We have increased our revenue phenomenally and expect to cross R20 crore by March 2012. Our employee base of convicts will stretch to 900 by then, from 600 in FY 2010, said Sunil Kumar Gupta, public relations officer at Tihar Jail.
Enhanced marketing, more convicts as employees and organised distribution activities are the reasons for the robust growth.
We have streamlined the functioning of the factory by appointing auditors and adopting ISO certification. We have also increased the outlets of Tihar Jail products with the help of Kendriya Bhandar. We also tied up with 15 distributors recently to increase the sale of our products, said Gupta.
The growth in Tihar product sale is a recent phenomenon, as earlier the revenues at the jail factory remained flat between FY 2005 to FY 2008 rising marginally from R2.36 crore to 2.85 crore. Even the employment rose at the same in this period, from 245 to 288 convicts.
Gupta added that Tihar products are very reasonable, which helped in increasing sales. These products are also being aggressively marketed.
The products made by convicts here vary from furniture, apparel, toiletry to stationary. The jail also has a Tihar Baking School, which manufactures and supplies bread, confectionery items and namkeens and posted annual turnover of R2 crore in financial year 2009-10 and is expected to post turnover of R2.25 crore in the current financial year.
Employment of the convicts at the jail has been increasing at the rate of 20% year-on-year basis since 2008. Today, the factory employs over 600 convicts who work in six units of the factory comprising weaving, tailoring, chemical, oil extraction and handmade paper. The factory pays R99 a day to skilled convicts, R85 to semi-skilled and R70 to unskilled convicts.