Having started as a suiting brand, BSL Ltd. (Bhilwara Suitings Ltd.) developed itself as one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of furnishing fabrics along with suiting fabrics. The company, also offering a variety of yarns like poly-viscose, poly-wool vortex and cotton yarns, is currently credited for producing over 18 million metres of fabric annually. Going to introduce a new brand of readymade collection in the form of curtains, quilts, bed sheets and towels, both to be launched in the e-commerce segment as well as large-format stores, the company is expecting almost double growth in the next 2 years. And major contribution in the same has been the company’s association with giant buyers like IKEA. In an interview with Apparel Resources (AR), Nivedan Churiwal, MD of the company shares the strategy of the company and his experience of working with a giant buyer like IKEA.
The company is working for IKEA since the last decade and mainly offers fabrics for sofas and upholstery. Its existing operations of IKEA and the general exports business would both be strengthened as the business is expected to double over the next 2-3 years. “We have had an excellent relationship with IKEA for over a decade and there is a lot to learn working with these global giants especially as far as commitment towards sustainability and compliance is concerned. Due to our strong foundation in this segment, BSL Ltd. has emerged as one of the key IKEA vendors for furnishing fabrics. Overall, we have nurtured our IKEA production centres as an oasis of excellence,” says Nivedan.
He further adds that IKEA is one of the leading brands of the world in almost all product segments and is the world leader when it comes to furnishings. As per Nivedan, “We hope to increase our business substantially with them. There are multiple benefits of working with IKEA. The experience of working with such a large company is difficult to explain but it enriches and enhances the company and improves the way of working and system over a period of time and most importantly, our commitment towards sustainability and compliance opens a lot of new doors for the future with other large prospective customers.”
It is difficult to put a number on the growth figure but we expect good growth. We produce unique furniture fabrics for IKEA. Though there is no official data but we feel there would be very few others manufacturing such fabrics.
The company has a varied client base across its different products and it has brands and customers all over the world spread across 60 countries. In the domestic market, it has a strong network of agents, dealers and retailers across the country.
Two years ago, BSL was geared up to become one of the top three manufacturers of suitings and furnishing fabrics in the country but a lot of things changed because of the ongoing pandemic. However, its domestic suiting’s business sales have increased substantially and the company expects to increase its sales to even more than pre-Covid levels.
“Looking forward, the roadmap is very clear. We have set our goals to expand sales to Rs. 700 crore from the current Rs. 400 crore within 2 years. And for that, we are doing a CAPEX of Rs.125 crore and setting up a cotton spinning plant,” tells Nivedan.
The setting up of this plant within its existing production facility in Bhilwara is expected to commence by the end of 2022. It will give a major boost to the top line and bottom line of the company. To achieve this ambitious target, the company is introducing a new brand of readymade collection as stated above.
“We are in the process of finalising the brand name and have already done a soft launch on one of the e-commerce platforms for 2-3 of our products and will be launching almost 2-3 products across all the major e-commerce platforms within December and then by March/ April, we plan to hit the market in a big way. We are already very strong in furnishing fabrics of all sorts and based on this strength, we plan to take this further by offering furnishing made-up products which are in great demand,” Nivedan ambitiously states.
BSL Ltd. has made strategic plans for three-four fold growth in this business segment whereby it will be introducing new and premium products to its dealers and retailers every quarter and also plans to target 2000 premium retailers from all over the country within 2022. The furnishing business has been the growth engine of the company for the past decade and the company plans to grow this business from strength to strength.
With a focus on sustainability, the company consumed 70 per cent of recycled fibre of its total consumption. “India’s strength has been defined in traditional textiles and natural fibres globally. We are the second-largest producer of polyester in the world and are now emerging as a key player in the technical textiles industry. Certainly, the whole world is looking at India not just for polyester-based products but for textiles as a whole overall, whether it is yarn or fabrics. The consumption of polyester fibre is gaining momentum owing to factors like price fluctuation of cotton fibre,” says Nivedan.
Regarding the current scenario of the textile industry, he believes that fibre consumption in India is skewed towards natural fibres with around 65 per cent share, especially of cotton. He adds, “The growing potentiality of the Indian economy is disrupted by inflation in the market. The textile industry in particular faces the repercussions of such conditions. These are extremely challenging times indeed which are further fuelled by the dramatic jump in prices. The prices of raw materials like fibres, dyes, coals and chemicals etc., are at an all-time high which affect the prices of the end product.”
Nivedan then states that BSL Ltd. and the textile industry as a whole have always stood up to the challenges and they are sure they will overcome these hurdles. They are also hopeful that the prices will soften from here.
“All major global brands are looking to shift more business out of China and are looking at India as a key supplier resource and based on this and our sincere product development that we have done for years, we are hopeful that this business will expand substantially over the next few years,” he concludes.