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Interview with Himanshu Fogla & Surrendra Sharma

Himanshu Fogla & Surrendra Sharma
Himanshu Fogla & Surrendra Sharma
Director & CEO

Strategic market focus, innovation and quality keeps us ahead of competition
The story of Jumac (Sliver Handling System) began in 1973, rooted in an unwavering vision to create a smarter, better, and stronger spinning ecosystem. Founded by the late Shyam Sundar Fogla, Jumac quickly established itself as a key player in the industry, guided by an ‘innovation first’ philosophy as it continued to expand its domestic and global footprints, meeting the needs of the distinguished clientele, over the past five decades.

Jumac has carried the proud legacy of the Fogla Group, one of Eastern India’s leading business conglomerates, headquartered in Kolkata, with diverse interests including chemicals, fertilisers, jute & machinery spares, plastic drums, and more.

It boasts one of the largest LABSA manufacturing units in the Eastern region, with plans for nationwide expansion. The Group has a manufacturing capacity of 250,000 metric tonnes per year, an annual turnover exceeding $2500 million, and 12 manufacturing units across five locations in India.

As Jumac celebrates its 50th anniversary, it remains synonymous with quality, innovation, and spinning excellence! Looking ahead, the company is focused on several key initiatives to ensure continued success: maintaining a sustainable business model that delivers value to all stakeholders, ensuring the complete recyclability and environmental friendliness of all spinning can components.

Aiming to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2030, Jumac’s win-win-win model ensures that the best interests of the company, its partners, and its customers are always aligned, by adhering to this model and staying true to its core values of honesty, transparency, and commitment to quality.

Jumac’s products include a range of offerings including spinning cans, trolleys, and the innovative Ji+ cans.

During the recently concluded SIMA Texfair 2024 event, Fibre2Fashion had the opportunity to interact with Himanshu Fogla (Director), who looks after the global market and Surrendra Sharma (CEO), in-charge of the domestic market, to learn more about Jumac’s product portfolio, market positioning, and future plans.

The following are excerpts from the extensive discussion, shedding light on how Jumac plans to navigate its growth journey in the coming days.

Fogla Group operates across multiple industries, with Jumac being one of its key ventures. Could you provide an overview of the group’s current business standing?

Jumac is a family-owned business founded by my uncle, Shyam Sundar Fogla, in 1974. This year marks our 50th anniversary, a milestone that reflects our growth and success in the sliver can manufacturing industry.
Our commitment to in-house production has been a significant factor in our rise to prominence; we do not outsource any components, ensuring that all manufacturing processes are handled within our own facilities. This approach has enabled us to maintain high-quality standards and meet the demands of our domestic and global clientele.
Currently, Jumac exports to approximately 34 countries, with substantial market shares in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan. Notably, Bangladesh stands out as one of our largest markets due to its high density of integrated spinning mills. We are actively engaged in 10 to 12 projects there at any given year, underscoring our strong presence and ongoing commitment to this key market.

Given your role in managing overseas operations, can you share insights on Jumac’s standing in the international markets?

Absolutely. While Bangladesh remains one of our primary markets due to its high density of integrated spinning mills, our global presence extends to nearly every country where spinning is prevalent. This widespread reach underlines our commitment to serving the international textile industry. 
Currently, we are strategically focusing on expanding our footprint in the American and South American markets. Although these regions are relatively saturated, we believe there is still significant potential for growth. Our efforts are geared towards tapping into niche segments and leveraging our innovative solutions to meet specific market demands.
In addition to the Americas, we have established substantial market shares in the MENA countries, including Uzbekistan, Türkiye, and Egypt. These regions offer diverse opportunities, and we are dedicated to strengthening our presence there. 
Africa and the Far East, particularly Indonesia, are also key areas where we have a robust market presence. Our ability to adapt to varying market conditions and meet the unique needs of each geographical location has solidified our position as a major player in the export destinations.
Our strategic focus on both established and emerging markets, coupled with our commitment to innovation and quality, ensures that we remain at the forefront of the global spinning industry. 

What is Jumac’s current market share in the global spinning can market?

In the sliver can manufacturing industry, there are three primary players: Jumac, Dante Bertoni, and Vintex. Jumac holds a significant market share, estimated to be around 35-40 per cent, while the other two competitors collectively control about 45-50 per cent of the market. 
This competitive landscape highlights our strong position within the industry. Historically, exports have been the cornerstone of our business, driving our growth and establishing our reputation on the global stage. However, recognising the evolving dynamics and potential within the domestic markets, we have recently shifted our focus to enhance our presence locally. This strategic pivot has yielded impressive results, with substantial growth observed over the past two years. 
India presents considerable growth opportunities for us, with ongoing expansions across various sectors. As our home market, we recognise the importance of investing more attention and resources here and by concentrating on domestic markets, we aim to capitalise on emerging opportunities and consolidate our presence. 
This strategic move would allow us to deepen our roots in India’s thriving industrial landscape, leveraging local insights and partnerships to drive sustainable growth. 
By leveraging our expertise and maintaining our commitment to quality and innovation, we aim to solidify our leadership both internationally and domestically, ensuring that we continue to meet the diverse needs of our clients and sustain our competitive edge.

