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BW Businessworld

The King Of Baby Garments

Jacob is a leader who believes that investing in his employees is the best way to get good results. He is ahead of his times when it comes to managing the employees

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Kizhakambalam Textiles which is better known as Kitex Garments is doing tremendously well in the US and European markets. This is the fastest growing kid’s apparel company and emerged as one of the best in the world with an annual turnover of more than Rs 565 crore in the year FY2015-16. It was based on sustained hard work and string foundations laid by the chairman and managing director, Sabu M. Jacob.

Sabu Jacob was associated with his father’s business since his childhood days. Later he decided to set up his own textile factory. He initiated the process of setting up his factory in 1992. In 1995, the company went public and the shares are currently listed on NSE & BSE. Jacob is highly active in CSR projects and looks after the sectors such as health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, education and more. Kitex has taken over the administration of Kizhakambalam and it has become the only corporate-governed town of Kerala.

In the last financial year FY15-16, the company has entered into a license agreement on September 10, 2015 through KitexUSA LLC with Lamaze International Inc. USA for manufacture and supply of infants garments in the US and Canada. Kitex USA LLC has also opened its office in New Jersey in October 2015.

Kitex has added Sams Club — a Walmart subsidiary to its client list last year. It already has leading brands such as Carters, Gerber, Mothercare, Jockey & Toys R Us. The company is planning to expand in United States of America by investing about $1 million in market development.

The company aims to achieve an Y-o-Y growth of 20 per cent in FY16-17 by expanding their customer base and increasing the business share with their existing customers. To achieve this goal, it is in the process of increasing the manufacturing capacity.

Jacob said, “Kitex plans to invest about Rs 1000 lakhs during this year to upgrade our manufacturing and information technology backbone. We expect to maintain the same growth rate in FY17-18, FY18-19 and FY19-20. Our aim is to become the number 1 infant apparel manufacturer in the world.”

Jacob is a leader who believes that investing in his employees is the best way to get good results. He is ahead of his times when it comes to managing the employees. He took significant steps in 1995 to make sure that labour scarcity won’t be an issue.

Currently, labour is a problem for many companies across the globe. Companies had have faced labour problems in the past and it’s an ongoing process. Kitex took care of its employees since inception. In 1995, Kitex constructed women hostels and mess for the employees; 60 per cent of their workers are from other states. He maintains a strict work culture from 9 am to 5 pm. Everyone stops working at 5 pm sharp and the garment machines automatically stop by 5.05 pm.

It was a depiction of the company’s ambitions and supporting strategies to achieve the next stage of growth. It intends to drive the next level of organic growth by expanding markets and online and offline marketing channels.

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