Mallcom is growing its PPE business with new products

  • Interviews
  • Feb 09,22
Today, Mallcom is a well-known player in the field of personal safety sector as it produces numerous products for head-to-toe protection such as helmets, face masks, garments, rainwear, leather gloves, nitrile gloves, shoes, etc. Being a fully integrated manufacturer and brand owner gives Mallcom an edge over the others. They not only sell but manufacture most of the products that help them command price and quality as stated by Giriraj Kumar Mall, Executive Director, Mallcom India Ltd.
Mallcom is growing its PPE business with new products

Today, Mallcom is a well-known player in the field of personal safety sector as it produces numerous products for head-to-toe protection such as helmets, face masks, garments, rainwear, leather gloves, nitrile gloves, shoes, etc. Being a fully integrated manufacturer and brand owner gives Mallcom an edge over the others. They not only sell but manufacture most of the products that help them command price and quality as stated by Giriraj Kumar Mall, Executive Director, Mallcom India Ltd.

Mallcom has emerged as a leading player in the personal protective equipment (PPE) segment. How do you see this evolution?
Mallcom has established itself as the integrated manufacturer and distributor for head-to-toe protection and is a valued partner for major importers in their brand name. With 13 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in India, the products that are being delivered throughout the globe carry required certifications. Mallcom has captive test labs in each of its production units that manages standards and ensures quality. Generous investment in upgradation and innovation on the lab has helped us to innovate faster and customise products. Mallcom produces numerous product categories covering head-to-toe such as helmets, face masks, garments, rainwear, leather gloves, nitrile gloves, and shoes.

To provide a one-stop solution, we also deal in eyewear, ear protection, and disposable synthetic gloves. Mallcom has a capacity of producing over 1.5 million pieces of garments annually using finest craftsmanship and technical fabrics. The company produces more than 1 million pairs of leather gloves and 1.5 million+ pairs of nitrile gloves every month. The leather for our shoes and gloves is sourced internally from our tannery where the company has the ability to create treated leather also.

How do you analyse the performance of your company in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21? Are you seeing a pick-up in demand?
The COVID 19 pandemic created an unprecedented demand for PPE, mostly in the healthcare industry, which had resulted in their shortages around the world. Mallcom had ramped up its production of medical wear and facemasks to meet growing market demands and for ensuring supplies of essential PPEs to frontline professionals. As the number of coronavirus cases around the world continued to increase, the potential demand for personal protective equipment started increasing. In response, we at Mallcom ramped up production of disposable coveralls, FFP2 masks, 2 ply and 3ply masks to meet the industrial and central and state government demands.

What changes have you witnessed in the industry due to Covid? What were the key learnings from the Covid pandemic?
Just-in-time inventory management is a good theoretical concept but breaks the system in case of exigencies such as a global pandemic. As the world is becoming more global and accessible, people were of the view that there can be reliance on different countries, but such an event showed that a country needs to be self-reliant to certain extent and not highly dependent.

The industry has mostly been working on shift or hours worked. However, this has to be gradually shifted to task-based work to ensure productivity. The importance of mental health and hygiene in a workplace. We cannot simply just care about physical health.

What makes your products & solutions unique from those of their competitors?
Being a fully integrated manufacturer and brand owner gives Mallcom an edge over the others. We not only sell but manufacture most of the products that help us command price and quality. Having an in-house logistics team allows us to take control over supply chain and delivery timelines thereby increasing customer satisfaction.

Our multiple product categories give us the freedom to consolidate containers and provide smaller MOQs to customers. Being listed on India’s largest bourse gives our associates and customers the confidence of our financial stability and longevity. Our in-house state-of-the-art testing laboratories and consistent partnership with testing bodies allows us to bring best quality products in the market.

