Far-Sighted Entrepreneur Suchita Oswal Jain Led Renowned Indian Textile Brand
Vardhman, a world-class textile manufacturer, was built and nurtured by two generations of the Oswal family, and the third generation is committed to taking Vardhman to new heights. Mrs Suchita Oswal Jain – Vice-Chairman & Joint Managing Director, Vardhman Textiles is adding new pages to the achievements of the brand along with her father, Mr S.P. Oswal – Chairman & Managing Director, Vardhman Group.
Founded in 1965, the Group has a continuous thrust on innovation, developing new products, fulfilling the commitment and meeting customer expectations at all stages.
A leading player in the yarn business, Vardhman's forward integration was started by Suchita. Determined to excel, she took the challenge to establish Vardhman in an unknown market segment of fabrics, stabilize the business quickly, develop operational excellence, and promptly deliver up to exacting standards. Today, the Group is catering to global names including GAP, Uniqlo, Marks & Spencer, Target, H&M, Kohl's, Calvin Klein and Victoria's Secret for their fabric requirements besides being a major supplier of yarns to companies/brands like Toyobo, Australtex, Decathlon and Aditya Birla Group.
Vardhman has carved a niche in the market by delivering customer satisfaction and excellence at all times. Having its presence in over 75 countries, Vardhman has won several awards for exports, including Niryat Shree Award from the Federation of Indian Exports Organizations (FIEO) for the export of yarns, and multiple Textile Export Promotion Council's Awards (TEXPROCIL) for highest exports of processed yarns, greige fabrics and bleached/dyed/yarn dyed/printed fabrics.
Frost & Sullivan & TERI, for the group's sustainability initiatives, has also conferred Vardhman with Challengers Award for Large Business, Process Sector as well as the Jury Special Mention Award for Water-saving initiatives like India water partnership with GAP & cKinetics, and Women+Water.
With adaptability as one of the core strengths, the Group is continuously evolving under the dynamic leadership of Mrs Suchita Oswal Jain. Spearheading the team of thousands of employees, she emphasises on a customer-centric approach and adapting to change at every stage of production without compromising on quality. It is this continuous thrust on improvement and fair dealings besides a wide product basket that makes Vardhman a preferred partner for numerous global brands and retailers.
"When it comes to achieving my goals, my passion drives me. In my view, success is mutual, development has to be holistic. An organization cannot grow without the contribution of its people; rather it is the human resource which is the harbinger of success.
I feel successful when I can inspire other women to aim high and work towards their goals. During the pandemic, being able to contribute and help people gave me a sense of contentment. I think, while achievements provide the necessary momentum, this feeling of being able to give back, blended with those accomplishments is success.
Our holistic business model is inclusive of long-term vision, ethical dealings, fair practices, valuing people and resources, and mutually working towards the goals. We, at Vardhman, believe in adapting with agility and executing with excellence. To be the best in the marketplace in each aspect of the supply chain, Vardhman being a vertically integrated organization, we stay put in this never-ending pursuit of excellence," Suchita wrote.
"Product development is the essence of textile industry since trends and customer demands are never stagnant. Keeping pace with the global market is important and so is offering something fresh and unique," Suchita mentioned.
Research & Development are critical to operations of Vardhman Textiles at all stages, from raw material to processes to technology to products and the entire chain. They are always looking for smarter solutions. The market leader is also equipped with a dedicated design and innovation cell to keep them at par with the changing needs.
At present, the Group is focused on making sustainable choices and developing recycled, organic and functional products. With Sustainability on mind, Suchita's emphasis is on natural fibers; functional ones like cocona, cooltex, recrotherm; and recycled products made from cotton and its blends; besides the core spun & compact cotton yarns. Similar properties are being developed into fabrics. The Group has developed antimicrobial fabrics suitable even for facemasks and offering unparalleled breathability. Alongside, for work from home setting, a range of fabrics was crafted so that work-wear didn't need to appear casual for being comfortable. These fabrics include cotton viscose blends, cotton nylon stretch blend, cotton recycled poly spandex, stretch flannel and bi-stretch.
Suchita quoted, "Values are to be inculcated; they can't be forced. We believe in a top-down approach in instilling desired values and to ensure there are no hiccups, there are multiple checkpoints as well."
Vardhman Group has a continuous pursuit of excellence and works towards strengthening the core values, so the roots grow strong to hold the ground firm in the face of adversity. With a customer-centric approach and progressively responsible mind-set, the Group thrives in an industry as dynamic and demanding as textiles.
