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Director Brinjal Designs Pvt Ltd
What are the challenges ahead? Do you have any expansion plans?
If we want to satisfactorily service our target segment, we would have to expand fast and be available at multiple points of sale (POS). Be it large format stores (LFS) or trade channel or through exclusive company-owned company-operated (COCO) and franchise outlets, our primary challenge is to expand fast yet judiciously, keeping the whole show of sourcing, production, logistics, finance and sale through POS well coordinated.
We plan to have 50-60 POS in next two fiscals, with COCO and franchise stores forming the bulk, followed by LFS, trade and online sales respectively.
What percentage of revenue is invested in R&D?
R&D is a progressive effort in our company. As of now, we are a start-up and have a fixed investment in R&D that is not linked to revenue. As we grow, we plan to devote a considerable per cent of revenue to R&D.
Please let us know about the machinery used for weaving, printing, stitching and finishing.
We are not into weaving; instead, we outsource fabrics. Our special collection fabrics are hand woven and hand embroidered by weavers and artisans. For stitching, we use high-end dry head stitching machines as our products mainly have embellishments and other hand work embroidery forms. Our finishing task is completely manual once the merchandise is dry-cleaned. All the thread cutting and alterations for final finishing are done manually.
Where do you source the raw materials from?
Drawing inspiration from Indian heritage, we obtain raw material, artifacts and hand embroidery from rural and semi-urban centres. For example, we source Dokra artifacts from Bastar and Bolepur. Kantha work is sourced from West Bengal. Semi-urban centres like Panipat provide great source for specialty fabrics like jacquards. We have set up a well-coordinated logistics network for handling such a diverse sourcing.
How has the demand been from clients over the last couple of years?
Forecasting demand at this stage is not feasible. But we hope to reach a top line of 30-40 crore by the end of two fiscals.
As a start-up, tell us about some of your HR practices.
Being a start-up, our primary objective is formation of a great team of professionals. We have introduced progressive HR policies to help our employees deliver their best at the work place. We are one of the very few companies offering extended maternity benefits up to 26 weeks of maternity leaves. We also encourage young mothers in our team to bring their babies to the office. The idea is that mothers feed and take care of babies well beyond the initial maternity leave period.
We provide flexible hours to young mothers so that they may manage their schedules with a little less stress. The facility is also available to our male employees in executive and above cadre.
All our labourers are on company payroll and are provided mandatory health services through ESI schemes and are benefited through all government policies.
We are working towards uplifting artisans. The majority of our décor products are various art forms of Indian handicrafts, which are exclusively made to order for 'Colours Of India'.
Further corporate social responsibility activities would require sustained investment and we will take them up as per our fiscal situation in coming years. (RR)
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