Mohan Kavrie: Technical textiles is not a copy paste business
Supreme Nonwoven Industries is the largest and most diversified Nonwovens company in India, and Supreme Treon (formerly Supreme– Treves) is the Tier-1 system supplier of choice for Automotive Interior Trims and NVH components. Both companies provide products and services across the value chain, serving global customers leveraging the scale and depth of operations. Mohan Kavrie, Owner, Supreme Group, shares his company’s journey, what makes them the market leader, and what it takes to enter in technical textiles industry with Divya Shetty.
Could you elaborate on Supreme Group’s journey?
Supreme Group started in the year 1986, so this is our 36th year. We started with a single unit in a place called Bhilad (Gujarat). Since then we are grown and new we are present across the country. We are in 16 various cities, ranging from the northern state of Uttarakhand to Chennai. We are also present in Thailand. Speaking of research labs, while we conduct routine testing in every factory, only three locations—namely, Bhilad, Vapi, and Daman—conduct extensive research. We have nation’s best comprehensive testing and development facilities.
Supreme Group serves which market segments?
We mainly cater to two area of the industry. Firstly, we manufacture non woven fabrics, and we also use the non woven fabric to manufacture interior parts of the cars. These are moulded parts like, the carpet, headliner and roof liner and then there are various insulation parts. Some you can see some you cannot see. These are called as NVH parts (Noise, Vibration and Heat). The NVH parts are totally made out of non woven fabrics.
We supply non woven fabric in almost all the segments one can think about. As far as automotive industry is concerned, except for one company, we supply to each and every car maker in the country. When I say car, I mean every four wheeler. So it can be a truck also.
Which interior trims and NVH solutions are in highest demand right now?
See various people say that there is great opportunity for nonwovens and technical textiles in the automobile industry. What they do not tell is that the opportunity is very big, but the space is already taken by various companies. There is practically no room for a new entrant. Those who are already well established, their business will continue to grow, for the simple reason that as far as auto mobile in this particular area is concerned, it is not about manufacturing. It starts with a design. You have to design the part, you have to design the mould you have to select the materials develop the materials; there is a lot of testing and validation. It is a very lengthy process. It takes about two years this process when a new car is being launched. And unless you have the expertise from A to Z, you can’t deliver to the customer. You can make the nonwovens, but it is difficult to make the parts..
As a result, telling the public that there is a lot of opportunity in the auto sector is deceptive. The automotive industry has a high demand. It is true. If there are roughly 15 players today, there will not be 20 in five years. 15 will be reduced to 10. The auto industry will be a case of survival of the fittest in future.
Every part that we manufacture is the first of its kind in India. And everyone else attempts to imitate it. Fortunately, this is an area of ongoing research and invention. So, when someone copies what we’ve done, we’re always two steps ahead of them.
So it’s all about research and development and invention. It has nothing to do with production. It is not a copy and paste process.
In the auto sector, each customer has his or her own set of requirements. They have their own set of test parameters. They say you have to make this, while another guy says something completely different. As a result, each customer has a unique specification. As a result, there is no governing body for this. It satisfies client test and performance requirements. As a result, it is tailored to specific needs.
A carpet for this car will not fit in that car. It is custom crafted. So every item we create is for a specific customer, for a certain car, to be installed in a specific location.
What is the recent trend in automotive industry?
Sustainability, particularly from an environmental standpoint, is a direction in which it is heading, and there is what is known as light weighting, which requires you to reduce the weight of the parts. So such things are out, and the real transformation that will occur will be from electrical vehicles (EVs).
Today 80% of the EV cars are made by Tata Motors. They’re all having our parts.
Your company also manufactures filtrations, can you elaborate more on that…
Filtration is an area in which we excel. However, due to duplication, we face tremendous competition even inside that area. Another area where we are likely the only true manufacturer in the country is interlining. What is required in interlinings is what is known as nomination. In our situation, we manufacture the interlining as well as the coating. In our situation, we manufacture the interlining as well as the coating.
We are the leaders in both the turnovers and in the automotive area we will ensure that we shall continue to be the leaders.