Their core values are inclusive of honest dealings and meeting commitments, practising meritocracy, transparency and fair decision making, and investing in the development of professionals, Vardhman's pillars of strength.
Besides their in-house training programmes, Vardhman also sends its employees to the best business schools in the world. Their home-grown leaders represent their culture of nurturing the human resource. The group believes in participative management, and employees are included in discussions and decisions to create a sense of ownership as also responsibility.
In the VUCA world of textiles, either you quickly adapt or perish. Maintaining the competitive edge, Vardhman continuously stays in contact with their technology suppliers, keeping know-how of what's new. Vardhman is a forerunner in terms of technology and has the most advanced machinery installed in all its units. Process innovations and expansions are a norm and Vardhman continues advancing by monitoring the trends and anticipating the change.
Serving customer delight for 55 years, Vardhman has a constant pursuit of excellence. Suchita keeps bringing in newer and modern solutions to the organization to match and exceed customer expectations besides augmenting the strengths of the group. Alongside absorbing latest technology in manufacturing processes, she finds it crucial to develop the business in each aspect and is currently leading the projects for digitalization and cyber security across the group.
"Victory is winning despite the hurdles, not just when circumstances are favourable," Suchita quoted. Vardhman stands strong in the face of challenges by staying agile, fleet-footed and quickly adapting to the change. The pandemic and lockdown impacted all the industries and textiles didn't remain unaffected either.
While shutting down the units was an economic loss, keeping the employees engaged and safe was a priority during that phase for the organization. Fortunately, Vardhman was able to re-open their facilities after a month as they have in-house residential colonies and could operate with the staff staying within the premises; with the required safety measures and permission from the government.
Learning even from the pandemic, Vardhman acquired the ability to communicate effectively with the customers without requiring a visit. The change induced by 'new normal' has led their teams to continuously explore gadgets, software, tools etc. to bridge the physical gap with digital resources. Parallel to this, there is a great emphasis on sustainability. The Group is continuously exploring opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint and working with an approach to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Listing her leadership essentials, Suchita shared, "Clarity in vision, long-term perspective, detail-oriented outlook and one-step ahead approach besides understanding the value of resources and utilizing them to the optimum would be on my list of 'attributes required' to progress as a leader."
Indeed, possessing these traits, Suchita made Vardhman the brand it is today, venturing into a new domain and initiating the forward integration of the Group. It is one of the major achievements of her life, as is her journey from Executive Director to the Vice-Chairman & JMD, indicating a fair graph of growth. A recent addition to her achievements is the Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Award 2019-2020 conferred by AsiaOne magazine for her endeavours to empower women through economic inclusion.
"As a woman entrepreneur leading the corporate affairs and a family business, I feel blessed to be capable of bringing about a change in the lives of other women. I wish to send this message to my fellow sisters that there's nothing you can't do; the power, the zeal, the passion, the strength, it's all within you," Suchita shared.
Success and growth are pinned to the future of Vardhman as Suchita is ready to amplify group's presence globally and augment their strengths while working on the ultimate goal of making Vardhman a one-stop solution for the textile industry.
"Never give up on your dreams and yourself. Entrepreneurship doesn't have a roadmap or a set of guidelines for success. It is analysing, trying, adapting and marching ahead. Entrepreneurship is a journey of continuous learning, where one needs to focus on the goal besides having an eye for detail. Belief in your capability is the key to attain what you wish to achieve, and passion is the fuel to fire this belief," asserted the woman behind Vardhman Group.
Vardhman is a responsible corporate citizen committed to the development of the community that hosts the organization. With an approach of holistic and inclusive growth, Vardhman has provided several government schools with infrastructure to create an enabling environment for studies besides providing modern medical equipment to healthcare institutions.
Acknowledging that most women workers in factories are migrants, and Suchita being a strong advocate of women empowerment, Vardhman Textiles travels an extra mile to ensure that women receive the deserved support and opportunities. It is the efforts of the organization that their women workers have won Gold awards at International Convention on Quality Circles (ICQCC).
Suchita shared, "I believe that skill development and education bring empowerment in true sense. We offer the families of women workers a trip to the facilities so they are comfortable about sending their daughters to work. It is this persistence and emphasis on development that women working with us have come a long way. The confidence offered by economic independence and a skill set ensuring employability has changed a lot for many women."