Nowadays, the artificial leather is a trending concept among the leather manufacturing industries, due to its stylish appearance and flexibility in using the lightweight product. The rising environmental concern has led to the production of artificial leather on a large scale which has given a high rise to the leather manufacturers.
In an interview with Insights Success, Mr. Suresh Poddar, the CMD of Mayur Uniquoters, gave his perceptive views on the company’s uniqueness in manufacturing the finest artificial leather and PVC vinyl products.
- Brief about Mayur Uniquoters Ltd.
Mayur Uniquoters Ltd is a renowned superior synthetic leather manufacturer in India replacing genuine leather in many markets. In the year 1992, driven by a vision to manufacture world-class products for the leather connoisseurs and the trend-setters of the time, Mayur was borne out of the high level of competence, commitment, stringent quality control measures and value addition. Today, MUL, led by Mr. Suresh Poddar, has made its mark as a manufacturer of PU / PVC Synthetic Leather with the highly qualified engineers and technocrats who believe in delivering the best to customers always.
Today, Mayur has a total production capacity of 3.05 million linear meters per month, which makes it one of the largest manufacturers of Artificial Leather/PVC Vinyl in India. This scale of production is managed through their high tech production lines composed of the top of the line machinery from Italy and China. The Company employs approx more than 1000 people having a turnover of Rs 485 crores for the year 2016-17.
The company has received the following Awards and Accolades:
- “Forbes Asia Top 200 Best under a Billion Company Award” in the year 2012-13
- World Wide Achievers – Business Leadership Award 2014.
- THE SECOND INC. INDIA innovative 100 – Certificate of Excellence” for being ranked amongst 30 Most Innovative CEOs, 2014 & smart innovation.
- Institute of Economic Studies “ UDYOG RATTAN AWARD to Chairman” and “ EXCELLENCE AWARD to the company” – 2015
- What are the different products and services provided by the company which is setting you apart from your competitors?
We manufacture artificial leather/PVC Vinyl for automotive, footwear, Furnishing, Bags & accessories, Upholstery etc, segments. MUL works in a different way in the competition although everyone tries his best to be on top in the market. We have very strong marketing and R&D team. It is very important to know in which direction market is moving and analyze the change in the pattern of customer’s requirement.
Just to elaborate we are the only company from India who is supplying directly to US automotive companies – Chrysler and Ford & maintain very good quality. We are the preferred supplier to Chrysler, Ford, GM overseas & Honda, Lear,Maruti, GM, Mahindra, Tata, Nissan, Hyundai, LML, in India and VKC ,Purgeon, Action, Liberty, Relaxo in footwear sector. We export our products to USA, Srilanka, UAE, Russia, South Africa, Belgium, UK & Saudi Arabia.
- Brief about the Founder/Director/CEO and what is the source of inspiration for the company to be in the plastic industry?
Mr. Suresh Poddar entered the Artificial Leather trade and distribution business in 1968 when he was 22 years old as a commission agent for the National Leather Cloth Company. At that time, he used to supply to Hindustan Motors and Bata. By 1976, he got distributorship for eastern India. It was the time of early 80’s when Sanjay Gandhi’s lifetime dream came true and Maruti Suzuki came into existence. Maruti used to import door pads from Japan and Mr. Poddar began toying with the idea of manufacturing door pads for Maruti-Suzuki locally. Soon after that, he was offered to set up a manufacturing facility near the Maruti plant. That is how Mayur Industries came into existence and the first plant was set up at Jaipur and after that, there was no looking back.
- What are the few challenges faced by the company in the plastic industry today?
The main challenge is competition from China. In India, we manufacture PVC coated fabric for making artificial leather. In China, most of the products are from PU coating which is very close to leather look like and very lightweight and more eco-friendly than PVC. Now India is importing 20 million meters from China of PU artificial leather every month. Therefore MUL decided to go for making PU leather for which 25 acres land has been bought in Gwalior, MP.
- The Technology used in manufacturing our products.
We manufacture artificial leather/PVC vinyl using release paper transfer coating technology. We have spent more than Rs 4 – 5 crores on developing world-class laboratory to test any type of requirement of PU/PVC leather produced for the automotive industry. Today MUL is having well-equipped testing facility in-house which saves a lot of time in developing products and manufacturing quality product. Today we are in a position to manufacture any type of knitting fabric required for this industry. We have more than 35 knitting machines & the process house.
- How the company is contributing to its sector in the industry and what makes you a unique player in this field?
Customer friendly products presence & penetration in the market has changed the presumption of people to utilize the benefits of our products suitable to their needs which was not the case before. MUL could achieve this by offering various innovate products which can be used for multiple purposes. MUL has become the biggest exporters of artificial leather to automotive market in USA like Chrisler and Ford with its strict conformance to specifications given by these customers.
- Explain advantage over peers.
Our great Focus on Research and Development: – Rapidly progressing technological revolution has also created the need for the industry to focus on R&D and market intelligence to offer the right product mix to the market.
Environment-friendly approach: – Synthetic leather/textile industry consumes a large amount of resources. Hence it becomes much more important to adopt the ‘greenway’ for growth. The first step we have taken is building an Environmental Management system.
Implementation of standard systems & processes: Implementation of standard systems & processes and lean manufacturing systems reduced/eliminated waste of the source thereby increased efficiency, better quality of products and resource optimization.
Shortening of lead time: Lead time is shortened through continuous monitoring of production processes to reduce/eliminate faults and rework.
High-performance training: High-performance training is the need of the hour. People need to unlearn traditional/outdated methods and relearn the skills required by the industry today. It is important for our workforce to upgrade their skills so as to be able to operate the advanced technological systems.
- Benefits gained by clients while doing business with Mayur.
We always strictly ensure that the customer gets the best quality product & services. We ensure Timely delivery of products & consistency in supplies and provide competitive & best pricing, innovative designs, and products suitable for the new generation scenario along with providing immediate and timely attention to customer complaints or issues & expressing willingness to serve and customers get a feeling that they have been heard and understood.
- How do you see yourself and the company in the future ahead?
As a step towards expansion, we are setting up a PU leather plant in Gwalior, MP for which 25 acres of land has been acquired. Construction is going on and hopefully, production will start in April 2019. This will increase the company’s sales immensely since hardly any manufacturer in India exists in this segment. We are planning to add 3 more PVC lines in the next 3 – 4 year time looking at the future of the market. As per plan we have great opportunity for 20% growth on year to year basis. At the moment our full focus is on automotive industry, domestic sales and export. We have very good growth in sales for next 3 years since we are supplying to USA market and going well in European market. The new car models are going to enter India soon demanding very different quality of artificial leather for which we are equipped and qualified as we are already supplying to car manufacturers in USA.