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   Interview - Trident Group

Mr. Rajinder Gupta  Mr. Rajinder Gupta 
 Managing Director  
 Trident Group

Trident

Starting primarily as an agro based manufacturer in Punjab, North India, in 1990, Abhishek Industries Limited witnessed stupendous growth. Trident Group at Abhishek Industries began operations with 17,280 spindles in 1993 and has today achieved a commendable presence, both, in domestic and international markets.

A Rs.15 billion global enterprise, spanning across 37 countries, Trident has a business portfolio encompassing products like terry towels, terry products, yarn, writing & printing papers to chemicals.

At the helm of this dynamic company is Mr. Rajinder Gupta, aged 47, who has also been serving as Managing Director since 1992.

A first generation entrepreneur and possessing over 2 decades of industry experience, Mr Gupta has rich & varied exposure at promoting industrial ventures holding Directorship of various companies. He is also the Vice Chairman of CII Punjab State Council for 2006-7, Director of Punjab Technical University and Punjab State Board of Technical Education & Industrial Training.

Besides being member of several trade & management bodies, he is also actively associated with several philanthropic ventures.

Mr. Rajinder Gupta has been awarded the "PHD Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Entrepreneurship Award- 2005,” presented by The President of India on 21st December 2005. He was also conferred upon the “Udyog Ratna" award for 2005 by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Fibre2Fashion brings Mr. Rajinder Gupta Face2Face who speaks forthright about his Vision & Values, Philosophy & Practices that have earned him accolades as a successful persona.

 
fibre2fashion:

We happened to view a wonderful corporate presentation on your official website. Congratulations! For sure your products must reflect that quality?

Mr. Rajinder Gupta

Thank you. As you are aware we are operating in Textiles (Yarn and Terry Towels specifically), Paper and Chemicals. Our foremost priority is to match quality, quantity and cost demands of customers in a competitive world, with on-time delivery.

We responded to the challenge of customizing our products around specific customer needs and invested in most contemporary technology in each of the businesses so as to have improved efficiency in scale and operations.

Further, our vertical integration to manufacture our terry towels from self made yarn has also helped us a lot to have a control over quality specifications.

Above all, the work attitude of our people plays a proactive role. The use of business excellence activities like Kaizen, TQM, TPM, 5S and change management to enhance skills and efficient use of technology. In addition the benchmarking of an in house quality control laboratory with AATCC and ISO Standards help us to offer quality products to our global customers.

 
fibre2fashion:

What export market does Trident address for its towels and yarns?

Mr. Rajinder Gupta

We have presence over 37 countries across five continents. This comprises of highly cost conscious markets of USA, UK, Korea, Belgium, Tunisia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Portugal, Israel, South Africa, Chile, Hongkong, Egypt, Bangladesh, Japan, Australia, Holland, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Dubai, Russia, France, Morocco, Bahrain, Germany, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Phillipines, Beirut, Italy , Greece & Japan.

 
fibre2fashion:

Terry towels serve niche markets. How does Trident serve those?

Mr. Rajinder Gupta

We have recognised that the critical success factor comprise a customer focus and global competitiveness. So, the Company’s vision comprises a global perspective leading to strategic marketing alliances as well as ongoing product customization in response to emerging needs.

We source our raw materials locally which definitely provide us a competitive edge. Our products are designed after meticulous research and have to pass through stringent quality norms. The supply chain and logistics are also given due weightage so as to ensure timely delivery.

The efforts of our members to provide customer delight for each and every order has paved the way for our success.

 
fibre2fashion:

What sort of Change Management Programme your company has embarked upon and to what effect?

Mr. Rajinder Gupta

Actually, we at Abhishek want to have the synergies of best available technology in the world with the best talent so as to provide the best to our esteemed customers. And we are building our internal strengths by trident-grouping a Company-wide Change Management
Programme to leverage the value of our human resources and world class technologies to serve our customers and business associates.

Through this change management Programme which is christened as “Anand ka Abhishek”, we strive to address the challenge relating to need for change of mindset of the management and sharpen the soft skills of our members. This Programme endeavors to imbibe the best management practices of business excellence like TQM, Lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5S, SCM, CRM, TPM, Balance Scorecard etc. in the members to build a global organisation. The following issues shall be addressed through this initiative :-

  • Long Term Vision & Values to bring about constancy of purpose


  • Building appropriate Leadership Style to engage members through Leadership Capability Building and transform Trident into a "Great Place to Perform" by ensuring that the right competence is deployed for the right business priority


  • Developing Robust System and Processes through Total Quality Initiative to cause a significant increase in Customer Value Creation and building the appropriate organizational culture


  • Redesigning Key HR Processes covering Manpower Planning, Recruitment & Selection, Performance Management, Compensation & Benefits, Rewards & Recognition, Training & Development in order to support the above
  • fibre2fashion:

    How volatile is the Indian yarn market and what future market trends do you predict?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    The Indian Textile industry is witnessing strong demand for cotton yarn due to an increasing export of cotton garments and home textiles. The yarn production has increased by 6 percent to reach 3.1 bn kg during the period April 2005 to Feb 2006. Since India is expected to emerge as one of the major beneficiaries of the dismantling of the quota regime, there is a huge opportunity for the spinning industry to capitalize on exponential growth in international demand for textile and apparel.

