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The Parekhs of Nilkamal have, over nearly four decades, built a brand that’s become synonymous with plastics
A few years after Nilkamal was set up in 1981, Sharad Parekh, then 37, found himself following a milk van all the way to the Worli Dairy in central Mumbai. Now 75, and managing director of Nilkamal, he had been on the lookout for new growth avenues. Operation Flood had led to a mushrooming of dairies and he wanted to see if Nilkamal could enter the market for plastic milk crates, which was a huge emerging opportunity. His persistence paid off and, by 1983, Nilkamal got an order for plastic crates, opening up a new business line.
The 1980s and the 1990s were when plastics began to be used in a whole host of applications due to the availability of high density polyethylene in India. Heated, injected into moulds, cooled and then solidified, these plastics are strong and durable at a far lower cost than metal. Plastic buckets replaced metal ones. Foldable metal chairs at wedding venues made way for lighter plastic ones that were easier to transport. Office chairs and suitcases have also gradually moved to plastic.
A host of unorganised players emerged but a few brands were built. Since then Nilkamal, Supreme Industries, and Wimplast (Cello) have emerged as trusted names. Be they plastic chairs, tables, office furniture or industrial crates, the Parekhs of Nilkamal have an almost four-decade history of innovating and entering new lines of business with unfailing regularity.
In a market in which brand loyalty and pricing power are not necessarily strong, they have worked to make the name recognisable and trustworthy. This is clear from its enviable growth record from the time it listed in 1991. Revenues have since climbed from ₹5.09 crore to ₹2,160 crore, a compounded growth of 25.1 percent over 27 years. Though the business is heavily dependent on raw material prices, it has healthy operating metrics. At ₹123 crore in profit in the year ended March 2018 and a market cap of ₹1,900 crore, the company generated a return on equity of 14.5 percent. This is commendable, given that Nayan Parekh, president and executive director (material handling), acknowledges, “There are zero barriers to entry. It is a combination of many factors that results in a moat.”
“ There are zero barriers to entry. A combination of many factors results in a moat.”
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At Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Kaloor from 15.12.2018 to 26.12.2018 ( 12 days )
At Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium , Kaloor
Ernakulam from 02.11.2018 to 19.11.2018 ( 19 days )
Nilkamal Material Handling efficaciously participated in India’s biggest poultry event, Paschim Banga Poultry Mela 2018 organised in Kolkata during 15th – 17th feb. 2018.
Nilkamal’s poultry products & solutions were distinctively showcased in this show. We received worthy response from various govt., semi-govt., and private agricultural & animal husbandry visitors.
Congratulations Nilkamal Kolkata Team !
Nilkamal Limited, world’s largest manufacturer of moulded furniture and Asia’s largest plastic processor of moulded products, organized a three day fare in the city last week to create awareness in market about using hygienic containers for storing food.
Given the importance of food safety, Cambro, the world’s largest company providing products for food service industries entered a 50-50 joint venture with Nilkamal for manufacturing select products and marketing across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
At the show, there were lots of products useful for hotels like FPO max crates, Industry standard crates, Heavy duty and conductive crates, that are made from specially blended raw material to prevent electric charges from passing through. Also on display were kit and modular crates widely used in electronics and electrical industry for storage and movement.
Foldable boxes/crates which are flexible, lightweight, safe to handle, can be folded multiple times and reused attracted lot of queries besides shelves made of composite materials, insulated and bulk containers, metallic cages, stacking frames for bulk material handling.
The innovative storage systems showcased talked about many advantages. Quick and easy to assemble, they also have more storage capacity even on less floor space, have increased load bearing capacity and are economical in the long run. There were also many multipurpose glasses of different shapes with an unique feature. They are strongly tempered and not easily breakable. There were also poly carbonate glasses and fast food trays imported from France and China.
The ice boxes with excellent insulation which maintain uniform temperature for storage and transportation of frozen food, meat, confectioneries, ice cream and are also used for storing soft drinks, snacks, pastries and frozen foods were another hit at the exhibition.
“These items are a boon for market and people are going crazy “ said Mr. Rajesh Chowdhury, the Regional Manager, Hospitality division, Nilkamal Ltd. The feedback from the customers was apparently encouraging.
Held for the first time in Madurai, there were visitors from many good hotels and catering colleges. Mr. P.K.Rajendran, Deputy General Manager, Nilkamal Limited said that through this exhibition, the customers were educated about various products. “Belief in service and quality is the secret of our success,” he added.
This article was originally published in “The Hindu”