News >> Voltas’ key role in textile industry growth for over 50 years

Voltas’ key role in textile industry growth for over 50 years

Voltas is a brand name that is devoted to providing end-to-end solutions, latest machinery parts, components, accessories and

Mr. C. Kamatchisundaram,Vice President  (Textile Machinery Division), Voltas Ltd.

quick and efficient service to its customers in the Indian textile industry. Being a TATA organization, Voltas brand thrives  not only on the trusted and long term relationship with customers but also on its ability to provide technologically advanced products and solutions supported by a service network spanning across the country. Over the six decades that Voltas has been in the industry, it has flourished and developed by walking on these principles. Even through the many challenges and business cyclicities that the industry has faced, Voltas has stuck to its firm roots and has maintained its market leadership.

The company provides solutions for all the processes from fiber to garment. Due to the changes in the Indian economy caused by demonetization and GST, which were turbulent for the entire industry, the company did face challenges across the sector, but has come back on track as the things have smoothened. In fact Voltas and its leading principal, a global player in spinning machinery Lakshmi Machine Works Ltd. (LMW) sustained its market share throughout various business and economic cycles.

The latest products offered from the house of LMW – LR9 series ring frames, LC 361 and 636 cards, LK69 combers, LDF3 draw frames and LF 4280 speed frames, have provided delightful experience to the customers and proved the technological superiority over other players. The speed frame LF4280 is the longest speed frame in the world with a spindleage of upto 280 enabling efficient design of the spinning plant with least floor space.

Nowadays, there is a lot of emphasis on the aftersales service in the industry. Therefore, a strong belief exists amongst the leaders of the company that, as solution providers one should be present when and where the customer faces operational difficulties. In line with this, Voltas has stepped up its focus on serving the customers and meets their entire needs on parts, components, accessories and allied machinery in spinning and post spinning sector. This has enabled the company not only experience good growth in this sector but also significantly enhance the customer satisfaction.

The country has been investing in the post-spinning sector, since the past few years and the trend has continued in the current year as well. Due to the prevailing trends and Voltas’ investment in this sector, performance of the company in knitting, dyeing, finishing and printing has gone up, and the company has been able to capture more market share in each area. In the words of Mr. C. Kamatchisundaram, Vice President (Textile Machinery Division), Voltas Ltd., “this year has been one of the best, and our post spinning sector has done quite well”.

The company has more than 24 principals in its portfolio, and these cover every sector of the industry. All of these principals are global leaders in their field, like LMW, for spinning machinery, LCC for card clothing, LRT for ring travellers, Veejaylakshmi for twisting machinery and Kluber for specialty lubricants. For circular knitting, the company represents Terrot, which has been increasing its market share every year.

Other principals in the portfolio for processing and finishing are also global leaders – Brueckner for finishing, Thies for soft flow dyeing and Reggiani for printing and the company has enhanced the market share in each area. Benninger – the global leader in continuous processing and the preferred supplier of all corporates- has joined hands with the company last year and the plans are afoot to establish this line in middle segments and knit segment.

Further, through Dilo and Brueckner the company has been offering solutions to the technical textile industry also. With this wide portfolio, the company aims to make its position in the market stronger.

The leadership team at Voltas is very positive about the future potential of the industry as the Government is quite specific in supporting the industry with many initiatives notwithstanding the short term impact of the GST. Further, the Indian textile industry is expected to grow from $120 billion to $250 billion in the next five years, which shows that the industry has very high potential in all of the sectors; hence the company is targeting an overall growth.

Although, the spinning industry faced some challenges this year, it is sure to bounce back because the industry has to invest to meet the needs of quality yarn for the export as well as domestic market and there has to be expansion in spinning capacities. Nevertheless, it is expected that a good balance would be maintained between new capacity creation and modernization. Similarly, the investments in post spinning sectors like fabric forming & processing would also accelerate to meet the stringent needs of export market and the ever increasing needs on quality apparels from domestic market. The new polices announced by States like Maharashtra, UP, Andhra, Telengana, Haryana, etc., would also spur investments in both spinning and post spinning sector.

