Interview with Vikram Mahaldar

Face2Face
Vikram Mahaldar
Vikram Mahaldar
VP & Global Sales Head
OCM Pvt Ltd
OCM Pvt Ltd

With consumerism and disposable income on the rise, the Indian retail sector has experienced a rapid growth in the past decade of several international players like Marks & Spencer, Guess and Next. What are your thoughts on this?

It is a booming market and the entrant of foreign players is inevitable. The advent of these entrants has only upped product innovation and distribution strategies for domestic players. 

In terms of quality, technology, performance and efficacy, both Indian and global entrants are on par. It is the perceived value of the product co-factored with changing consumer lifestyles that is making the difference.

However, this proliferation is limited to a niche audience. They may not be able to cater to the local needs of diverse geographies. That is where our expertise lies. 

GST will be announced in the near future. Will it be a game changer for the textile business in India?

If GST is imposed, mills and buyers will have to pay extra money for fabrics made from natural fibre, as they are exempt from any taxes in most part of the country. That may lead to short term decline in demand till channel stocks last, and until customers accept the change. 

However segments like synthetic fabrics, the price increase can be offset, to an extent, with lower cost of inputs, which are taxed. 
For  mills that plan to modernize and invest in capital expansion, they may wait for GST to be implemented before they take the plunge.

As multiple channels are more prevalent, how is OCM brand taking an edge in that?

OCM, has historically had a strong presence in multi-brand retail outlets.  We have further strengthened that to 2,000 retail points and 60 wholesalers. Most importantly, we have opened five new exclusive brand outlets this year to cater to the end-customer and promote our fabrics and garments. The plan is to ramp this up to 25 stores by end of FY 2018-19.To service all these networks, we have come up with a ready-to-wear range for both men and women. We present a range of jackets, sweaters, party shirts and t-shirts for men, and  ethnic wear and sweaters for women - and this is just the start.

To keep pace with the discerning online consumer, shopatimpressions.comhas been launched. This is over and above being present through partners at multi-brand e-commerce portals.

Export markets are becoming environmentally conscious. How is OCM integrating this in its manufacturing processes?

OCM is committed to a green environment, not just for being able to sell products in a certain market, but as a social responsibility. 

We are an EMS Certified Company and over the past three years, we have heavily invested in upgrading our Effluent Treatment Plant from chemical base to bio base. This is a process where optimum bacterial growth is ensured to neutralise chemicals. This ensures that cleaner water complying with industry norms is generated. 

We recycle soft waste to produce fashion fabrics that are in vogue. As part of our green practice, we do not use any dyes and chemicals like azo dyes that are banned internationally.  

Published on: 15/05/2017

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.

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