Interview with Rajinder Gupta

Rajinder Gupta
Rajinder Gupta
Trident Group
Trident Group

Indian products are grabbing a significant share of the market
The maker of terry towels and bed linen, Trident sells these home textile products under various established brands and is also a major exporter. Rajinder Gupta, chairman of Trident Group, unveils his expansion plans and the strengths of the company in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion.com

It has been 25 years. As the founder of Trident Group, what would you like to say about the journey?

We started with 17,280 spindles of yarn. Now, Trident is celebrating twenty five years of being different, and has become one of the largest integrated home textile manufacturers of the world. We are also the largest wheat straw-based paper manufacturer in the world and also one of the largest yarn spinners in India. We have achieved these milestones through well-planned, continuous expansion drives. In 1998, we entered the terry towel segment, and in 1999, we established a 10 MW captive power plant to meet power requirements at our plants in Punjab. To cater to growing export demands, we expanded our capacities in spinning and terry towels as and when opportunities arose. In 2014, we commissioned our largest and most modern terry towel project of 300 looms in Budhni, Madhya Pradesh. This is a new landmark in the home textiles industry in terms of technology, quality and scale, and will enable us to produce 200 million pieces of towels annually. Combined with our existing capacity of 160 million towels per day, this expansion makes us the largest towel manufacturer and exporter in the world. We are pursuing another strategic expansion to set up an integrated bed linen project of 500 air jet looms, which will enable us to deliver approximately 45 million metres of bed linen annually. The bed linen unit will be backed by 1.85 lakh yarn spindles to make the bed linen plant a vertically-integrated, self-reliant facility which manufactures top quality bed linen. With all these expansions in place by end-2015, the annual production capacities of Trident will rise to approximately 360 million pieces of towels, approximately 45 million metres of bed linen, approximately 15,00,000 mT of cotton and blended yarn and approximately 1,75,000 mT of paper.

Trident has created a strong position for itself in the home textiles space in spite of stiff competition. How could you achieve this success?

At a time when all the players had similar product ranges catering to a similar set of customers, we had marked our presence by providing product differentiation through innovation and value addition. We have air-rich yarn towels, benzyol peroxide (BP) proof towels, anti-bacterial towels, towels made from fibres like organic cotton, bamboo, jute etc which enriches the users' experience. We have an in-house qualified design team, with end-to-end product design capability to help with aesthetics of the products. Another success factor is our unique and dedicated customer service team. Through our focus on customer service, we have been able to provide hassle-free order delivery to our customers, be it in terms of quality or timely delivery. We have also focused on branding initiatives to reach out directly to end-customers. In the domestic market, we have recently launched The Affair to Remember campaign, which will help establish Trident as a household brand for the complete home textiles range. Our products are available in 120 multi-brand outlets across India, and we are also using online sales channels. Our products are available with all major e-retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon and Jabong. To sum it up, our key success factors are product differentiation through innovation and value addition, customer service, consistency in quality, timely order delivery and branding initiatives.

What are the new facilities in terms of space, equipment and capacity?

We are pursuing major expansion at an investment of ₹ 1,667 crore to set up an integrated bed sheeting project of 500 air-jet looms. This will enable us to deliver about 1,20,000 metres of bed sheeting fabric (equivalent to 17,500 sheet sets) per day. The bed sheet unit will be backed by a spinning unit of 1.85 lakh spindles to make the sheeting plant a vertically-integrated, self-reliant facility manufacturing top quality bed sheeting products. The project will be commissioned in the second half of Financial Year 2016. Our entry in the bed linen segment will enable us to become the one-stop solution for home textiles.

What about the home textile market segment? What has been the growth here and what are the plans for this division?

The global home textile market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5 per cent for the period 2012-2017. The market is expected to reach US$ 96 billion in 2017. The bed and bath linen together constitute about 21 per cent of the total home textile industry by volume. India's textile and apparel market is growing at around 9 per cent CAGR and is projected to touch ₹ 6,64,000 crore by 2021. The bed and bath linen category together constitute about 67 per cent of the total domestic home textile industry by value. Indian products have gained a significant market share in the past few years. The good news is that domestic consumption of home textile is also catching up, and the market is projected to cross ₹ 40,800 crore by 2021. These favourable trends are a reflection of the changing lifestyle of the average Indian customer, and also of the diversification of retail platforms and their reach beyond Tier-I and Tier-II cities. In view of these developments, we expect revenue from bed linen and towel segments to increase 100 per cent in the coming years, and Trident is all set to ride this wave.
Published on: 12/10/2015

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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