Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant Dinesh Nolkha found himself in the city of Bhilwara in the early 90s, looking for a change of pace. Newly qualified, he wanted to take control of his career by working for himself. It was then that Bhilwara spoke to him with a soft, robust and luxuriant voice that had echoed through the ages – textiles.
Any Indian company entering the textile market has quite a legacy to contend with. The Mughal Empire of India just about perfected the art of textile manufacturing, and prior to the arrival of the British in the 19th century, Indian cotton was one of the world’s top consumables.
Innovative and skilful, the Indian textile workers of that era set a standard that continues today. Bhilwara, in the state of Rajasthan, became so synonymous with the textile industry that even now it’s known as the textile city of India – no small claim in a country that played such a leading role in the textile saga. Dinesh’s ultimate decision was inspired by the city’s rich heritage.
“I thought maybe I should just start a manufacturing company,” he recalls. Armed with seed capital given by his father and his own years of experience in analysing finances, he formed Nitin Spinners in 1992 with his father as co-founder. “At that time, India was on the cusp of huge growth in textiles,” he explains.
“A lot of licensing restrictions were being lifted, and although India wasn’t then a very big exporter of textiles, I could see the potential to send what we could make to Europe and America.” The convergence of situations made for a “very ripe” opportunity to reintroduce Bhilwara textiles to the world.
“So we hit the road manufacturing cotton textiles specifically,” Dinesh says. “We started just spinning, then we went on to make fabrics with no dyeing, then we began dyeing and finishing the fabrics and, at the same time, expanded our spinning capacity. The growth was very satisfying.”
Indeed, Nitin has experienced annual growth of anywhere between 19 and 40% since its establishment. “We started with a manufacturing capacity of about four tonnes per day,” Dinesh shares.
“Now, it’s about 200 tonnes with a lot of value additions and finished products.” Today, the company is a leader among India’s cotton yarn and knitted fabric manufacturers. Able to spin, knit, dye, print and finish fabrics at its Bhilwara headquarters, Nitin Spinners prides itself on customer satisfaction without compromise.
“Our customers prefer us because we offer the best possible quality in the fastest possible manner,” says Dinesh, who is now its Managing Director. “After almost 30 years in the industry, we’re known for that. We don’t go searching for customers.”
Despite this, Nitin Spinners is, according to Dinesh, primarily a customer-oriented company. “We make all our products as per the customer’s needs and requirements,” he says. “Our first focus is always to satisfy our customers, and never more so than in these testing times.” Innovation is another priority, particularly when it comes to sustainability.
“We’re always looking at how we can minimise wastage of water and energy,” Dinesh reveals. “If you’re going to reach a higher level of productivity, you not only have to be able to maintain it, but sustain it, so we’re constantly re-evaluating how we can conserve our resources. It’s a main measure of success for us.”
In ancient times, Indian textile technology was among the most innovative in the world. Some things never change: Dinesh ensures the company uses the latest technology in the textile arena through close relationships with its manufacturing partners. Swiss textile machinery company Rieter is chief among those partnerships.
“Many of their new products are tested and trialled within our company,” he points out. Japanese manufacturer Murata is another, supplying Nitin Spinners with winder machines. “We do a lot of research and development in-house,” Dinesh says.
“So, when we need new products developed, these suppliers help us create them at the lowest possible cost and best possible efficiency. They’re joint relationships, and very productive.” It also maintains strong relationships with the suppliers of its raw materials. “Spectrum International supplies the majority of organic cottons to us from the field,” he shares.
“We’ve been in business with them for more than 10 years now, and they’ve grown with us.” If the success of Nitin Spinners tells us anything, it’s that the ancient demand for quality Indian textiles never went away.
“The biggest challenge is volatility,” Dinesh admits. “Yes, we’re a consistent producer from a quality perspective and we’re very cost efficient. We take a lot of care to be that way, and that’s a strength of the company. But volatility on the demand side of things is always a threat.”
The biggest threat in recent times has been COVID-19, which threw global supply chains into chaos and upended the stability of the textile market. “When COVID-19 started, it was a disaster. We never thought that the factories would be closed for so long,” he reflects.
“But now, we feel that the experience strengthened us and gave us confidence. If you provide high-quality products and service to your customer, you can survive.” This lesson, Dinesh explains, has left Nitin cautiously optimistic about the future. “The challenges will be there, of course, but we feel we can take care of that.”
Indian cotton remains one of the world’s most desired fabrics, and Dinesh feels a strong adherence to the cause he’s taken on. “We are totally committed to our customers, our suppliers, our employees and our stakeholders,” he stresses.
With this commitment comes focus, and with focus comes growth. It’s a philosophy that echoes the formidable legacy of Indian textiles, which grew to dominate the global textile market at its zenith. “Over the next three to five years, we will continue to grow at the same pace because we are committed and we are focused,” Dinesh says. “Without that, you cannot succeed.”
Proudly supported by: