Raymond CMD cautiously optimistic about biz recovery amid pandemic

By: |
December 6, 2020 4:32 PM

Diversified group Raymond, which has its majority business interests in textile and apparel sectors, is "cautiously optimistic" about recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania has said.

The group is also expanding its digitisation in retail and adopting omnichannel approach.

Diversified group Raymond, which has its majority business interests in textile and apparel sectors, is “cautiously optimistic” about recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania has said. Looking at the 2020-21 fiscal as a “total washout”, the group expects this fiscal to end on a flat note in terms of growth prospects with businesses being hit in the first six months of the current fiscal by the pandemic-related disruptions.

On being asked about growth expectations, Singhania told PTI “the group has passed through a very tough phase for the last six months when everything was closed” due to the pandemic, so there would be no growth this fiscal.
On being asked about business recovery going ahead, Singhania said: “I think there would be cautiously optimistic recovery”. He, however, said that the group has already achieved pre-COVID-19 sales numbers in some of the business segments and even more in some other verticals, though it expects a longer time for the recovery of its textile and apparel business.

“We have a mix bag sector to sector and I think the textile and apparel sector would take a little longer to recover because the wholesale markets were closed for a long time. It took a little longer but I think that we are in the right direction. The good thing is that every week or two weeks, we are seeing little more sales,” he said. “People slowly, slowly are back to buying and I am confident that the sales will come back,” he added. The Raymond group operates in segments such as FMCG, Engineering and Prophylactics besides in the textile and apparel sectors.

The group had a revenue of Rs 3,186.39 crore for the financial year 2019-20. It reported a revenue of Rs 24.03 crore in the April-June quarter of 2020 and Rs 254 crore in the July-September quarter of 2020. “This year is a total washout. So I don’t think we will meet 2020 levels but moving forward, a lot of companies have reshaped themselves. They have set new benchmarks and moving forward, I think there is a lot of opportunities for the companies that survived this pandemic, they will come out much stronger,” he said. The company is also confident to get a pie into the recent trend of change in attire from formal dressing to causal as working from home is catching up under the new normals post pandemic.

According to Singhania, Raymond’s portfolio has changed dramatically with strong brands such as Colorplus and Parx from 10 years ago, when it only made worsted fabrics for suiting. “In fact, even Raymond’s portfolio itself has changed a lot with a lot of casual wear. So the whole dynamics is changed and our product offering also has changed, he said adding even there is a move from formal to casual, we still got a share of the pie. Besides, the company which has also manufacturing operation in Ethiopia is cautiously optimistic about it.

Ethiopia is very depended on the US market, which has gone in a slowdown. But we have seen Ethiopia orders coming back, he said. On the investment, Singhania said the company would continue with its regular Capex and maintenance Capex. Singhania also refuted the recent report that the group is exiting from the FMCG business.

The group is also expanding its digitisation in retail and adopting omnichannel approach, however, Singhania said that physical retail would not go down as shopping is still an experience and people would continue to shop outside.
Raymond will continue to expand retail presence targeting the smaller tier III, IV and V markets besides the key cities.

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