 2,500 stitching machines (100 lines) with all other required infrastructure in its new unit, which is expected to start operation by the end of 2021.
Essentials like polo, basic tees, sleepwears, school wears being the prime buy by major retailers across the globe, they focus on large volume core products that can run throughout the year non-stop. “We have got positive feedback for future orders, so expansion is a natural progression. Essentials are selling very well in overseas as well as domestic market. People’s buying format has also changed with increase in online buying and priority is now more on tees rather than formals. Work from home is also changing overall buying habits,” he says.
On the international arena, the company is working with prestigious brands and largest retailers across UK, Europe, Australia and US.
The company’s domestic brand FASO (100 per cent organic cotton men’s innerwear and athleisure) is also growing speedily. “We don’t leave any stone unturned at any front; it helps us in timely delivery, right quality and cost-effectiveness. The overall company growth is purely based on the high level of customer service and quality product and right time delivery,” Dhanabalan concludes with confidence about the future.
The company produces (annually)
|Knitted Fabric||40,000 MT|
|Dyed Fabric||25,000 MT|
|Garments||108 Million Units|