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Sustainable home textiles: Lessons on going up the value chain, from Parth Poddar of Insignian.

Born out of a management buyout in 2019 the Rs 100 crore, in revenues, organisation is scaling up to be a large design-to-delivery startup.

Last year was difficult for Indian manufacturers, some of them had to become PPE kit manufacturers to keep their lines running. While manufacturing PPE kits was done on a probono basis for some of these firms, the market opened up in full steam for the last eight months.

One such company that has been making sustainable home textiles for the world's largest retailers in Insignian. Parth Poddar, the director of the company, caught up with to tell us how an upcoming manufacturer can have global aspirations in the post Covid-19 world. Here are the excerpts of the interview:

How did Insignian come to be?

Parth: I was part of the management of a European company that was running a manufacturing unit in India and in late 2019 they wanted to exit the textile business. There was a management buy out of the firm and that is how Insignian came to be. We took over the entire textile division, the clients and the team. We started manufacturing in January 2020 and suddenly we all had to face the problems of COVID-19, we had to shut operations as an emergency. However in a month we are up and running to manufacture PPE kits for the country's healthcare staff.

You are a design to delivery company, tell us a little about your hypothesis?

Parth: We have designers, trend analysts and business analysts who are go around the world trying to understand what is going on in the bedding industry. Since we are a home textile company our teams get to know trends in markets like Middle East, Australia, Europe and the USA. Our clients are retailers and brands around the world. We come up with product ranges for our clients and facilitate the production of these products. Brands are a big part of our business. As a company we expand both ways in the value chain. We have two in house brands in the sustainable range. Although the USA is an important market for us we have deleveraged our risk because we have supplied to retailers across other markets. By design the USA is less than 40 percent of our business.

(For more inspiration of how Parth Poddar and team built the business watch or listen to the entire podcast.)

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