As one of the many seminars held to discuss the corporate response of family-owned business to liberalisation and globalisation, the keynote Mr Gurcharan Das concluded his speech by saying, “In the end, I would say that the success of Indian economy would depend on how the Indian industry and business respond to the reform process.” As the proceedings of the seminar progressed it became clear that there was a difference of opinion in the perception of participants. Those who were supporting the case for letting the family-owned businesses face competition opined that such businesses in India have exhibited financial acumen; its members have generally adopted an austere life style; they have …show more content…
In 1994, the yarn business faced a severe crunch owing to overcapacity. From 1995 onward, RSWM became a late follower of the industry trend as other competitors already moved up the value chain.
Textile manufacturing is basically constituted of the processes of spinning, weaving, processing, and marketing. More than 50 per cent of the value is concentrated in weaving and processing. Moving up the value chain from spinning involves large investments in machinery and labour. Graduating to marketing requires getting closer to the customers. This is the challenge that a traditional spinning mill like RSWM had to face if it was to sustain itself in a highly competitive market.
At another level, for RSWM, it was a matter of cultural transformation of the organisation long used to a conservative, trader mentality. Imagine a company whose main driving force, Shekhar Agarwal, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director having little interest in watching Hindi movies signing up Sharukh Khan at a considerable price for celebrity advertising. From the market side, it has long been troubled with its commitment to the loyal middle-class customers as it had to simultaneously pay attention to the upwardly mobile upper middle class customers. Then there was the dilemma of being too many things to a wide range of audience. RSWM wanted to have a stake in the export markets as well as keep its share in the rural markets. It perceived itself as an