Corporate News

RSWM 2.0 Riju Jhunjhunwala driving the next phase of growth through focus on technology, innovation and sustainability

Strong technology, innovation and sustainability focus are some of the initiatives that have triggered the company’s growth curve over the years and it is now gearing up to meet the demand of the future.

Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills Limited (RSWM Ltd.) is the flagship company of LNJ Bhilwara Group, founded in 1961 by the visionary entrepreneur L N Jhunjhunwala. RSWM is one of the largest textile manufacturers in India, exporting to more than 78 countries worldwide. The company has 11 manufacturing plants with 478,000 spindles and 172 looms, located at Banswara, Rishabhdev, Kharigram, Ringas, Mandapam, and Kanyakheri regions of Rajasthan, producing high-quality cotton, mélange, sustainable, value-added, greige, and synthetic and novelty yarns along with denim fabrics and knitted fabrics.

“Our Kharigram unit is one of India’s most sophisticated plants with 52,000 spindles. It produces the finest polyester-viscose greige yarn in the Indian market, sold under the brand name ULTIMA®. We have more than two decades of expertise in producing superior quality mélange yarns sold under the brand name Melantra® and cotton-dyed yarns in various sparkling colours and shades. Annually we produce 18,000 metric tons of mélange yarns on 75,000 spindles,” says Managing Director Riju Jhunjhunwala in an exclusive chat.

“Established in 2007, our denim division produces 25 million metres of fabric yearly in both traditional and innovative constructions and blends. Besides this, our recycled polyester unit located near Jaipur produces staple fibre that transforms waste PET bottles into Fibre Green, which is the company’s certified recycled polyester yarn. We also manufacture fibre-dyed yarns and have spinning and draw fibre line capacity of 120 tons per day. Moreover, we also have solar roof top power plants that cater to our captive power consumption,” Jhunjhunwala adds.

“We follow the standards set by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the Fair-Trade Foundation for producing sustainable products and constantly strive to reduce the carbon footprint. With its constant effort, the company has been able to secure the prestigious status of ‘Golden Trading House’ and has received export awards from the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC),” Jhunjhunwala informs.

Wide Product Range

Giving an overview of the company’s products and solutions, Jhunjhunwala says: “With the help of technically advanced spinning facilities and dedicated research and development team, we produce a diverse range of products as per the ongoing global future fashion trends. The yarns, knitted and denim fabrics produced at our units are unmatched by the competitors. With decades of experience in the textile industry, our expertise lies in manufacturing sustainable and finest quality cotton, mélange, synthetic, novelty and greige yarns, along with international quality denim and knitted fabrics. The superior quality yarns produced at our unit using high-end technology also extend to home and commercial interior applications like weaving fabrics for curtains, carpets, bed covers, upholstery, and a multitude of items.”

“Our Mordi unit weaves sustainable denim fabrics like PCW, recycled poly, natural indigo, hemp, recycled fibres; selvedge denims; dobbies and knit look; premium blends like tencel, modal, bamboo, linen, mélange, etc.; performance denim with value-added fibres for moisture management, low growth and high recovery; classic stretch denims for men, women and children; ecru and colour denims across all weights; and top weight denim with various blends and weaves. Our unit at Kharigram produces the finest quality polyester-viscose greige yarn in the Indian market, which is sold under the brand name ULTIMA®,” Jhunjhunwala informs.

Manufacturing Capabilities

Elaborating about the company’s manufacturing and infrastructure capacity, Jhunjhunwala states, “Our 11 manufacturing plants located at six units in Rajasthan have a total capacity of 478,000 spindles and 172 looms. With the help of cutting-edge technology, we produce high-quality and sustainable cotton, mélange, and synthetic yarns, along with denim fabrics in these plants. To deliver a wide range of yarns as per the clients’ needs and market trends, we have installed the best-in-class and innovative machinery sourced from world-renowned brands such as LMW, Truetzschler, Rieter, Savio, Luwa, etc. Our factory has a production capacity of 150,000 metric tons for yarns, 32 million metres of denim fabric and 44,000 metric tons of recycled fabric.”

According to Jhunjhunwala, RSWM Limited is investing around Rs 410 crore in the expansion of denim, cotton melange yarn, knits business, modernisation and balancing equipments across all units. “The capex will be fully operational by FY23 and investment in denim, cotton yarns and knit is expected to increase our top-line by around Rs 700 crore. An additional capex of Rs 315 crore shall be invested in the expansion of our spinning capacity in Banswara, Rajasthan,” he adds.

Speaking about the innovation and technology advantages offered by the company, he observes: “The textile industry consumes a huge amount of water and energy, along with other chemicals and harmful substances. These things have a major impact on the environment. To minimise the harmful effect on the surroundings and reduce carbon footprints, it is essential to switch to producing sustainable yarns and fabrics without compromising their quality. Keeping this in mind, we are making conscious efforts to introduce sustainability in fashion. For that we are using eco-friendly materials and consuming less energy and water at our manufacturing units. Moreover, we are focusing on reducing, reusing and recycling products.”