    Since India has the highest acreage under cotton cultivation in the world, a growing yield will enhance cotton price stability under normal climatic conditions. The increased cotton production coupled with three mn additional spindles and the installation of 30,000 shuttle-less looms will help the industry leverage the trend of growing consumerism in India.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    What are the latest developments in the Indian and International towels sector?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    The global market for terry towels worth $9 bn is concentrated largely in the US and EU with US being the largest importing country. Presently, India is the largest exporter of terry towels to US with a market share of 20.8 percent. The country’s total terry towel exports to US witnessed a growth of 42% by volume in FY06 due to vendor rationalisation by global retailers, elimination of complex supply chains and increasing outsourcing from India. Realizations are expected to stabilize as Indian Companies offer value added and wider product ranges such as beach towels and other innovative products.

    US$280mn terry towel market in India is primarily unbranded and largely catered to by the unorganised sector due to absence of any retail chain dedicated to the marketing of towels in the domestic space.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    Do you feel cheap Chinese yarns harm the interests of local yarn manufacturers and to what extent?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    China has grown at an annual rate of 9.7% to become world’s fourth largest economy today with a GDP of $2.3 trillion in 2005, overtaking United Kingdom, France and Italy. India joined the race much later than China but has picked up the pace, growing at an average of 8% p.a. for the last three years to log a GDP of $700 billion in 2005-06.

    China definitely poses a challenge due to its low cost of production and economies of scale. Since Indian Textile Industry is highly fragmented and unorganised, but of late the quota lifting has spelled gains and this sector has seen a huge capital investment in order to give a tough competition to China. But still there is a need to benchmark with China.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    How well geared is your company in the post quota era taking on global competition?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    The Company driven by proactive approach has already commissioned enhanced capacities at the right scale and right cost which shall enable it to encash the industry uptrend across the foreseeable future.

    The Company has well positioned itself and has increased its capacity to 268 looms (29,000 TPA) for its terry towel unit. As far as yarn segment is concerned, the Company has upgraded its spinning facilities through automation and value addition and the commissioning of a new facility to produce open-end yarn with an installed capacity of 1920 rotors for captive consumption and meeting direct market requirements.

    These investments in the state-of-the-art technology shall enhance operational speed and efficiency to offer the finest quality products to our global customers. Due weightage is being given to logistics and supply chain, which are critical as turnaround time and ability to maintain delivery schedules will be very important.

    The Company has already re-oriented itself to compete in post quota export market.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    Any plans on cards for expansion or capacity additions?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    The Company has already taken effective steps to protect the equipment from technology obsolescence by investing in progressive digitization.

  • On the anvil is an investment of Rs. 2130 million for expansion of manufacturing capacities of Terry Towel and modernization cum balancing of Yarn & Terry Towel manufacturing facilities


  • An investment of Rs. 2500 million for expansion of yarn spinning and setting up of a 20 MW captive power plant


  • An investment of Rs 6800 millions for Installation of paper machine & pulp machine and setting up of a 20 MW captive power plant
  • fibre2fashion:

    Any automation on production, planning & control front to enhance the end quality and quantity of your products?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    Our terry towels are famous for their innovative designs and quality. We cater to both domestic and international markets with combed and semi combed knitting and weaving yarn with a count range of 14-30; polyester spun knitting and weaving yarn with a count range of 30-40 along with dyed and mercerised double and processed yarn.

    In order to meet the ever rising expectations of our clientele, we have undertaken many initiatives on technological fronts:

    Toweling division:
    The use of high speed air jet looms with a wider width, equipped with electronic pile motion and six-colour weft selectors; besides, the use of an automatic colour dispensing system for enhanced colour consistency.

    Yarn division:
    The use of the world-renowned yarn conditioning technology to increase the workability of the yarn for further processing

    Automatic stitching and cutting machines to achieve a better finish and productivity as well as imported machinery to improve combing efficiency

    Paper division:
    The special emphasis on research and development for the continuous upgradation and customization of our facilities, allowing us to manufacture fine paper qualities in line with to emerging customer needs.

    Furthermore, the implementation of IT systems with a dual objective: streamline business processes and improve operational efficiencies; the use of a SAP-enabled ERP, catalysing our business process re-engineering and leading to enhanced value creation.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    May we request you to share your company’s future plans with Fibre2fashion members and visitors?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    I am optimistic that we can create a leader out of every member in Abhishek Industries thereby enabling us to achiever US$ 1 billion in revenues by 2010.

     
    fibre2fashion:

    Yours is one of the few Indian Companies strictly adhering to, and practicing Corporate Governance philosophy. How is it all achieved, at Trident?

    Mr. Rajinder Gupta

    Corporate Governance at Abhishek Industries cares for the over all well-being and welfare of all constituent of the system and takes into account the stakeholders interest at every business decision.

    The Company has laid strong foundation for making corporate governance a way of life by constituting a Board with balanced mix of experts of eminence and integrity, forming a core group of top level executives, inducting competent professionals across the organisation and putting in place best system, process and technology.

    The Board of the Company has adopted ‘Combined code of Corporate Governance and conduct’ based on the principles of good corporate governance and best management practices being followed globally besides complying to the needs of law of land.

    The firm value system for employees is well in place which supplement the governance philosophy of the Company.

    The Corporate Governance is not about complying with the statutory provisions but the way of life at Abhishek.

     

    Fibre2fashion extends its deep gratitude to Mr. Rajinder Gupta for expressing his views.

     
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