R&D is a critical part of our business strategy

R&D is a critical part of our business strategy

Kusumgar Corporates is today an acknowledged leader in the highly niche technical and specialised textiles sphere. In 1970, Yogesh Kusumgar gauged the phenomenal potential of a market which was then at a very nascent stage.

Kusumgar Corporates is today an acknowledged leader in the highly niche technical and specialised textiles sphere. In 1970, Yogesh Kusumgar gauged the phenomenal potential of a market which was then at a very nascent stage. Starting small, but thinking big, he started a business to meet the challenging needs of an ever-changing textile industry. Ankur Kothari, CEO, Kusumgar Corporates deliberates about the business prospects from newer markets and the growth strategies of the company.

What kind of impact has COVID-19 had on your business and the textile sector?

It has been an interesting combination of short-term challenges with long-term benefits. Any crisis typically hastens buyers to re-evaluate their current product and supplier base and we see a lot of opportunities coming up due to the same.

Has it also opened new markets or product opportunities for you? If yes, please share few details.

Absolutely! Not so much products, but definitely, markets. We are seeing a lot of interest from the European and the US industrial customers, who want to de-risk their predominantly China-dependent supplier base. Our typical product adoption cycle is long, so it may be a little pre-mature to share more. We need to wait and watch to see if these opportunities fructify.

What factors will influence the growth of this segment in the next 2-3 years?

Our business and the technical textiles segment in general will continue to grow with adoption of new materials across user segments and industries. These are long-term trends which should accelerate.

What new technologies are you working on currently? What kind of new features or solutions do you plan to incorporate?

Our motto always has been: “We start where others stop”. We are in a continuous innovation mode and typically come up with 3-4 new products every month. Amongst others, we are highly interested in fabrics for inflatables applications, fine denier outdoor fabrics and light-weight durable fabrics for the armed forces.

Do you spend a significant sum on R&D? If yes, what is the budget allocated towards it?

R&D is a critical part of our business strategy. Since everything we do is typically novel, our organisation is geared towards new products, and we do not track our costs separately.

Which are your major markets in India and abroad? Which new ones do you pan to explore?

We work across four segments: defence, industrial, consumer and specialty. We expect our defence business to be stable going forward. The growth of our industrial business is driven largely by the overall industrial GDP growth of India, and our ability to penetrate global markets. We expect our consumer business to grow strongly on the back of rising consumer spending and preference for high performance products.

What are your expectations from the upcoming budget? What would your suggestions be to the government?

We want the government to continue being supportive to the overall industrial growth of the nation and continue to work on making it easy to do business in the nation. 

What are the challenges exclusive to this segment? How can these be overcome?

Our customer segments have long approval cycles and investments typically take time to gestate. We need the industry and ecosystem to be patient and work in sync. Across all product segments, there is significant value to be had with consistent quality and value-added products, but that can only come about with focus on innovation and process knowledge. This also requires continuous efforts and patience.

What are the long-term and short-term goals at your company? Do you plan to launch any new products or expand this year?

We are evolving a multi-year strategy to build our business and expand across new customer and product segments. Our general aim is to be recognised as a leader across all the segments in which we operate.

What kinds of technologies do you see Indian textile industry adopting in the next 5 years in this niche?

I think India has all the major technologies available. We expect their adoption to grow as the industry evolves and products stabilise.

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