Could you outline the key tactics Jumac uses to stay ahead as a market leader, despite the competitive landscape?

In our industry, we face robust competition from the other players. This competitive landscape presents challenges, yet it also offers significant benefits by providing customers with a variety of options, which keeps us attentive and adaptable. 
Continuous innovation and ongoing enhancement of our product offerings are essential strategies we employ to maintain our leadership position in the market. Our commitment to delivering superior products not only distinguishes us but also enables us to effectively meet the evolving needs of our diverse clientele.
Embracing healthy competition serves as a catalyst for us to innovate and evolve continuously. By proactively refining our products and strategies to align with market dynamics, we create new opportunities for growth. 
Central to our strategy is our dedication to understanding and fulfilling the client needs. We prioritise direct engagement with customers to gain insights into their specific requirements and areas where we can enhance our offerings. By focusing on these insights and delivering products of uncompromising quality at competitive prices, we consistently deliver value and build enduring customer relationships. This customer-centric approach is pivotal to our future growth and will continue to drive our success in the marketplace.

Could you spotlight a standout product from Jumac’s portfolio that exemplifies innovation?

One of our flagship products is the Ji+ cans, an innovative IoT-based sliver management system that represents a significant leap in technology. Unlike the traditional systems, the Ji+ integrates advanced IoT capabilities to provide comprehensive insights into sliver cans. It monitors critical data such as stock levels, movements, placements within the facility, and even the content of each can. This enhanced functionality not only minimises the occurrence of sliver mix-ups but also empowers users with valuable operational insights.
Introduced through a soft launch in Milan last year, the Ji+ is currently undergoing rigorous testing and trials across several mills. We anticipate a full commercial launch within the next year, aiming to bring this groundbreaking technology to market readiness.
The Ji+ promises to revolutionise the management of spinning cans by offering unparalleled visibility and control over crucial operations. Its implementation is expected to streamline processes, optimise resource utilisation, and enhance overall efficiency in textile manufacturing environments.
With the Ji+, we are setting new standards in sliver management, reinforcing our commitment to innovation and excellence. 

Are you the first to introduce this technology?

Yes, this technology has been meticulously developed internally by our dedicated R&D team, which comprises a select group of three to four highly skilled individuals. This team worked in close collaboration with a specialist whose expertise was instrumental in shaping and refining the technology throughout its development stages.
The Ji+ stands as a testament to our commitment to innovation in the field of sliver management systems. By harnessing our in-house capabilities and expertise, we were able to conceptualise, design, and implement a solution that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in our industry.

Could you provide an overview of Jumac’s exhibition lineup at SIMA Texfair?

At SIMA Texfair, our showcase features a comprehensive array of material handling systems, encompassing crawlers, cans, and spare parts, for the industry professionals and stakeholders.
With a robust foothold in the south Indian market, we are focused on sustaining our leadership position in this region. Additionally, we play a vital role in the jute industry also by manufacturing aluminium cans, further diversifying our product portfolio to meet diverse market demands.
While Jumac represents the seed company within this conglomerate, our collective endeavours extend across multiple sectors, reinforcing our group’s multifaceted presence and impact in the market.

Which markets do you foresee as the growth drivers for Jumac going forward?

Our strategic focus is directed towards expanding our presence in the American and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) regions. These regions are pivotal for us due to their strategic importance and potential.
In addition to these areas, India continues to be a cornerstone of our growth strategy, offering significant opportunities for further growth. We recognise the dynamic nature of the Indian market and its burgeoning potential across various sectors, including textiles and manufacturing. 
Therefore, we are committed to strengthening our footprint in India as well and leverage opportunities overseas that align with our strategic objectives.

Could you share a case where customer feedback significantly influenced a new product or service?

Addressing customer concerns about fluff ingress in our casters, we took proactive steps to address the same. A specialised caster design was developed featuring additional gaps that facilitate easier cleaning, effectively mitigating the fluff ingress issue. This improvement besides addressing a specific pain point raised by customers also enhanced the overall usability and maintenance efficiency of our products.
Furthermore, based on customer feedback and market insights, we introduced innovative solutions such as anti-static sheets and ABS top covers. These enhancements are aimed at improving operational performance and durability, ensuring our products meet the evolving needs and expectations of our clientele.
Another notable innovation stemming from customer feedback is the XL1200, tailored for larger cardboard machines. 
By actively listening to and integrating customer feedback into our development processes, we continuously refine and innovate our product lineup. This approach while strengthening customer satisfaction and loyalty also reinforces Jumac’s position as a leader in delivering tailored solutions.

Interviewer: Deepankar Shyam
Published on: 03/07/2024

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.