Which new products & solutions have you introduced in the market in the last few years? Are there any plans to launch new products in the near future?
We have introduced number of products in recent times to meet the market demands. A few of them are listed below:

  • Cut-resistant seamless nitrile glove with Dyneema fibre: Mallcom has launched world’s strongest hand protective gear made of Dyneema fibre. Innovative cutting-edge solutions now come in the form of Mallcom Nitrile Glove Range. NBR coats on cut-resistant seamless liners that are made of Dyneema fibre. These nitrile gloves are uniformly coated with acro-nitrile butadiene rubber, also commercially known as nitrile rubber, that helps in taking care of major stress points which are certified with EN 388:2016 + A1:2018: Revised Standard.
  • Sport safety shoe: Mallcom launched sport safety shoes namely Freddie, paying a tribute to the rockstar Freddie Mercury. These shoes have high tear and tensile strength with upper material protecting toes from falling objects and from being crushed. Freddie shoes are polyurethane direct injected double density sole shoes with TPU shock absorbers. The shoes mainly are adapted to modern design with bright colours with special shock-absorbing systems, non-metallic composite toecap, no metal parts, light and flexible, microfiber, knitted or crocheted fabrics, breathable and comfortable.
  • Polyurethane rainwear: Mallcom protects from all kinds of weather conditions and keeps you safe through our lightweight and the portable waterproof rainwear. We keep you from getting wet with our PU coated jacket and trouser rainwear with reflective silver piping - Stratus & Nimbus. Our gears are perfect for daily work, fishing, hiking, camping, cycling, mills, road construction, mining, shipyards, forestry, utilities, hunting, food processing etc. with the prefect rainwear size with comfort fit. We are confident that you will love this rain gear. Our emergency rain gear adopts through front closure by zipper and secured with flap and Velcro, detachable hood with draw string adjuster, elasticated pull-on pant with adjustable Velcro on leg bottom, which is safe, convenient, and easy to wear and take off. One size fits most people, both men and women. The edge of Mallcom rainwear over others are-our protective raingear seams tested positive for water resistance under European norms, lightweight rainwear with non-sticky properties enhancing comfort, DMF free product ensures protection of skin from carcinogenic materials.
  • Lightweight safety helmet: Mallcom’s new lightweight and durable helmets - Jasper while meeting a wide range of standard performance requirements are also available with a choice of ratchet or zip adjustment for adaptability. Our helmets are compatible with a wide range of safety products and metal working accessories (such as eye wear, earmuff) to provide the complete solution for your application. These UV resistant HDPE Safety helmets conformed to use at temperatures ranging from 10 deg C to 50 deg C.
  • Did you develop & launch any new products & solutions during the Covid pandemic?
    Even with all the hurdles, our talented team was undeterred and was able to add new products such as surgical masks, sealed disposable coveralls, shoe covers, and head covers to our product offerings aimed at frontline workers. We did not stop here, as per our ethos, we ensured that these products were tested and certified within 90 days of development.

    With an overall investment of Rs 40 lakh, we were able to develop and certify the following:

  • Surgical mask: European (EN 14683) - Type II and IIR; and Indian (BIS 16289)
  • Respiratory half mask: European (EN 149) – Type FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3; and Indian (BIS 9473)
  • Disposable coverall: Indian (BIS 17423:2020)
  • All of this combined helped us do our bit in the mammoth fight against the pandemic by providing our products to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), West Bengal and Medica Super specialty hospital to name a few frontline clients.

    How is Mallcom helping its customers to overcome some of the challenges that they face today?
    We are facing huge issues on fake products while selling online where other seller tries to sell on our listing without any authorisation. But so far, each time the marketplaces have responded with a common solution to this issue to place a sample order for problematic listing from unauthorised sellers, which ultimately lead to either that seller account closure or removal of a few listings from their account. Also, we have noticed a number of manufacturers had been selling medical face masks and other PPE for healthcare settings with “fake” certificates.

    Do you think the government’s initiatives to push for domestic manufacturing will benefit the industry?
    The Government of India is putting its effort to revive the manufacturing industry with satiable impact on production of global standard. Schemes like PM MITRA (Pradhan Mantri Mega Integrated Textile Region and Apparel), PLI (Production Linked Incentive) are few initiatives towards this mission. Mallcom, which was a 100% exporting company till 2008, emphasises the need of positioning Indian production in the global market with substantial quality and standards and therefore the company is going to cater to the European market with products from its Ahmedabad facility.

