ALLIED INSTRUMENTS - a torch bearer of indigenously manufactured Stationery products in India
Allied Instruments Private Limited was established in 1964 at Mumbai. They are among the leading manufacturers & exporters of Office, School & Engineering Student Stationery from India. The company owes its leading position at home and worldwide to its constant conviction in achieving excellence through innovate designs and technology, its extensive product range for many diverse target groups and its well-known brand name OMEGA. The company firmly blends its core values of customer delight, commitment, innovation, teamwork and responsibility in all its functions and services.
We at PAPER AND STATIONERY SAMACHAR recently had an opportunity of one on one chat with the dynamic Managing Director of the company- Mr. Pradeep Singh Marwaha.
PSS: Could you please elaborate on the various businesses that the company is involved in?
Pradeep ji: The company is mainly involved in 5 vertical businesses-
• School and office stationery
• Educational toys catering to global market.
• Parts of home appliances for industries like Kenstar, Maharaja, Bajaj, Crompton Greaves etc. AND
• Pens, which we have recently launched Our core business is to design and manufacture Moulds. Both for pan India market and for exporting to countries like Taiwan, Germany andthe US. This is a separate profit making enterprise.
PSS: What I hear is that usually Korea is the “The Destination” for businesses - both Indian and Foreign for outsourcing their Dies and Moulds especially for stationery and office supplies Industry. It is so good to know that your company offers Premium and Export Quality Tools and Moulds with Make in India Factor. Can you please brief us about the machinery, technology and infrastructure that enables you to develop and maintain such a wide variety of SKUs and offer customized Tools for OEMs?
Pradeep ji: We have hi-tech manufacturing units in Daman and Baddi. They are equipped with sophisticated, computerized machines, state-of-theart dies & moulds. All our products are designed and developed in-house. This enables us to respond quickly to the market changes. There is a dedicated tool room at Kandivali, Mumbai for the production of dies and moulds. We also specialize in developing CUSTOM MADE products as per customer’s requirements in terms of design, size and brand name etc. Using the latest in high speed robotic technology, shorter cycle time can be achieved with optimum productivity at very competitive prices to our customers. We continuously strive to improve our products & re-engineer our processes and services to increase efficiency & effectiveness to achieve excellence internally & externally.
PSS: To which countries are your products exported? What is the export percentage?
Pradeep ji: We have a global network encompassing 32 countries in Middle East, Asia, Africa, Far East, Europe and Pacific. The educational toys are marketed with our brand name and as OEM’s brands. Export percentage is between 30-35%.
PSS: Owing to your extensive experience, what difference have you observed in Indian market and foreign markets in terms of quantity and quality requirements of the customers?
Pradeep ji: There is a considerable difference between the two in terms of the quantity ordered. Unlike in India, the products are ordered in bulk in the foreign countries. We ensure that only the best raw materials are used in all our manufacturing processes. Every batch of raw material is sampled and analyzed by QC department. Our products are independently tested and meet International Safety Standards. 60% of our products are marketed at home and abroad without making any change. However, 40% products that are marketed internationally are not for Indian market. They are CUSTOM MADE products as per customer’s requirements in terms of design, size and brand name etc.
PSS: How is the distributorship of you company managed? How do you keep them motivated?
Pradeep ji: (laughs….) Well, I would not like to elaborate a lot on this as its meant to be a secret amongst the corporate. Nevertheless, all efforts are made by the dedicated team who looks after the distribution process to ensure that our products are marketed in every nook and corner of the country. We strive to keep our distributors happy by introducing various promotional schemes and benefits.
PSS: What about the Corporate Buyers or Government tenders or orders. Do you have separate team for such a network?
Pradeep ji: We do not go in for orders from the government sector. However, we do have corporate clients through our dealers only. There is no separate department for this.
PSS: There is a spurt in online trade in our country. Is your company also involved in online trade? If yes, then what is the percentage of it?
Pradeep ji: Hmmm…Though almost all our products are available online, we are not directly involved in online trade. But yes! our products are available online through our dealers and distributors. Online trade is quite complex and cumbersome. We would rather invest our time in bringing high quality products that increase customer value through innovation, technology and responsible manufacturing practices. For online sales, we do encourage our dealers and distributors to use the platforms efficiently to exceed their targets.
PSS: Has Make in INDIA push, promoted by the PM Modi generated any additional benefits?
Pradeep ji: Well! There is no visible change as such in our industry, as of now but I agree it is a good initiative. If efficient policies are made and effectively implemented for the manufacturing sector, then I believe there is no dearth of entrepreneurial spirit and innovative streak in the Indian businessmen.
PSS: What is the role of GST in the domestic trade whether it is same on the raw as well as finished products or different?
Pradeep ji: The GST is same on both i.e. the raw materials and finished products. It is 18% and hurting the industries. When the recent approach of the government is to make educational product affordable and easily accessible , this increased GST hampers the smooth trade. Earlier when there was no GST, the Sale-Tax was much lower, and there was no Excise tax on the products. Now under the new GST Tax has made the product more expensive. For example in the case of pen earlier the Sales Tax was 4% but now it is 12% so that has become more costlier.
Despite the role back by the government from 18% to 12% it is still too high for the stationery industry. Another example to substantiate this high taxation can be cited is that of a File. A Plastic File can be used both in the Corporate Sector as well as Education. There are many such stationery products that cannot be categorised. The GST Rate on stationery products should be such that these products become affordable and at the same time prevent the illegal trade in this industry. Such a high GST Rate does not make a level playing field for all and the sincere manufacturers and traders lose business. Local industries and those relying on illegal means do better in this situation.
PSS: China has large number of innovative products besides it also produces for European market. How has it affected you?
Pradeep ji: We are not affected by the presence of Chinese products in the international market.We have a highly qualified and experienced R&Dteam and well equipped infrastructure to develop new products in short span of time. Also we have integrated advanced automation in the production line to meet not only high quantity requirements of our clients as well as small batches for initial product launches.
PSS: Do you have any suggestion for future entrepreneurs?
Pradeep ji: Today the market is changing rapidly. One needs to have a range of innovative products and a zest to compete in a price sensitive and competitive market. Also one needs to understand the huge complexities of distribution channels that arise out of the diversity of culture in India as you move from one state to the other. (Smilingly, he further adds) I’d like to say that it is a fun industry. Your customers will keep you guessing and your competitors will always keep you on your toes. So everybody is welcome but better do your homework first and come prepared.