Continuing further, he states: “To reduce plastic waste and conserve the environment we have set up a division that produces recycled polyester staple fibre from PET bottles. The unit can recycle 122 MT of plastic daily. These PET bottles are procured from authorised waste traders and this also helps to generate employment opportunities in the region.” Highlighting some of the key points of the company’s export performance in recent times, Jhunjhunwala says, “FY 2021-2022 has been quite profitable for us. We registered the highest ever sales in the last fiscal year due to unrestricted festive gatherings and wedding seasons after two years of lockdown due to the pandemic. Our export quantity increased by 87% in FY22, touching the mark of Rs 1,419 crore. In addition, our domestic turnover increased to 27% year-over-year compared to the last quarter. Our key customers are JC Penney, H and M, Zara, Levi’s, Wrangler, Diesel, Lee, Spykar, Hilfiger and many more.”

Taking the Lead

Listing down the key reasons that offer the company its competitive advantages, Jhunjhunwala remarks: “We at RSWM are committed to providing the best quality yarns, denim and knitted fabrics. To fulfil our clients’ requirements and stay a notch ahead of our competitors, we keep introducing new and advanced manufacturing technology. For example, we started commercial production of knitted fabric using high-end German Corizon™ technology this year. We are the first textile company in Asia to produce fabrics like polyester, nylon, cotton and cotton blends using Corizon technology. Going forward, we are also planning to start the production of synthetic fabrics like linen, modal, Pima cotton, viscose, recycled polyester and Ecovero LIVA.”

“In addition, we also recycle 30 tons of fabrics per month. We are proud to say that we use recycled yarns for producing denim fabric. Our cutting-edge Garnett machine efficiently breaks down worn-out garment materials and turns them into new usable fibres, allowing us to weave fresh fabric. Through our constant effort, we have been able to reduce 800,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually,” he adds. Elaborating on the total number of employees in the company, Jhunjhunwala informs: “We employ around 16,000 staff and workers in our textile units out of which 2,300 employees are women. We treat every employee of our company with dignity and respect. That’s the reason why employees stay here for 17-18 years. Some have even spent their entire lifetime with the organisation till their retirement age.”

Sustainability Driven

As mentioned earlier the company has always been a forerunner when it comes to adopting sustainability initiatives. “We support green energy and are committed to conserving energy and manufacturing yarns using eco-friendly methods. We are highly inclined towards using natural and eco-friendly resources for producing yarns. With our innovative methods, we have been able to reduce approximately 800,000 CO2 emissions annually. Apart from this we also transform waste PET bottles into FibreGreen® to reduce plastic waste and reduce land and water pollution,” Jhunjhunwala states.

“The sustainability initiatives taken up by RSWM include rooftop solar power plants with a capacity of more than 25 MW, wind power plants with a capacity of 34 MW and 1,350 kilolitres of water conservation. Through various processes and ETP units, wastewater is re-treated for further use. We are currently a zero liquid discharge (ZLD) company. To eliminate excess landfill waste we recycle 30 tons of fabric per month with the help of our state-of-the-art Garnett machine. The high-tech machinery efficiently breaks down post-consumer waste fabrics and converts them into new usable fibres,” he adds.

Growth through Automation

Shedding light on how the company is adopting automation and Industry 4.0 in its manufacturing process, Jhunjhunwala mentions: “The need for hybrid and highly fragmented value chains has increased in the past decade giving rise to new digital industrial technology, known as Industry 4.0. It is an interpretation and application of Industry Revolution 4.0 in textile technology and textile manufacturing sectors across the supply chain in spinning, weaving and finishing. Due to the rising cost, high-end consumers and the complex value chain led to the spike in global competitiveness making it imminent to upgrade.”

”Increasing numbers of textile production facilities will transform into ‘smart factories’ in the coming years as automation and artificial intelligence make a covert entrance into the textile industry. The Indian textile industry will have no choice but to catch up to the rest of the world by transforming the production facilities into smart factories in light of rising labour costs, rising manufacturing and energy expenses, and process waste. Only by embracing Textile 4.0 will Indian textile manufacturing units be able to compete with major textile-producing nations like China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Industry 4.0 is being quickly adopted by the Indian logistics sector, and as a result, the textile industry’s supply chain will profit from proper production planning and quick product transportation,” he adds.

“To emerge as successful key suppliers, accepting Revolution 4.0 will become mandatory. The industry as a result will become a centre of progressive production technologies and a base for piloting and scaling up new digital solutions,” he further states. Finally, sharing the future growth plans and vision of the company up to the year 2025 and beyond, Jhunjhunwala states, “We are seeking RSWM to have excellent solvency ratios in the coming years. We shall prioritize this above all else. Next on the list is modernisation of all spinning facilities as and when required. The vision is to double the capacity from what it is today with some degree of forward integration. Also, we will lay a huge focus on being a carbon neutral company.”