1930 was a year the world suffered a traumatic depression. Companies
across the globe began closing down. In UK and in India the textile
industry in particular was in trouble. At about this time, Mahatma
Gandhi championed the Swadeshi Movement and at his call, people from
all India began boycotting fine and superfine fabrics, which had so far
been imported from England. In the midst of this depression one family
saw opportunity. The Lalbhais reasoned that the demand for fine and
superfine fabrics still existed. And any Indian company that met this
demand would surely prosper. The three brothers, Kasturbhai,
Narottambhai and Chimanbhai decided to put up a mill to produce this
superfine fabric. Next they looked around for state-of-the-art
machinery that could produce such high quality fabric. Their search
ended in England. The best technology of that time was acquired at a
most attractive price. And a company called Arvind Mills was born.
Arvind Mills started with a share capital of Rs 2,525,000 ($55,000) in
the year 1931. With the aim of manufacturing the high-end superfine
fabrics Arvind invested in very sophisticated technology. With 52,560
ring spindles, 2552 doubling spindles and 1122 looms it was one of the
few companies in those days to start along with spinning and weaving
facilities in addition to full-fledged facilities for dyeing,
bleaching, finishing and mercerizing. The sales in the year 1934, three
years after establishment were Rs 45.76 lakhs and profits were Rs 2.82
lakhs. Steadily producing high quality fabrics, year after year, Arvind
took its place amongst the foremost textile units in the country.
In the mid 1980ís the textile industry faced another major crisis. With
the power loom churning out vast quantities of inexpensive fabric, many
large composite mills lost their markets, and were on the verge of
closure. Yet that period saw Arvind at its highest level of
profitability. There could be no better time, concluded the Management,
for a rethink on strategy. The Arvind management coined a new word for
it new strategy Ė Renovision. It simply meant a new way of looking at
issues, of seeing more than the obvious and that became the corporate
philosophy. The national focus paved way for international focus and
Arvindís markets shifted from domestic to global, a market that
expected and accepted only quality goods. An in-depth analysis of the
world textile market proved an eye opener. People the world over were
shifting from synthetic to natural fabrics. Cottons were the largest
growing segments. But where conventional wisdom pointed to popular
priced segments, Renovision pointed to high quality premium niches.
Thus in 1987-88 Arvind entered the export market for two sections.
Denim for leisure and fashion wear. And high quality fabric for cotton
shirtings and trousers. By 1991 Arvind reached 1600 million meters of
Denim per year and it was the third largest producer of denim in the
In 1997 Arvind set up a state-of-the-art shirting, gabardine and knits
facility, the largest of its kind in India, at Santej. With Arvindís
concern for environment a most modern affluent treatment facility with
zero affluent discharge capability was also established.
Year 2005 is a watershed year for textiles. With the mulitifiber
agreement getting phased out and the disbanding of quotas,
international textile trade is poised for a quantum leap. In the
domestic market too, the rationalizing of the cenvat chain and the
growth of the organized retail industry is likely to make textiles and
apparel see an explosive growth.
Arvind has carved out an aggressive strategy to verticalize its current
operations by setting up world-scale garmenting facilities and offering
a one-stop shop service, of offering garment packages, to its
international and domestic customers.
With the Indian economy poised for rapid growth, Arvind brands with its
international licenses of Lee, Wrangler, Arrow and Tommy Hilfiger and
its own domestic brands of Flying Machine, Newport, Excalibur and Ruf &
Tuf, is setting itís vision on becoming the largest apparel brands
company in India.