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BW Businessworld

Lindstrom To Launch Its First Clean Room Service In Pune In March 2018

Lindstrom India, a subsidiary of Lindstrom Group, a Finnish workwear service company which has completed 170 years of its existence, is the only organized rental workwear services company in India. Juha Laurio, President & CEO, Lindstrom, Finland & Anupam Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Lindstrom, India, speak to BW Businessworld on the launch of their first clean room service in Pune in March 2018, the new opportunities in healthcare, food sector and how does Lindstrom support sustainability

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Lindstrom India, a subsidiary of Lindstrom Group, a Finnish workwear service company which has completed 170 years of its existence, is the only organized rental workwear services company in India. Headquartered in Mumbai, Lindstrom India clothes more than 100,000 people on a daily basis across sectors like pharmaceutical, food, retail, automotive, engineering, manufacturing, electronics and healthcare. Juha Laurio, President & CEO, Lindstrom, Finland & Anupam Chakrabarty, Managing Director, Lindstrom, India speak to BW Businessworld on the new opportunities in sectors like healthcare and food industry and how does Lindstrom introduce sustainable measures.

The industry “Hygiene”

Juha Laurio: Personal hygiene is very important in both food and pharmaceutical industry. In food, the garment is protecting the product but in an automotive industry, the garment is protecting the person. So we cater to a range of textiles to suit different sectors.

Anupam Chakrabarty: Our activities in the healthcare sector are focused on clinics and diagnostics, we are not formally getting down to the larger hospital chains as it needs a lot of compliance. We analyse our customers, and the work environment, based on that, we recommend the product, servicing and testing of the product. We even cater to clients from food manufacturing, dairy companies and QSRs, for eg. Vista Foods and OSI Group, who focus on safety, branding and hygiene.

Sector Expansion 

JL: Lindstrom entered the Indian market in 2007. Today with 30-40% YOY growth, the focus of the company is on the big sectors like pharma and food. Currently, we operate 11 business units in India – Vizag being the latest – Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Panchkula, Vadodara, Tinsukia and Pune. Lindstrom’s customer portfolio consists of hundreds of companies across industries in India - electronics, automobiles, metal - with more than 300 in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.

Sustainability is important

JL: The service concept of Lindstrom is recycling. We wash and repair 175 million kilos of textiles every year. Washing and repairing textiles has a significant local effect on the environment. With our services, we ensure that a garment’s lifetime is long and is taken care of even if the employee leaves the company. Renting textiles is the alternative to owning textiles or using disposables. Reduction in the use of resources is an important aspect. We design textiles that are easy to repair. Usually, there are three factors that define sustainability: economic, environment and social. Once you improve on these three, you will improve on others as well, as it helps in maintaining figures and further giving environment-friendly goals to your employees.

On the different sectors and operating standards 

JL: In Finland, sustainability is high on agenda. There is no landfill site and this has resulted in getting companies to reflect upon ways on how to reduce waste. Gradually, India is getting there with many companies adopting sustainable measures. In Lindstrom, we have our own standards which are far higher than what the local standards indicate. It is one area where we work on significantly and we come out with a sustainability report every year. It specifies the amount of water we use and the carbon footprints.

AC: We find a solution to problem areas and support different areas of sustainability and hence have tried to maintain common operating standards between India and Finland. However, some processes are unique as per the requirement from the client. The authorities are improving the scale of operation. For eg., FSSAI has set practice for food compliance and safety in India, which has tremendously benefitted the food sector. We cater to clients like Dr Reddy’s, Biocon Ltd, Intas Pharma, and others who have raised the bar for standardisation across various verticals. But there is a constant need to set high standards by keeping a track of garments and clean room requirements, especially in the pharma sector. In March 2018, we are launching a Clean Room facility in Pune, a one-of-its-kind facility that will set the highest standard of hygiene, especially for vaccines and research labs, where even the smallest of particle on the garment can be traced.

Market Study

JL: European Textile Services Association (ETSA) represents the leading textile services companies, as well as the detergent, fabric and garment manufacturers. This industry is a major contributor to the European economy, with a current annual turnover of 11 billion euros and employing 135 000 people in the EU. With a total group turnover of 323 million euros, Lindstrom business is more than 150 million Euros in Finland with about 5 million population. India has half a billion habitants so here the potential is mind-boggling. Overall, we will try to scale our business to 500 million euros by 2020. In India, currently we have about 1.5 million garments in circulation and we want to double it by the year 2020. By far in any market, especially in India, there is no competition for Lindstrom as there are a few companies who are still in the traditional mode and do not outsource work wear.

On Make in India

AC: Today 95% of the material is manufactured in India which includes washing, repairing and maintenance. We have started working with startups like Electrotech in Bangalore who are exclusively making garments for us. This will help us grow and promote local produce.

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