    Additionally, the recent approval by Union Cabinet on PM MITRA scheme paves the way to develop an integrated textile value chain; setting up of seven mega textile parks using the '5F' Formula (farm to fibre; fibre to factory; factory to fashion; fashion to foreign) implies a complete approach utilising the enriched industrial ecosystem. As per the Ministry report, the technical textile in India has gained momentum in the last five years and it is currently growing at 8% per annum.

    Simultaneously, a steep rise is evident in the export graph of PPE segment. According to the report by the Union Ministry, India has exported more than 20 million PPE and over 40 million N-95 masks last year post the outbreak of Covid 19 pandemic – this indicates how we have empowered the industry’s core strength of manufacturing and raw material procurement.

    To make the “Swadeshi “slogan a reality, we evolved products during pandemic for frontline workers to contribute to the society.

    With Make in India initiative (manufacturing of disposable medical PPE garment), we worked with enhanced focus on technology and innovation along with reputation of producing high quality products using best in class machinery to meet all global and national standards.

    Mallcom, having a presence in more than 50 countries on 6 continents, have drastically exported PPE kits during the COVID era. It is very comforting to us that our in-house PPE kit production is increasing fast.

    How is your company adopting automation?
    Mallcom is in the process of increasing investment in fully-automatic face mask machinery, robotic arm for manufacturing shoes, and automated seamless liner machines.

    Sustainability and environment awareness are growing in the industry. How is your company gearing up for this trend?
    Mallcom realises its responsibility towards society and works towards sustainability and environment awareness using renewable sources of energy including eco-friendly use of technology as alternate source of energy.

    We have also taken following green measures:

  • Using renewable sources of energy for sustainable production
  • E-waste recycling
  • 65kW solar energy for 25% of leather goods
  • 20 lakh kCAL/hour for100% nitrile gloves
  • Use of solar panels and biomass for heat and electricity
  • Generated over 65kW of solar energy and 30 lakhs kCal of biomass from rice husk
  • Environment-friendly green packaging for all our products
  • What kind of new opportunities are you looking to tap in the market?
    We see a huge demand in the domestic market as the regulatory changes to the occupational health and safety standards in India will give an impetus to organised players in the domestic PPE market.

    There has been an increase in overall awarenessin providing safe working conditions due to the regulations in OSH (occupational health and safety) which in turn has ensured that certifications and quality standards play a vital and important role in selecting suppliers as the market matures.

    With one of the lowest costs of mobile data and increasing broadband penetration in India, we see e-commerce as a growing opportunity as India moves towards a digital economy.

    What are the short- and long-term growth plans for your company?
    The coronavirus crisis has resulted in financial jeopardy for many developing and developed countries across the globe. But, with time and resolution, we made a plan to combat this challenging time and get back to normalcy. We plan to outperform the Indian market growth by adopting new technology, and focussing on PPEs with comfort, design, and safety.

    Moreover, we are expanding our PPE segment through strategic partnerships, new product launch & development. Also, Mallcom’s nitrile gloves are gaining popularity in the healthcare and other chemical manufacturing sector due to their allergy-free properties, durable nature, and puncture resistance properties.

    A large garment facility for protective gears is now coming up at Ghatakpukur, in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal and the plant is expected to be commissioned by April 2022 and fully operational in the next 2 years. Mallcom has also recently brought on stream a facility in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Apart from Kolkata and Ahmedabad, it has manufacturing units in Haridwar.

    We are planning to grow by building strategic partnerships in the Middle East and APAC regions that are already in process with the further expansion of our PPE business with more strategic alliances in the international market. Product developments, portfolio expansion, distribution network expansion in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East are some of the strategically driven plans for the year 2022. The firm realises the rise of digital age and would be keeping itself updated to be present across multiple social media platforms. Promotion of certified products and their acceptability against stiff competition from low priced products from the unorganised sector was one of the major challenges faced in the earlier days. Establishment of a strong dealer network across the Indian sub-continent ensuring effective last mile connect with the consumers.

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