The speed at which the world economy is moving is truly incredible and in this fast paced global scenario, the spotlight is on India.
The Indian economy is growing at a rapid pace and the true emergence of the middle class is what is driving this growth in our domestic market at an exponential rate which we have never seen before. With the rise in investments in the economy and decrease in costs, people's needs have increased in terms of goods and services, different retail experiences such as malls – all have contributed toward increasing consumer demand.
India is close to achieving a GDP growth rate of 8% that was projected by the government for this year. I am optimistic that in the current scenario, the GDP growth could even touch 10%.
In this environment, The Raymond Group too has grown at a tremendous pace as made the most of the global opportunities that the post-quota era presented us while consolidating our business in the domestic market.
From being one of the most respected textile companies in the world we are now the world’s largest vertically and horizontally integrated manufacturer of worsted suiting fabric - a ‘one stop shop’ providing various solutions to our customers across various product categories - worsted suiting to formal suits, shirting to formal shirts and denim fabric to jeans wear.
We have expanded capacity of worsted suiting to 33 million metres with a new facility at Vapi, Gujarat. In addition to expanding capacity of our denim fabric facility to 40 million metres, we have joined hands with UCO NV of Belgium, a leading producer of high end denim to form a global denim company with a combined capacity of 80 million metres manufacturing facilities in 3 continents and a global marketing network.
We further expanded our textile business by entering a JV with Gruppo Zambaiti, a textile major from Italy in the form of a 50:50 JV with Cotonificio Honegger SPA for setting up of a greenfield facility in India for high value cotton shirting fabric. This JV with Gruppo Zambaiti will help us bring in best of the best technological & design inputs and a strength of a global marketing network. Our JV with Lanificio Fedora is Italy's leading woollen fabric manufacturer for the manufacture of carded woollen products and a respected name in the global markets has helped enhance our carded woollen business as well.
We have set up three world class garmenting units near Bangalore – for the manufacture of formal suits, jeans wear and dress shirts. These garmenting units will act as forward integration to our textile business enabling us to offer a complete solution to our customers from fabric to apparel.
We have also made an initial foray in the auto components industry, acquiring controlling stake in an auto component manufacturing company, Ring Plus Aqua Limited. We have also expanded our existing engineering business through a JV with MOB, France which will manufacture files and rasps in India for Indian and Global markets.
Through our entire growth and consolidation phase, we have never lost sight of what makes Raymond great – our strength in innovation and dedication in developing great products. Raymond proved its global excellence by being the first Indian company in the world to bid for the world’s rarest bale of wool and create the world’s finest fabric - Super 230s fabric made of 11.8 micron wool. We also unveiled our newest innovation 'Expressions' an exquisite collection of wool and polywool suiting fabric specially crafted using exotic fibres like Cashmere, Angora, Mohair, Bamboo, Casein- a fibre developed from milk protein, Linen, Silk, Soyabean, Tencel blended with Super 120s, 100s Merino Wool and fine polyester.
In keeping with our objective to provide complete wardrobe solutions for the Indian male, we unveiled exclusive brand stores for Park Avenue, Manzoni and Parx. Our acquisition of ColorPlus is now complete. We have also expanded our ‘The Raymond Shop’ network and set up an exclusive 10,000 sq foot Flagship store for Raymond. Raymond also ventured into a new area for the first time with a kids wear brand -- Zapp!
In our constant pursuit for leadership in the domain of fashion and lifestyle we launched ‘GAS’, a leading Italian premium apparel brand owned by Grotto S.p.A and promoted by the Grotto family. 'GAS' retails a lifestyle collection that includes its core heritage in premium denim clothing. The brand offers Indian fashion patrons an incredible fusion of contemporary international fashion and quality clothing that represents GAS values of passion, positive thinking, sensuality and essentiality.
Crossing the gender divide two of our brands - Park Avenue and ColorPlus recently launched the Western Women's wear collections. 'Park Avenue Woman'- a complete range of Premium Business Wear for women is designed specially for the working women professionals of today. ColorPlus Woman'- an exclusive range of smart-casual clothing is inspired by the independent, discerning and multi faceted women of today.
The sun has risen on another year for us at Raymond – a year ahead full of exciting opportunities and a year that will see us marching on firmly towards making the Raymond Group a force to reckon with in the global arena. The Raymond philosophy is best conveyed through three key words – Excellence, Quality and Leadership. We are confident that through our new initiatives we will carve out a strong position for Raymond in the business area.
Gautam Hari Singhania -
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