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Raymond Rejigs Top Management

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India's leading apparel and textile major Raymond Ltd has re-jigged its top management to spur growth and to better its dipping profit margins.

"We had a few issues in the past in our business strategies and are now in the process of fixing them", Gautam Hari Singhania, chairman and managing director told Businessworld.

Sanjay Behl, former head of brand and marketing and CEO of Reliance DTH & IPTV of the Reliance ADA Group, has taken over as the CEO of textile and apparel businesses. The CEO post is newly created for Behl and he will directly report to Singhania.

Aniruddha Deshmukh, president, textiles and  Robert Lobo, president-group apparel business - will now report to Sanjay Behl. Both Aniruddha and Lobo are long term executives with Raymond and until recently Lobo was heading the brands ColorPlus and Raymond Premium Apparel. Raymond's branded apparel business include Park Avenue, Parx, Raymond Premium Apparel and ColorPlus.

In March, the company had brought in a new chief financial officer CFO, M. Shivkumar. He was senior vice-President (finance) at Jet Airways prior to joining Raymond. Before Shivkumar, H. Sunder, whole-time director and chief financial officer, was heading both the finance and strategy portfolios. Now Sunder is fully devoted to strategy function.

Raymond, which grew its business from Rs 2617 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 4143 crore in 2012-13, had a sluggish growth in its profits during the period. Net profit for 2012-13 was Rs 28.7 crore compared to Rs155.8 crore in the previous year. Its textile business had seen volume growth, but margins were flat in the last few years. Its foray into denim business through a joint venture with the Belgian company UCO failed to deliver the promises. The 88-year old company also relocated its manufacturing facilities in Thane in recent past to Jalgaon and Vapi.

"The full year 2012-13 had been an year of organisational consolidation and has provided us with a platform for a strong bounce back in profitablity", Shivkumar had said in an analyst-call for Q4, 2012-13.

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