Lindstrom, the Finnish workwear service company, is planning to expand its operations in India as manufacturing sector gains momentum thus giving a boost to the company’s textile rentals business. The company, which entered India in 2007, aims to double its national footprint from 10 to 20 locations by 2020.
“We entered India in 2007 and today 100,000 Indians are using our workwear every day. With an annual growth rate of 40-50 percent, we intend to double the number of locations that we are present, double the strength of employees to 1000 and cloth 500,000 Indians with our workwear every day by 2020,” said Juha Laurio, president & CEO, Lindstrom Group.
Lindstrom India is the only organised rental workwear service company in the country providing a reliable, flexible and economic way for companies to look after their workwear, releasing time and resources for their core business. “Every industry requires uniforms for their workers and, for this, the company have to invest in designing, purchasing, maintenance, stock keeping, etc of the uniform. Lindstrom takes care of the entire process and provides clean workwear to lockers of our customer. With our services, the customer can focus on its core business without any worry about availability of uniforms,” stated Laurio.
Globally, the market for workwear service is growing as the industry is also moving away from ownership to availability. By opting for rental services, the manufacturing companies’ have to pay only for the number of cloths used rather than make upfront investment in uniforms for their employees.
There are broadly three drivers for textile rental services - safety of the employees, prevent contamination or damage to the product that is being manufactured, and protect the image of the company.
Textile services requirements vary depending upon the kind of industries. “In India, pharmaceutical and food industries are the major clients of Lindstrom and reasons are quite obvious – the protection of the product manufactured in these industries as regulations are very stringent. At the same time, Indian companies in these sectors are aiming to tap the international markets (exports), which demand maintenance of high quality throughout manufacturing process. This is also driving the demand for our products,” said Anupam Chakrabarty, managing director, Lindstrom India.
As part of its strategy to further strengthen presence in India, the Finnish firm is looking to expand its services in sectors such as fast-food industry (quick service restaurants), healthcare, automotive aftermarket, retail, etc.
The penetration level of workwear services industry is still very low and Lindstrom sees huge potential in markets such as India, China, Russia, etc. Keeping this in mind, the company has set a global target of Euro 500 million by 2020 (from Euro 301 million in 2014).
In developed countries, the economic activity has changed from manufacturing to services. While in India, the shift is happening from agriculture to manufacturing. Hence, the company is banking on India to propel growth.
“We operate in more than 24 countries. Still more than 50 percent of our turnover comes from Finland, which has 5 million inhabitants. With a population of 12.5 billion, India offer a huge opportunity for us. While in Finland we have been growing 4-5 percent, growth rate in India has been 40-50 percent. In future, India’s contribution will be quite significant in Asia,” observed Laurio.