Kolkata, the workwear capital of India, is set to break the conventional mindset of manufacturing and get a makeover for better growth and efficiency.
West Bengal has the biggest domestic workwear brands and export companies but still remains less industrialised compared to other textile and apparel hubs in India. Kolkata-based workwear companies like JPM Exports, Rama Overseas and Mallcom (India) are looking to consolidate their manufacturing operations to reach their potential as apparel manufacturing hubs. These companies majorly cater to European markets, and work through a network of importers and distributors, supplying to a wide range of industries and retailers.
Recognised by the Government of India and Star Export House JPM Exports is a leading manufacturer and exporter of workwear, sportswear and outdoorwear from India and Bangladesh. Established in 2009, the company has grown at the rate of 100 per cent since its inception and plans to surpass the turnover of $15 million (Rs 100 crore) this financial year. JPM started with manufacturing gloves and ventured into workwear. For diversified growth, JPM is working with Dickes, F Angel Denmark and Wruth for workwear exports and Diadora, an Italian company for sportswear.
In the domestic market for casual wear, the company has started with Mahindra Retail, Pantaloons and Decathlon for stores in India. JPM has 600 sewing machines divided in a centralised unit and smaller satellite units that produce 200,000 units of workwear, 200,000 units of outerwear and woven casuals and 400,000 units of knit sportswear and casual wear every month.
Another workwear manufacturer Rama Overseas, established in 1975, started business with exports of finished leather to the Far East. In due course, the company integrated and mastered the art of making leather gloves adding to the product range they manufactured and exported safety garments.
The factory in Kolkata produces 700,000 pairs of gloves including leather gloves in cow grains, split leather and water repellent treated leather. They produce 100,000 pieces of workwear every month. Rama overseas generates 100 per cent of its revenue from the international market. To influence the quality of leather from its raw stage, the company has a tannery at the Kolkata leather complex. The company plans to expand further and explore new markets, modernise and undertake marketing initiatives.
One of the dynamic and most progressive workwear manufacturers in Kolkata is Mallcom (India) Ltd, a Government of India recognised trading house engaged in manufacture, export and distribution of a wide range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) since 1983. Mallcom has been in the news for good reason since its inception. In August 2015, Mallcom received the Encon award and in September 2015, Mallcom was recognised in a prestigious Bengal Entrepreneurship Award forum.