Fabric IndustryLiving

A Glimpse into the Fabric Manufacturing Brand, OCM Pvt. Ltd., Amritsar

OCM Pvt. Ltd. pioneered with a ‘Virtual FAM Trip ‘in the company’s Amritsar facility, Vikram Mahaldar, Managing Director & CEO of OCM Private Ltd., hosted the virtual meet and shared with us the company’s rich heritage and the approach towards continuous growth and how they consistently improve quality, innovate and deliver world-class fabrics.


 The Heritage


The Birla Group took over the company operations in early 1970s.  And there was a major upliftment in technology during this period. OCM forayed into worsted fabrics, i.e., suiting fabrics made using merino wool with Worsted Spinning Technology to make fine suits. And within a very short span of time, OCM became a pioneer in starting to manufacture worsted suiting fabric in Amritsar; and very soon – OCM was a household name which was a result of mass promotions, advertising, etc, with only 3-4 players in the market at that time. OCM was, in fact, the leading player!

In the 1990’s, expansion plans were put in place. Increase in weaving capacity was given priority. By the end of 2006, the Birla’s sold the company to a US Private Equity Firm – WL Ross & Co. Under this change of ownership, further expansion and development took place smoothly.

It was in the year 2017, the promoters of Donear Group acquired OCM with its factory in Amritsar. A few months before this in 2017, the Donear Group also bought Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Limited (now GBTL), a company owned by the Aditya Birla Group). This has made the DonearGroup one of the biggest branded textile manufacturers and conglomerates in the country.

About the Plant

OCM is one of the biggest brands in the fabric industry of India, with a capacity to produce 8 million meters of fabric every year. OCM factory spans across a sprawling 37 acres complex that houses an ultramodern plant with 23,000 spindles, 120 high-speed shuttle-less looms, and a woolen processing unit, with a weaving capacity of 25,000 meters of fabric per day. There is an in-house single-roof facility for every process – from fiber to fabric – through the stages of recombining, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and finishing. With an employee base of over 1500 people, working relentlessly towards achieving customer satisfaction.

Two collections are made every year – beginning in December for Spring-Summer & the other in June for Festive-Winter. The winter collection designs are frozen in May, and orders are booking start from early June, which continues till the month of August. The deliveries for these orders then commences from June till December.

As for the summer collection, it is designed in December, and orders are booked from December till May. Every season has close to 700-800 designs and 5000 SKUs and in some marquee products like flannels and tweeds, more than 100 colour variants. The collections comprise of tweeds and flannels, worsted suitings, acrylic shirtings, fine wool blends etc.

OCM holds the position as one of the market leaders in jacketing – flannels & tweeds and has set a gold standard. The raw material used is soft Australian Merino wool. The other fine fibers such as cashmere, silk, and linen are also blended with the wool products for some niche ranges.

Coping with Covid-19 Crisis

Vikram Mahaldar further tells us about the challenges the industry faced due to Covid-19 pandemic and how they are coping – from stringent compliance regulations followed in the factory, to boosting employee morale, to scaling up production.

“Given the current scenario of the fashion and lifestyle category, adapting to the ‘new normal’ is the need of the hour”, Vikram shares. “COVID-19 can’t keep the wheels of production still for long. Our challenge was how we develop confidence in our frontline workers to return to work with confidence? It’s our responsibility to provide a work environment that’s as safe as possible.We treat our employees like a family. Use of protective products like masks and sanitizers area must, and we are observing strict socialdistancing. Initially to abate anxiety, we provided pick and drop facility to our employees and a Medical Assistant is there to screen the employees before entering the premises. We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure all safety and hygiene measures are continuing to be followed.”

He added given the onset of the festival season, markets were beginning to open up and people were coming in and asking for OCM products – including the anti-viral range they had launched.

Given this positive market sentiment and the new range of wonderful suiting, jacketing and flannels launched for the Festive & Winter Collection, OCM is optimistic about the season ahead.

While talking about how the manufacturing unit adjusted to the new normal, Shailendra Pandey, Plant Head, OCM, said “All measures were taken to ensure screening the temperatures of the workers, washing their hands, and sanitizing themselves frequently. Keeping in mind the social distancing norms, we compelled our staff to abide by it, to create awareness we created compliance measures with the involvement of our HR wing, Safety Officer, and the Union. With all these compliance measures in play, gradually the factory’s production ramped up beginning with 20-30%, now we’re producing close 60-65%, making us the only worsted-suiting company to be operating since the end of April 2020.”

All in all, OCM is almost a century old home-grown company and has seen many revolutions in their tenure – including the World Wars, Independence Movement, Industrial Revolution, and now the pandemic – and has risen above them all with grit, determination, and passion.

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