Home-grown outdoor & adventure gear manufacturing company Wildcraft has made a foray into the Personal Protective Gear (PPG) segment. The company has launched re-usable PPE coverall (Hz Series of Hazmats) and re-usable face masks (respirators) for civil and medical uses.
Alongside using two of their own manufacturing units, one in Karnataka and one in Himachal Pradesh, the company has also tied up with 30 entrepreneurs across 63 factories in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh to cater to increasing demand of PPEs amid coronavirus outbreak.
"We fundamentally believe that there will be shift the way people will look at masks and we are banking on this category which we have been able swing into lifestyle product," says co-founder Gaurav Dublish. Wildcraft says that the company is currently one of the biggest producers, producing nearly 1 million respirators every day. The respirators can last up to 30 washes. Gaurav says that production can easily be ramped up to above 7 crore a month when needed.
The company has also reconfigured its distribution channels in the last two months going beyond online partnerships and other points of sale. To create accessibility, "We are now looking at places like Pharmacies, FMCG groceries stores for sale of our respirators. In mid-March we were at about 5,000 point of sales, today we are present at around 1 lakh point of sales," says co-founder Siddharth Sood.
The company which has secured export licence for its masks to Middle East, Europe, and Mauritius and will also start exporting to Americas shortly. Explaining that while medical grade masks and hazmats are still banned from exports, "With all the concerns of quality coming out of China, we want to make sure the Indian flag flying high, and, we believe that we have a world class product in our hazmat suits that we will start exporting once the ban is lifted," says Siddharth .
The other bright spot is also the defence sector. The company which has had a long standing relationship with the defence sector, had set up a tactical division in 2016 to design, develop and produce tactical gear for the Indian defence sector. It will start producing and delivering 90-liter technical rucksack starting July and close the order this financial year, which is a part of the Rs 80 crore order deal it won from the Defence Ministry last November. In 2011, Wildcraft had set a revenue goal of 1,000 crores by 2020 which the founders are confident of achieving. The company said it has been growing at 25-30% CAGR over the last few years.
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