The company’s focus is mainly on the Indian market because of its reach and the longstanding relationship with the customers which are core components needed for the success as an agent. The key strengths of Voltas are its awareness of the local market, the trust & relationship with the entire base of customers, the knowledge on the dynamic changes in the key needs of the customers and demand patterns and also the idea of the local culture. Knowledge of this kind would take a much longer time to build and replicate in other countries, where there are local players who have the appropriate knowledge.

Starting from January 2018, Voltas has joined hands with the Japanese company Shima Seiki, which is a global leader in computerized flat knitting and “whole garment” manufacturing. The company looks forward to a very strong and productive partnership with Shima Seiki. It aims to work with more such companies from Japan and expand its portfolio further in terms of principals and products.

A big change in the retail sector, which has consumed a large part of the business, in the last 10 years, is the introduction of e-commerce. It is a convenient way for customers to connect with each other, and businesses to engage and trade. The present era is such that e-commerce dominates the market and every company which aims to grow compulsorily has an online presence. This applies to the textile industry players as well. With e-commerce playing a big role in retail, there is bound to be great effect on textile machinery business. According to Mr. Kamatchisundaram, “E-commerce is an enabler as it can help in making the consumer aware of a certain company, its product offerings, etc., but while purchasing machinery which is very expensive the customers prefer to have personal interactions on the various areas like technological capabilities, features, etc.”

Every business needs to adopt the latest machineries and tools that come into the market; e-commerce is not something new it was introduced in 2000 but flourished much later. This method of trade is very popular in B to C segment, where the customers buy mostly a commodity product. The products which are bought online are not heavy duty textile machines that cost millions of rupees rather it includes products like garments, accessories and machinery parts. The textile machinery players do have a significant online presence which enables potential clients to become familiar with the company’s products, but the client would not buy it through the online medium. He would prefer to meet the supplier in person, discuss all details about the machinery and service support then make the purchase decision. Hence the medium acts as an enabler to create awareness and helps in attracting potential clients but the actual sealing of the deal takes place in person.

Says Mr. Kamatchisundaram: “Our principals LMW is indeed a pioneer in introducing e-technology for purchase of parts called “e-spares” almost a decade ago. More than 80% of the parts bought by our customers for LMW machinery are ordered through e-spares. The entire process – right from quote creation to order placement to making payments – is on line. This has not only reduced the TAT for order placement & fulfillment but also improved the purchase experience. In addition to the above, we have also recently introduced on-line ordering of ring travellers and lubricants”.

Another wave of innovation that has hit the textile industry is the coming of industry 4.0, which means automation and introduction of artificial intelligence in the textile machinery sector. This will bring positive changes in the industry. Voltas already has some of these advances implemented with their principals like LMW, Reggiani, etc., which includes remote monitoring & control of the machinery, data collection and analytics towards improvement. One can know the production details of the machinery & plant and performance of the machinery with the press of a button. Any problem that occurs in the machine software could be controlled by the principals sitting in the manufacturing plant. Most of the principals are also planning to introduce mobile applications for mobile tracking of the machine.

Voltas is known for providing dependable solutions to its clients in record time. Customer service is one area where the company spares no effort. The company has sixteen branches at different locations across the country. Voltas’ expert service reaches the clients within 8 hours of a service request. To fulfill such demanding situations the company keeps adequate resources and personnel and is devoted to provide the best services throughout the life cycle of the machine.

The company sees customer service not just as task to be performed but it feels that it is key to build and enhance the relationship with customers. Voltas’ service is the most cost effective in the country, which is ensured by their dedicated team of more than 200 engineers who are involved solely in customer service. The company also has warehouses at 10 locations which enables quick delivery of accessories like ring travelers, lubricants etc needed by the clients on a daily basis.

The company has a positive outlook for the future. Each and every segment is growing and it looks forward to emerge as a great power across the segments. It is also working on enhancing customer support and service even further, as Mr. Kamatchisundaram said: “Voltas has played a key role in the textile industry over the last 60 years. Voltas would be the first company to appear in the minds of the customers for each and every need – be it a project, machinery, accessory or services. It would be the leading player in every segment and will continue to be identified as a leader for providing both products and services.”

Source : Indian Textile Magazine - May 2, 2018