How fabrics magnate Gautam Singhania reversed Raymond’s fortunes

It’s my child’s birthday.” No, Gautam Hari Singhania was not welcoming this reporter to his child Niharika’s 17th birthday celebration. He was making the point that on December 10, 2022, Raymond’s property organization would open for ownership the very first set of 900 apartment or condos to clients of 10 X Environment, a 3,103-apartment complex on Thane’s Pokhran Roadway. This date was chosen and revealed in early 2021. Huge offer? A promoter picks his child’s birthday to reveal a brand-new launch. So what? Well, 2 things. One, this was Raymond Real estate’s very first task. And 2, the shipment date was 2 years ahead of the RERA due date of December 2024. Singhania, 58, confesses was dangerous, and puts the choice down to naiveté. “We didn’t understand the video game. So, we composed our own rulebook,” he states, looking unwinded and in control in a dark blue Tee shirts, chinos and casual shoes (all made to determine, mind you), as we talk up in the expensive Atelier Lounge on the 2nd flooring of JK Home, his residence-cum-office in Mumbai.

With RS 1,115 crore in sales in FY23, property’s success has actually moved Raymond to success after a traumatic time in FY21, and highlighted its practicality as the next huge development motorist for the organisation. Mauled by the pandemic and, specifically, the lockdowns, Raymond’s organizations had actually seen a few of the hardest times in its 98 years. Sales of its conventional organizations– top quality fabrics, top quality clothing, garmenting, high-value cotton shirting and, to a lower degree, engineering & & automobile elements– plunged in between 7 percent and 59 percent that financial, and the business’s bottom line plunged to a loss of RS 297 crore (see charts).

Atul Singh
Group Vice Chairman
Raymond Group



Raymond is underindexed in ethnics and even branded casuals, so they will begin with a lower base and they can scale up successfully


Abhijit Kundu
Senior VP-Research
Antique Stock Broking


From there, Singhania doggedly crafted Raymond’s healing, taking the scimitar to expenses, excess stock and non-performing shops, and usually simply choosing to not stop. He likewise employed a lot of grizzled specialists in management positions consisting of the heads of the property and way of life organizations, a brand-new CFO, and a Vice Chairman with international direct exposure, in between July 2020 and July 2022 (see Raymond’s A-Team). In FY22, Raymond’s bottom line went back to black, and in FY23, net earnings doubled and profits notched up its highest-ever worth of RS 8,337 crore, making it a newly minted billion-dollar organisation. “Vision is 20:20 in hindsight, however we developed a property organization, we developed a complete brand-new group of individuals, we developed a rewarding organization, you have actually seen 4 quarters of appropriate shipment, it’s all took place, not by opportunity,” states Singhania.

” Decrease in stock levels, which resulted in decrease in working capital requirement and financial obligation levels, actually resulted in the healing of its balance sheet,” states Abhijit Kundu, Elder Vice President of Research Study at Antique Stock Broking. “And after that it likewise minimized non-performing top quality clothing shops, and concentrated on more performance. That actually resulted in the general healing of operations post-Covid-19.” In addition, the sale this April of its FMCG organization to Godrej Customer Products Ltd (GCPL) for RS 2,825 crore has actually provided Raymond considerable cash to purchase its way of life organizations and pare financial obligation even more if required.

By any procedure, it has actually been an incredible turn-around, and with much velocity yet to come on the runway.

Fighting the Pandemic

Let us start at the start of Raymond’s depression. With the nation entering into lockdown in March 2020 and remaining there in various tones for numerous months, Raymond’s fabric, clothing and garmenting organization, consisting of almost 80 percent of its general profits, were severely impacted. “We had actually currently pressed stock, however there was no uptake. And in a fashion industry, if stocks are not offered, they end up being old,” remembers K.A. Narayan, 65, President-HR and a 15-year Raymond veteran. Plus, it likewise had factory for these items, which provided a various difficulty. “If we continue to produce [stocks], we have a difficulty in regards to where to dispatch them, what to do with them, which gets contributed to the stock. At the exact same time, if we do not produce, we need to close down factories.” This circumstance triggered worries of a liquidity crisis, and the Board fasted to notify the management of the requirement to cut expenses and reinforce capital. Raymond then carried out a lot of actions to cut overheads, lower headcount and lower discretionary expenditures.



Previously, there was skepticism in the [real estate] market … that space was determined by a variety of business gamers. Their entry returned the self-confidence of purchasers


Karan Singh Sodi
Senior MD
Metropolitan Area & Gujarat, JLL India


Harmohan Sahni
Raymond Real Estate

Amit Agarwal, Group CFO of Raymond, takes a look at the pandemic as a true blessing in camouflage.” As we age, we collect a little fat here and a little fat there, and the exact same thing was occurring with the business. We required to alter things, “states Agarwal, 54, smiling broadly with favorable energy noticeable even on a Zoom call. Explaining that the business cut nearly RS 400 crore of running expenses, Agarwal notes a host of steps required to cut expenses, consisting of structural expenses such as individuals, operation, stores, marketing, and so on. For instance, about 4,000 dealerships would get an all-expenses paid yearly trip of the business’s Thane plant for trade reservations. That workout was relocated to digital throughout the pandemic and, even today, is still mainly digital.

” We had actually opened a great deal of shops, and in a few of them, rental to profits ratio was as high as 0.6, indicating the leasing would be 60 percent of the profits. It did not make good sense,” he states. So, the business shut about 150 shops where profits were not getting. On individuals front, some layers in the organisation were removed, and some others were combined through using innovation. Some local and branch workplaces were likewise closed down. “We had the ability to improve the performance levels of our plant operations, and lower the material wasting, cuts and ends. Each and every single piece of business was taken a look at and surpassed,” states Agarwal.

In addition, the business went hard to bring receivables under control. The net working capital cycle (NWC), at a high 98 days in September 2019, was reduced securely to 47 days in March 2022 through a strong collection drive. “We informed our dealerships that if you do not bring your charges down, we will not provide you the product,” remembers Agarwal. (In March 2023, the NWC has actually once again increased to 53 days.) The cash launched by cutting expenses, boosting performance, handling stock much better, and from decreasing the NWC was utilized to pay back financial obligation, notifies Agarwal. All these efforts assisted Raymond’s net financial obligation fall from RS 2,378 crore in September 2019 to RS 689 crore in March 2023, with a subsequent fall in the debt-equity ratio from 1.1 x to 0.23 x in the exact same duration.

With more effective cash and operations management, Raymond was back in the black in FY22 itself, notching up an earnings of RS 260 crore, regardless of Q1 of the financial being lost to the devastating 2nd wave of the pandemic. However it was the property organization that stood apart as the star amongst equates to, sculpting a brand-new development course for an entity that is understood to you as a clothes company that guarantees to make you The Total Male.



Finishing jobs in time offers convenience to customers … any person can be found in will need to provide on time and provide the quality assured


Anshuman Publication
Chairman & CEO
India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa, CB

.(* )The Property Bet

Harmohan Sahni, of the light beard and light smile, is a certified chartered accounting professional. The CEO of Raymond Real estate has actually been leading numerous efforts in property, beginning with GE Shipping’s real estate endeavor, then Mahindra Lifespaces, then his own endeavor, and after that running Edelweiss’s real estate financing organization. Existed, done that. Calling himself a contractor of organizations, Sahni, 55, signed up with Raymond in June 2021, when it actually required him. He is likewise a difficult male to ruffle. Ask him how Rs 2 crore for a 2BHK home can be called ‘cost effective’, and he addresses with a straight bat. “The marketplace is constantly best. Who am I to state it is pricey or inexpensive? I can not own that worth judgement if my item is offering much better than the others. Since today, in the pertinent Thane market, we have 25-30 percent market share, which for one task in a micro market is considerable. I have actually never ever seen it in my profession … so I understand it’s appropriately priced,” he states with a drawl, calmly, gradually chewing on his words.

That type of composure, plus experience, makes him the best male to front Singhania’s property dream. And Sahni thinks this is simply the start. The property market, which is susceptible to long cycles, saw a seven-year slump till a number of years earlier. And now, it remains in the middle of another upcycle. “Things have actually stabilised on all those fronts, there has actually been suppressed need and the earnings have actually been growing, cost is at its finest that any person’s seen in the last 30-40 years in India, in regards to multiples of earnings. I believe there are considerable tailwinds for this market,” states Sahni.

According to Karan Singh Sodi, Elder MD, Mumbai Metropolitan Area & & Gujarat of JLL India, specific aspects have actually operated in favour of Raymond so far. Its land bank houses a high school owned by the Singhanias, Sulochanadevi Singhania School, satisfying a huge request for purchasers who have kids. Then, a little part of the bank was offered to a shopping center designer, so a shopping center is likewise being developed– that’s another ask satisfied. Then, there is a healthcare facility close by, and remaining in Thane’s prime location, the ingress and egress to Raymond’s land is smooth. Plus, Sodi mentions that Thane has actually had almost 50 percent share of all property system sales in Maharashtra recently. So, it’s an excellent location to be in presently for a real estate designer.

Raymond’s efficiency is likewise including muscle to the bigger pattern of huge, recognized corporations delving into the property life of ease, consisting of Tata, Mahindra, Adani, Wadia, Godrej, Piramal, to name a few, specifically thanks to the structural modifications brought by RERA– Property (Guideline and Advancement) Act. “These brand names have actually been around for several years, so they have a head start. And finishing jobs in time offers big convenience to customers … any person can be found in will need to provide on time, provide the quality that is assured, and supply all the features needed,” states Anshuman Publication, Chairman and CEO, India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa of property services and financial investment company CBRE. Includes Sodi: “Previously, there was skepticism in the market– some Tier II, Tier III designers would take cash and not complete their jobs. That space was determined by a variety of business gamers. Their entry into this sector returned the self-confidence of purchasers.”



Some parts of GCPL’s portfolio are seasonal, and some do not suit future intake patterns …

might be wanting to repair this by getting Raymond’s FMCG organization[It] .

Naveen Trivedi

DVP-Institutional Equity
HDFC Securities(* ) .
Currently, Raymond has actually triggered 2 more jobs. The Address by GS has 549 apartment or condos and is more pricey than 10 X Environment. Both these jobs have actually seen more than 80 percent apartment or condos scheduled. A 3rd task, TenX AGE, with 905 systems, was released this February– 25 percent apartment or condos are currently scheduled. All this shows in the business’s efficiency. The property organization’s sales increased 401 percent in FY22, and another 58 percent in FY23 to touch RS 1,115 crore. Ebitda margin for FY23 is at 25.7 percent, which, according to Sodi, is basically on par with that of the bigger Thane market.

Beyond the land bank, Raymond prepares to enter joint advancement with others in the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Area). “We are not investing any cash on the land. We will just do such jobs when we are positive that all the approvals are occurring,” states CFO Agarwal. The business has actually registered one joint advancement task in Bandra with a regional partner, which is the redevelopment of a society on the Western Express Highway. “Currently, we have about 270-280 propositions, and some have actually been shortlisted. However in regards to active conversations, we would constantly have 5 to 7 propositions that remain in line with our method … Difficult to forecast, however our endeavour is to do 2 to 4 offers a year,” states Sahni. If succeeded, this method has the possible to materialize estate much larger in Raymond’s portfolio. In the previous 3 to 4 years, it has actually ended up being the 3rd greatest organization for Raymond. And given that it is still taking infant actions, this is most likely to grow even more, based on market conditions. No surprise Singhania is so bullish.

On the other hand, its conventional organization of whatever to do with clothes is likewise downing along simply great. So are the jeans and engineering & & automobile elements organizations.

The Core Keeps Rumbling

Sunil Kataria, 55, the CEO of Raymond’s core way of life organization, looks every bit his function. Having actually remained in GCPL throughout the pandemic (as CEO of India and SAARC), the suave and significant Kataria signed up with Raymond in March 2022 and organized the development journey. And it has actually been an excellent flight. All business associated with clothes clocked high development in FY23– sales of top quality fabric, top quality clothing, garmenting (which is an export-oriented B2B organization where Raymond materials ready-made garments to global brand names) and high-value cotton shirting grew at 20.6 percent, 49 percent, 51.7 percent and 33.2 percent, respectively, with Ebitda margins in between 8 percent and 20 percent.

