"GST has had a temporary impact on our business"

 Joe C Mathew   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 8, 2017  | 13:10 IST

As a textile service company, Lindstrom India, the subsidiary of Finland based Lindstrom Group, is the only one of its kind in India. It is the only organised rental work-wear service provider in the country. With service centres in 11 cities, Lindstrom takes care of the supply and maintenance of uniforms of over 100,000 employees in over 1,000 companies across India on a daily basis. Juha Laurio, President & CEO, Lindstrom Group talks to Business Today's Joe C. Mathews on the business prospects the company see in the country.

Is India a supply source for your global requirement? Or are you here just to serve your customers?

When we started in India 10 years ago, we were importing garments to the market.Now we are have service centres in 11 cities and we manufacture or source all the textiles from India. Almost all the work-wear we provide our Indian customers are made locally. Besides giving direct employment to 550 people, we are also giving jobs to the Indian textile industry.

Also we are sourcing some garments for other international operations too as we have presence in 24 countries. So we have a customer base and is also a sourcing base. In India we have the second largest inventory after Finland. We serve more than 1000 customers in India. Of which 70 percent are Indian companies, only the rest are multinationals.

Did the implementation of GST create any disruption in the business? Any slowdown?

Our team was very well prepared for the changes, but some of our customers had some issues, so in that way, it had a slightly temporary impact. However, our business has been increasing 30 - 40 percent every year. We are hoping to continue to grow at the same rate in 2018 too. With 1.3 billion population, the country offers tremendous job opportunities for us. We are not seeing any reduction in our business. At the moment we are focusing on food and pharmaceuticals, automotive, we have some retail customers as well.

What is your growth plan?

Our five year Vision 2020 had set out a plan to double our operations. We have three years left, and we are slightly ahead of our plans.

How do you see the changing regulatory stipulations on hygiene, especially from global regulatory bodies like US Food and Drug Administration, impacting your clients?

The requirement on hygiene and cleaning are increasing all the time. That trend is very clear and one of the values that we provide our customers is that we as experts can handle such requirements.

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