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Mr. Dilip Dandekar, Chairman & Managing Director, Camlin Ltd., took charge from June 1, 2002. This was following the retirement of Mr. Subhash Dandekar, from the post of Executive Chairman after a period of 43 years at the helm. Mr. Dilip Dandekar is also Director of various other prestigious companies such as Indo Schottle Auto Parts Pvt. Ltd., Nilmac Packaging Industries Ltd. and Camlin International Ltd. He is a member of the executive committee of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is the President of Indian Merchants’ Chamber and on the governing board of Bombay First and the ICFAI Business School.
Camlin Ltd. was incorporated on 24th December, 1946, as a private limited company with the main object of taking over the running business of Dandekar & Co., which was founded by late G.P. Dandekar and D.P. Dandekar in 1931 at Girgaum, Mumbai. The Company manufactures stationary products, art materials and pharmaceuticals. The Company was converted into a public limited company on 24th March, 1988 and the name was changed to Camlin Ltd. During the year 2004-05 Camlin had three Strategic Business Units, viz. Consumer Products, Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals. From 1st April, 2005, Camlin has restricted the operations of its Pharmaceutical Division, only to oncology products and thus, it has now practically only two Divisions viz. Consumer Products Division and Fine Chemical Division.
Speaking with Jasmine Kohli of IIFL, Dilip Dandekar says, "Going by percentage growth in the past 2-3 years we are quite hopeful to cross Rs4bn in topline in FY11."
How do you see the prospects for the stationary market?
Basically, stationary or education field is growing at a very rapid pace, as the Indian economy is growing. So, there is a growing emphasis on education.
Even in the rural areas, there is a lot of stress being laid on education, as the Government has increased spending on ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’. We expect the stationary industry to grow at average of 15-20%.
Brief us about your product mix?
Our product mix consists of Fine Art and Hobby products, which are used by professionals. We also have the school colour group, which basically manufactures various types of colours used in schools.
We also have office stationary products consisting of Glue Stick, Correction Pens, and Stamp Pads. Other range is of writing instruments consisting of High Polymer Pen, Wooden Pencils and Ball Pens.
Which segment contributes the most to topline?
The school segment has a bright future, which is growing very fast, followed by the office segment.
We have regular school activity programmes. This is known as ‘All India Camel Colour Contest’. In this contest, we have 7,000 schools and ~3-3.5 million students’ participation. This year we are targeting around 10,000 schools and ~5mn students.
What is the revenue generated from various segments?
Our products can be broadly classified under three categories, namely, School & Education Products, Office Products and Fine Art & Hobby Colours.
The overall revenue composition of these categories during the year 2009-10 was 62%, 25% and 13%, respectively.
What is your capex plan for FY11?
The capex will be ~Rs150mn for this fiscal and we intend to raise the capital through internal accruals.
This investment will be for manufacturing of writing instruments like Markers, Mechanical and High Polymer Lead and Colour activity at Jammu.
With this capex, we are expanding our capacity, by 25%, so as to meet the growing demand.
Any new plant or new product on the anvil? Comment on your expansion plans?
We have four manufacturing facilities namely at Tarapur, Toloja, Vasai and Jammu.
The thrust is on expansion of our Vasai and Jammu facilities. We plan to increase production at Jammu by around 25-30%.
It has also been a practice with Camlin to continuously introduce more varieties in the existing line of products. Some of the product variants that we plan to add are in the Marker Range where we plan to add products such as Textile Markers, Surgical Markers, Multimark Markers etc.
We also plan to introduce a separate range of Mechanical and Clutch pencils with varying lead sizes. We also plan to introduce School Bags and Exam Pads for school going kids in the coming months.
Going by the percentage growth for the past 2-3 years we are quite hopeful to cross the topline of Rs4bn in the current financial year.
Any game changing initiative on the cards for Camlin?
Basically, our core competency is in Art Materials and Stationery products but with the growing thrust on Education we are planning to foray in this arena. We already have found the niche in pre-school education and would like to expand with years to come.
What is the progress with respect to Alphakids?
After the tremendous success of the project Alphakids at Andheri, Mumbai, we have started two more preschools at Thane and at Kharghar. By the year 2013, we plan to add 50 schools all over India.
What is your edge over competitors?
Despite competition from Chinese brands, unorganized players from domestic market and Global Giants, we have retained our leadership and our strong brand equity by giving qualitative products at competitive prices coupled with strong distribution network.
Are your products environments friendly?
Yes, our products are eco-friendly. We have received the world's standard certification - ASTM (American Society of Testing Material) and also European Standard – EN 71 which certifies that the products are environmental friendly and non-toxic.
Brief us about your financials?
The Annual Turnover of Camlin for FY10 was Rs3.30bn as against Rs2.83bn in FY09, registering a growth of 16.81%. The Net Profit (PAT) for FY10 stood at Rs120.4mn as against Rs61.1mn in the previous fiscal year. Our net profit grew at 96.94% last fiscal as against 59.53% in the previous year.
We invested Rs439.2mn in capital assets during FY09 and FY10.
Reasons for this growth can be attributed to the aggressive focus on semi urban markets and introduction of new products such as Markers & Correction Products.
We have also done extremely well in our Scholastic range which is mainly witnessed in the first quarter as June-July is time when schools re-open. This business is a seasonal business.
How do you cope with seasonality?
Camlin has a wide range of products and not all products in our portfolio are necessarily seasonal in nature.
We do experience seasonality in the School and Education range but during non-peak season we try and mitigate the revenue shortfall by aggressively promoting the non-scholastic range.
On the operational front, we try and strike a right balance between capacity expansion and inventory carrying cost and try to optimize both.
Like we generally start building inventories for the season that begins in March, as early as December.
Comment on your marketing and brand promotion activities?
"Come Grow with Us" is our motto. In line with it our promotional activities begin at the school level. We have been in touch with students/children through our ‘All Indian Camel Colour Contest’, which has been going on for last 25 years and over 3.5mn students participate in this activity.
Also for hobby range of products, the promotion activities are initiated through hobby classes. We also adopt other promotional means viz media promotion during the school season.
What is your message to shareholders?
We were a single product company. Today we have achieved our mission and have over 2000 innovative products. Camel and Camlin are the most recognised Stationery and Art Material brands in India.
We follow all the Corporate/Governance norms and believe in giving value to the consumers and taking care of the investors in the best possible way.