Sunil Kataria

CEO-Lifestyle Company

This development has actually begun the back of a surge of suppressed need after the pandemic. In FY23, a net 58 systems of The Raymond Shop (TRS) outlets were opened, taking the overall count to 1,409 shops (consisting of franchisee-owned TRS stores and unique brand name outlets) as on March 31. Over the next 12-18 months, the business prepares to broaden this network by another 200 shops. Yet, there is scope for more growth. “We are offered in a great deal of towns. However there are numerous towns that we are most likely not offered in since our circulation network does not go that far. Those are chances for us to broaden,” states Atul Singh, Group Vice Chairman of Raymond Group. Singh, 62, is a Coca-Cola veteran who has actually worked all over the world and brings understanding of international markets to Raymond (it currently exports a portion of its clothes items overseas to big international brand names).
What are the development chauffeurs of the future? One, Kataria thinks that a China-plus-one method by international brand names will benefit India compared to completing economies like Vietnam and Bangladesh since either their capabilities are choked or they deal with an unstable economy. “And within India, we (Raymond) are extremely well put. When all these gamers search for either ready-made garments or material, they search for a vertically incorporated gamer. We have among the world’s finest factories in regards to capability to offer worsted materials, plus we have 4 systems in Bengaluru and one in Ethiopia, where we do ready-made B2B garmenting. So, we have the ability to offer end-to-end vertically incorporated, really strong world class centers, individuals,” he states.

2, specific customer patterns in India are likewise being targeted by Kataria. Casualization and hybrid formals is one such, where individuals go to work using clothes that is not strictly official, yet not completely casual either. Believe start-ups, the tech crowd and millennials, and their technique to dressing. You’ll get the drift. “2 of my brand names, Park Opportunity and Raymond Ready to Use, are official brand names. We are going to extend these 2 brand names into casual also. The casualization play in between my clothing brand names is going to end up being really strong. Which’s a location where we are concentrating on both item and style,” states Kataria. He’s likewise wagering huge on this pattern spilling into materials. “We are seeing that even within materials, it is no longer the blacks and the blues and greys that individuals choose. They are open to purchasing prints, vibrant linens, more casual styles.” Plus, there’s a great deal of work going on in developments such as a techno-stretch material– which as the name recommends are materials with some stretch integrated in– and even a stain-repellent material.

However what gets Kataria most thrilled is ethnic clothing, through its brand name Ethnix by Raymond. If you believe ethnic is just for wedding events and celebrations, you have another think coming. Kataria captured this reporter by surprise by explaining that the interview was being carried out by somebody using a bundi, which is what he calls “wise ethnic”. The bundi, kurta and other ethnic wear are ending up being relatively typical in the office, and stay popular in wedding events and celebrations. Raymond is targeting a mix of unique Ethnix shops along with shop-in-shop positionings in TRS outlets for its ethnics drive. Antique Stock Broking’s Kundu mentions that while there is competitors, there are likewise a great deal of unorganised gamers in this section, which would assist the general ethnic portfolio in regards to customers wishing to purchase top quality ethnics. “Raymond is under-indexed in ethnics and even branded casuals, so they will begin with a lower base and they can scale up successfully,” he states.

Raymond likewise has a RS 1,000-crore-plus organization of jeans, which it goes through a 50:50 joint endeavor with UCO of Belgium. The entity, called Raymond UCO Jeans, has actually been around for 25 years now, and has actually turned into one of Raymond’s greatest organizations under CEO Arvind Mathur, 62, a veteran of 29 years at British commercial thread maker Coats PLC, prior to signing up with Raymond. In spite of cotton rates doubling recently, both denim material and ready-made clothing have actually succeeded on the strength of its B2B relationships. “A bulk of our organization has actually been on the export side and we have actually grown considerably there. And even in the Indian market, all the premium labels would be utilizing our material in their denims,” states Mathur. Apart from providing to other brand names, Raymond UCO Jeans now likewise provides denim material and readymade denims to Raymond brand names such as Parx. Moving forward, Mathur is concentrated on broadening his garmenting footprint, which is where need is climbing up.

The last piece is engineering and automobile elements. If you’re shocked that Raymond remains in this organization, well, do not be. Even Balasubramanian V., 63, the MD of JK Files & & Engineering, a 25-year veteran of Brakes India and Bosch till he signed up with Raymond in October 2017, didn’t understand about it prior to he got the task deal from Raymond. The department’s sales fell simply 7.4 percent in FY21, the most affordable of all Raymond’s organizations, however recuperated wisely afterwards. This development has actually begun the back of an excellent proving from its 2 business. One, engineering business JK Files, which has strong items such as engineering files, drills utilized in production, and power tools utilized by electrical experts and plumbing technicians. And 2, automobile part maker Ring Plus Aqua, which makes a host of items.

Arvind Mathur


Raymond UCO Jeans
It offers engine and transmission elements to international OEMs such as Cummins, Caterpillar, BMW, to name a few, and in India to virtually all OEMs in both traveler and business cars. The business likewise makes water pump bearings utilized in engine cooling blood circulation, and an item called Flex Plate, utilized in automated transmission systems in cars. Ring Plus Aqua is now entering into brand-new items such as double clutch transmission and double mass flywheels. About 60 percent of its profits originates from exports. “Each organization can double in my viewpoint in four-five years, quickly. Presently, there is a bullishness that is returning after 2 Covid-19 years. Even in Covid years, we in some way handled to grow,” states Balasubramanian. With the Indian automobile market moving into development overdrive, things are continuing to look helpful for this organization also.
The Method Ahead

Going on, Raymond is reorganizing and simplifying its organizations to drive more development. This April, Raymond Group left its FMCG organization by offering its prophylactic brand name Kama Sutra and antiperspirant brand names Park Opportunity and DS, to GCPL for RS 2,825 crore in an all-cash offer. Nevertheless, Raymond will keep its prophylactic factory and contract-manufacture them for others. Experts feel this sale shows Raymond’s desire to sell a non-core organization and reinforce its balance sheet. From GCPL’s viewpoint, Naveen Trivedi, DVP-Institutional Equity, HDFC Securities, states: “On the core organization side, some parts of GCPL’s portfolio are seasonal in nature, and some parts do not suit future intake patterns. GCPL might be wanting to repair this issue by getting this organization, which is more in the individual care section and is growth-oriented, where they can drive their own circulation.”

In parallel, business of Raymond have actually now been mixed into a brand-new structure. The way of life organizations are being demerged from Raymond Ltd into Raymond Customer Care Ltd (RCCL), and Raymond Ltd’s primary organization will be property, with financial investments in engineering-auto and jeans. “RCCL will see decrease in financial obligation levels and much better financing of working capital internally, since it now has money from the sale of the FMCG organization to GCPL,” states Kundu. “It will have a strong balance sheet, which will assist money the working capital requirements of the way of life organization.”

While things have actually been smooth cruising in current times, Raymond will need to look out for possible stumbling blocks. “The clothing market saw a great deal of development due to surge of suppressed need in 2015, which has actually now been tired. So, there will be a downturn in top quality clothing development this financial, however it is most likely to rebound in FY25,” states Kundu. In property, the relocation into joint advancement in locations beyond its convenience zone of Thane would need Raymond to handle relationships with numerous stakeholders, which can be a difficulty. Then, export markets, mainly western economies, are seeing their own difficulties consisting of high inflation, high energy rates, unstable currencies, war, and worries of a possible economic downturn. And while these aspects have actually not impacted Raymond in FY23, there’s no forecasting the future.

Difficulties or no, what stands apart in this entire story of the revival of Raymond is the favorable state of mind of its promoter and its band of leaders, and their desire to take problems on the chin, shrug and carry on. With the business’s organizations shooting on all cylinders, plainly, this story isn’t over yet.

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