Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sutlej Textiles, India’s largest spun-dyed yarn manufacturer
Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd (Rs.158.50), the leading Mumbai-based textile producer, was incorporated in 2005 out of a corporate restructuring exercise in which the textile divisions of Sutlej Industries Ltd. (SIL) and Damanganga Processors Ltd. were demerged to create a single cohesive company. With a value-chain extending from yarns, fabrics to home textiles, Sutlej has been one of the most aggressive investors in its sector. The company invested Rs. 915 crores on modernisation, upgradation and cutting-edge technologies in the last 10 years, one of the highest investments in the niche end of India’s yarn business, resulting in an increase in the company revenue to Rs. 1,680.24 crores, i.e., 9.32 per cent, and profits to Rs. 76.97 crores (142.58 per cent) in 2012-13.

With four manufacturing units across Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat, the company possesses one of the widest portfolios across spun-dyed and melange yarn products. Its expertise extends from the use of cotton, polyester, viscose, acrylic, Modal, Lycra, Teflon to Linen, resulting in the manufacture of customised products. Sutlej is the largest of the five privileged Indian licensed producers using modal, a special fibre from Lenzing, Austria. The company has the credentials to manufacture yarn of any fibre (synthetic and natural) in any blend (grey, dyed and mixture) and across a wide count range (6-50 counts).

Capacity expansion

Sutlej widened its product mix, positioning it as a one-stop source for all types of spun yarn (daily production of 191 tonnes). The company has progressively invested in doubling its capacity from 123,392 spindles in 2002-03 to 260,488 spindles in 2012-13 (the largest spun-dyed yarn manufacturer in India today) following an investment of more than Rs. 900 crores. The result is that the company is the largest spun-dyed yarn manufacturer in India today (capacity 260,488 spindles and 336 rotors).

It is now extending its competitive advantage through the proposed addition of 26,064 spindles to manufacture specialised melange yarns, raising its overall spindleage to 286,552. The project is likely to be completed in 2014-15. Nearly 89 per cent of the company’s spindleage is less than a decade old, which is an index of its manufacturing efficiency.

In an effort to modernise and introduce world class technologies the company invested in advanced equipments like Savio Autoconer, Uster Tester 5400 with hariness module, Uster Quantum Clearer and Yarn Fault Classifying System from reputed manufacturers like ITEMA (Asia) Ltd., Hong Kong, Uster Technologies AG, Switzerland, and Keisokko Kogyo Co. Ltd., Japan, which resulted in high operating efficiencies (higher asset utilisation, lower wastage, lower energy consumption and higher per capita productivity).

Sutlej’s spinning units, Rajasthan Textile Mills (RTM) in Bhawanimandi, Rajasthan, and Chenab Textile Mills (CTM) in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, manufacture a range of dyed spun yarns that address the demanding needs of fabric makers and are also consumed within the company to manufacture fabrics and home furnishings. The company invested continuously in modernisation. As a result, 151,000 spindles out of 171,000 spindles in the Kathua unit were less than 10 years old towards the close of 2012-13 and 81,000 spindles out of 89,488 spindles were less than 10 years old in the Bhawanimandi unit.

Raw materials procurement

The company’s principal raw materials comprise cotton and man-made fibres (polyester staple fibre, viscose staple fibre, acrylic staple fibre and other specialty fibres). Cotton is procured from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Viscose staple fibre is sourced from Grasim Industries, polyester staple fibre from Reliance Industries and acrylic staple fibre from Indian Acrylics and Pasupati Acrylon. Modal and Lyocell staple fibre is imported from Lenzing, Austria. The principal raw materials required for the manufacture of blended fabrics comprise polyester viscose-blended yarn, which is largely manufactured in-house, while wool yarn is outsourced.

Domestic and export markets

Sutlej Textiles and Industries strengthened its focus on the domestic market, marked by superior realisations and offtake stability over a competitive global market marked by rising competition. As a result, domestic sales increased by 19.45 per cent to Rs. 1,339 crores. The company’s network of 86 export agents makes it possible to track demand across major markets in real time.

The company is one of the largest Indian exporters of polyester-viscose blended yarn. Its exports accounted for 20.29 per cent of its revenues in 2012-13. It exports yarns to more than 37 countries all over the world like Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Thailand, the US, the UK, to name a few. Its clientele includes Raymonds, Harry’s Collection, Digjam, Marks & Spencer, JC Penney, Grasim, Donear, Siyaram’s, Arrow, Sears, Kohl’s, Arvind and John Miller among others. The company’s export volume stood at 14.30 million kg with a value of Rs. 288.91 crores and domestic volumes increased 20.51 per cent from 53.61 million kg in 2011-12 to 62.04 million kg in 2013.

Fabric Division

Sutlej Textiles and Industries started its Fabric Division in 2000-01 as an initiative to integrate the company’s spinning capabilities. This marked the company’s entry into the premium fabric segment. Over the years, the company’s fabric unit, Damanganga Fabrics in Bhilad (Gujarat), was reinforced with cutting-edge equipments and skilled workers translating it into manufacturing premium fabrics. The division accounted for 4.43 per cent of the company’s total revenues.

Its product portfolio comprises advance Teflon with water and stain-repellent properties (across 20 washes), also with stain release property, highly recommended for uniform wear, Teflon finish with superior water and stain-repellent property (remains from 10 to 30 washes), enzyme wash which provides extreme softness and wool touch to the fabric, wrinkle-free with anti-wrinkle property that provides a fresh look to the fabric at all times, aroma finish with aromatic property, enhancing a fresh aroma when the fabric is rubbed, anti-microbial which prevents bacterial growth on the fabric, thereby protecting the skin, ice touch in which the fabric maintains a lower temperature to the extent of around 6°C compared to the exterior, chemical stretch which enables the fabric to stretch for enhanced body comfort, temperature control which possesses excellent insulation for a cool feel in the summer and warm comfort in winter, insect-repellent that prevents insects from getting near the fabric, UV-resistant which prevents unwanted UV rays from entering the body and also prevents the skin from damage, and malodour resistant that prevents bad body odour by providing a fresh feel. In order to produce world class products the company replaced 30 old Dornier looms with 30 Picanol looms.

Home Textile Division

Sutlej ventured into the home textiles in 2006 following its investment in a modern plant, Damanganga Home Textiles, with state-of-the-art equipments. The forward extension into home furnishings enabled the company to address a growing market and enhance yarn realisations following the conversion.

The company progressively invested in its business through collaborations with reputed European design studios and invested in advanced testing laboratories. The home furnishings division accounts for 1.98 per cent of the company’s revenues. Its home textiles sales grew by 22.93 per cent, from Rs. 27.48 crores in 2011-12 to Rs. 33.79 crores in 2012-13. Its exports increased by 24.12 per cent and its export volumes stood at 0.64 million metres with a value of Rs. 12.27 crores.

Sutlej exported its textiles to new markets like Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan and Panama.

The company product range comprises furnishing fabrics and made-ups of jacquard and dobby weaves using cotton, polyester, rayon blends, chenille, flax, silk, jute, linen and other blends. The made-ups consist of curtain fabric, upholstery fabric for sofa sets and seats and seat covers, fabrics for automobile seats, mattress covers, readymade curtains, shams, duvets and throws, to name a few. Its finishes consist of fire-retardant, bio-finish, aroma finish and other add-on finishes as per the buyer’s requirement.

Sutlej has a separate melange development centre having machines from blowroom to finishing with 768 spindles and knitting machines for quick preparation of samples in knitted form and a PV development centre with 384 spindles, dyeing machines and quality testing equipments for lab dip matching to develop the samples of new varieties of fancy yarn with an capital outlay of Rs. 5 crores approximately.

The company has plans to purchase an auto lab dispensing unit, a colour matching cabinet and IR beaker dyeing machine for shade consistency and suitable for development of dyeing samples with a capital outlay of Rs. 36 lakhs. It also plans to set up an advanced fibre information system “Uster AFIS Pro-2” for improving the process control and testing of various characteristics of cotton fibre with Nep Module, L&M and Trash Module at its Bhawanimandi unit. During the year, the company also installed two evenness testers UT-5, one each for its Bhawanimandi and Kathua units, and other quality testing equipments.

The company also invested in cutting-edge quality testing equipment (HVI spectrum, AFIS Pro UT-4, Tensojet and Classimat, among others). Uster Technologies AG Switzerland extended the rights to the company to use the ‘usterised’ trademark, following a detailed examination of the facility’s quality assurance systems.