08 Mar 2019 21:17 IST

Siyaram’s — timeless fashion with a trendy edge

The 40-year-old company is known for its premium lines featuring blended fabrics and its stylish ads

For those who belong to my generation, the name ‘Siyaram’s’ immediately brings to mind the musical jingle ‘Coming home to … Siyaram’s’. This tagline still has the highest brand recall among viewers/listeners. For youngsters, however, the jingle is just part of the story of an established fabric brand, whose designs, patterns, weaves, styles, hues and finish make it instantly recognisable.

Siyaram’s, or Siyaram Silk Mills Limited (SSML), was founded in 1978; it is part of the Siyaram Poddar Group. It is said to have been promoted by Mahabir Prasad Poddar, Dhara Prasad Poddar and Purushottamdas S. Mahasaria. It became a public limited company in 1980.

The company is based in Mumbai. It began by producing blended fabrics from polyester viscose. In 1981, with about 60 looms, it started manufacturing activities at its Tarapur plant. This was followed by a unit for textured yarn at Patalganga, and another weaving unit at Murbad.

The company crossed the ₹100-crore mark in 1990-91 and the very next year, entered the ready-made segment with brand ‘Oxemberg’. This was followed by ‘J Hampstead’ (pure worsted suiting fabrics) in 1995. As the number of looms increased to more than 200, its weaving capacity also increased. ‘Mistair’ was introduced in 2001.

Diversification into blended fabrics

As the years went by, it expanded its operations and diversified into other product categories, entering the women’s ready-made segment in 2014 and introducing the Italian brand Cadini in 2015.

Polyester viscose forms nearly 85 per cent of Siyaram's raw material. Siyaram’s was one of the first brands to recognise the possibilities of viscose-and-polyester-based fabrics. When most players in the textile space were chasing costly cotton, wool and pure polyester, Siyaram’s had the foresight to look ahead and see the cost advantages, enhancement in appearance and climate-adaptability that these fabrics offered. When demand shifted the market focus to these fabrics, Siyaram’s emerged a clear leader as it was already a major player in this segment.

 

 

Siyaram’s is today recognised as the country’s leading blended fabric manufacturer, producing around 2 million tonnes of yarns and 75 million metres of fabrics annually. Its product line is diverse and covers fabrics for all seasons — polyester viscose, polyester viscose lycra, polyester cotton, polyester wool lycra, wool linen, 100 per cent cotton, cotton linen, polyester viscose linen, polyester rayon, polyester wool, wool lycra, 100 per cent wool, 100 per cent linen, CVC & PC yarn-dyed shirting. These incorporate characteristics like crease recovery and perfect fall. It recently launched indigo yarn.

Premium brands

The core brand in both fabrics and ready-mades is Siyaram’s; but apart from this, in fabrics, the brands offered are J Hampstead, Mistair and Royale Linen (premium linen fabrics). In the ready made space, the company offers Oxemberg (men’s apparel); Mistair; J Hampstead (premium office and party wear); Siya (ethnic apparel for women); Little Champs (school uniforms); Unicode (corporate, hospitality and security uniforms customised for companies like HDFC, Reliance, SBI, Indian Hotels, Jet Airways etc.); Miniature (stylish fabrics for important functions like weddings and anniversaries and corporate gifting); MSD or My Style Dressing (casual wear for the youth); Zenesis and Moretti (cotton brands).

In the RMG or ready-made garments section, Mozzo (casual wear) and Inspiro (formal wear) were launched in 2018. Siyarams’ products are reportedly the cheapest in the branded fabrics segment. It is a ‘Manufacturer by Choice’ for several corporate clients.

The brand has also made its mark in home furnishings with Casa Moda (in water-repellant and fire-retardant finishes), which is supplied to the hospitality industry and furniture markets.

Resource conservation at plants

The company’s three plants at Tarapur, Daman and Silvassa are eco-friendly, using new and innovative methods to reduce energy usage and conserve water and other resources.

Siyaram’s processing unit can process a variety of fibres such as polyester, wool and cotton blends. The number of looms has increased to 500, making it one of the largest weaving infrastructures in the country.

Its R&D laboratory at the Design Studio is fully equipped with the latest technology and imported machinery. Siyaram’s also boasts a library housing 10,000 different yarns.

Today, Siyaram’s has the largest presence in the poly-viscose based fabric segment; more than 70 per cent of its revenue is said to come from the fabric business. (The company is dependent on the price of cotton and crude oil, as poly viscose is a derivative of the latter.) Its turnover in 2018 was around ₹1,750 crore.

Distributors, advertising

 

The company has an extremely strong distributor network, with about 1,600 wholesale agents; its products are available at over three lakh multi-brand outlets across the country. It has invested in Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) for premium growth. These are the Siyaram’s Shop, with over 170 showrooms, and the Oxemberg Shop.

It exports its products — chiefly blended fabrics — to several countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, and some Latin American countries.

Siyaram’s has always gone in for lavish spends in advertising, in keeping with the brands’ stature. It has consistently focussed on quality and dependability in its advertisements. Siyaram’s is known to promote its brands using famous personalities from sports, the cinema world, fashion and other professions. Different ambassadors were used for different brands, stressing the similar aspects between the brand and its endorser in the process — like brand MSD using cricketer MS Dhoni to bring out its individuality.

The ‘right celebrity for the right brand’ tactic saw Siyaram’s brands being endorsed by leading names like as Boris Becker, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra and, now, Ranveer Singh, the ‘youth icon’. Along the way, ads featuring personalities whose names became embroiled in controversies (such as the South Africa cricket team for J Hampstead) were discretely dropped. The brand names remained unaffected!

One of its campaigns in 2017 — the ‘10 Days Of Goodwill this Dussehra’ plan of action — emphasised its sincerity and evoked interest on Facebook and Twitter.

In future, Siyaram’s plans to do more in the digital ad space. But experts caution that it has to have a robust online presence to make an impact here.

CSR, certifications

Siyaram’s has not lagged behind on the CSR front. It collaborated with the Rotary Club and the Blind Welfare Association of India to sponsor the 3-day Inter-State Blind Cricket Cup in 2018. Apart from this, it concentrates on environmental sustainability; education and livelihood enhancement of less-privileged persons; and preventive healthcare, provision of safe drinking water and sanitation.

The ISO 9001:2008 certified company was voted Most Trusted Brand by Economic Times and Nielsen Media Research in 2013.

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