As you know from this story, I’ve managed to make my way to India for a friend’s wedding (and there will be a post about that later… I promise). In between two of the many, many (so many) wedding activities, the guests were invited to go view a factory owned by one of the many uncles in the family. I, because I thought it’d be interesting, of course, said yes to going… and after about an hour packed in the back of an SUV we all arrived at a very nondescript building deep in an industrial area just outside of Delhi. I guess I would call the place a textile factory… the company manufactured various clothing items (scarves, aprons, baby onesies, etc.) and other miscellaneous things (table cloths, oven mitts, place mats, etc.). They are a contract manufacturer, whereby retail companies in US or UK come to them ready with the item desired and the item’s design and the this company makes the product(s). The uncle gave us a tour of one of the factory floors, then showed us the showroom and fed us lunch. Here’s a couple of shots of what I saw:
I think it’s interesting only for that fact that it really wasn’t what I had in mind when I pictured a textile factory in my head… I was thinking about giant machines doing all kinds of weaving and cloth spinning and who knows what, but this mostly people standing around counters doing work by hand. And of course, this factory doesn’t make cloth, so the bit of thinking there would a huge room full of noisy machines was likely a bit far-fetched anyways… but still, I thought there would be a little more to it than the above. But what do i know about factories right? Plus, the room we saw was more the finishing room… lots of ironing, folding, loose thread cutting, quality control checking and bagging… so not much in the way of production going on. Myself and a couple of other folks had a good conversation with the boss about how the business works financially (costs, margins, contracts) and physically (materials sourcing, what he can and can’t do)… all stuff that I found interesting (generally, their profit margin was between 20% and 25% for each item, and their final price… i.e. what the retail company paid them… was about 20% of the final retail price… so a retail company would pay them $10 for an item that cost them $8 to make, and then the retail company would sell that item in their stores for $50). So… I guess not one of my usual posts in terms of content… but I found it interesting nonetheless… be on the look out for the made in India tag.