Year of Establishment: 2003
IndiaMART Member Since: 2011
Sick of MNC culture, a textile engineer returns to his roots to help the people By Kavita Kanan Ch
G Thakuria lost a decade in his life. He will not tell you what he was up to and it is anybody’s guess, given the fact that he is in Assam’s Chhaygaon, which was once a hotbed of insurgency. But today, Thakuria has found his calling - at the Fabric Plus factory. Chhaygaon, 70 km away from Guwahati, has transformed over the years with the Assam Government developing it as an industrial growth centre.
Fabric Plus, on its part, has touched the lives of many like Thakuria. Founded by Dilip Barooah, who was the first to cash in on the changing scenario, the industrial unit is a symbol of the new emerging industrial Assam.
One day he chucked them all, even leaving behind the wealth he earned due to some legal tangle and was back in Mumbai. However he had 27 years of textile experience, contacts and lot of goodwill. “I was back to square one. From driving BMW to riding Bus Number 11,” says Barooah philosophically. But there was a burning desire to establish a company that deals with weaving and exporting of pure silk products made of exquisite Eri, Muga and Mulberry/Pat silk exclusive to the Northeast.
It was a passion for Assam silk, the immense potential it had offshore by value addition and innovation that has seen Fabric Plus catering to fashion giants like Armani, Hugo Boss, Just Cavalli, Chopard and Moschino among other brands.
Barooah started from scratch in 2003 in a 100 sq ft garage space with three members and almost zero investment. They started with R & D and sampling of pure silk product and soon became a registered silk exporting company. Within a year their turnover was Rs 14 lakh and there has been no turning back since then. The projected turnover in 2010 is Rs 700 lakh, almost double of the previous year’s.
As a social entrepreneur for Chhaygaon, Barooah has helped the region’s growth. The Eri silk spinning mill alone has impacted the lives of 350 spinners and weavers and benefitted 4500 people engaged in silk/cocoon rearing and marketing. “Just two years ago there was absolutely nothing in this region, no source of income for the educated youths but with the Fabric Plus project an industrial atmosphere is building up,” says Trailokya Burman, a team member at Fabric Plus.
Burman echoes Barooah’s dislike for titles and designations that stem from the exploitation and everyday human rights violation he saw in the Mumbai mills as a young manager. “We are all part of a family, everyone cooperates and there is no designation whatsoever,” says G Thakuria. Adds Barooah: “The workers were paid peanuts, worked in unhygienic conditions, forced to do overtime and when I was the general manager my work was not to run the textile mill but find ways to retrench labour.” This pained him and he vowed to treat his workers as team members with due respect and dignity. He practises what he preaches and his visiting card is sans any designation.
“Once the people who feared bombs now see their women folk cycling to work, changing their lifestyle and heralding betterment in economy, health and work ethics,” says Barooah. Apart from Chhaygaon, Fabric Plus also has factories at Amingaon (Assam), Dhatrigram (West Bengal) and a unit for hand spinning of Eri silk yarns at Mirza (Assam).
REFORMING ASSAM Industry takes over insurgency Once an Ulfa hotbed, the N-E state is now buzzing wit
ARCHANA Kalita, all of 10 years, was returning home with her two friends, Mimi and Kalpita, from a makeshift village school 4.5 km away in the neighbouring hamlet. They were barefoot, tired and hungry, and were desperate to reach home. The sun was nearly on the horizon as the friends hurried along. Boom!
New silk yarn manufacturing unit in State
New silk yarn manufacturing unit in State
Northeast silk products on the world stage
GUWAHATI: Entrepreneurs from Northeast India have started making their presence felt in the international markets. Silk products from the region have started getting attention on the world stage.
Assam based Fabric Plus Ltd which also has units in West Bengal is exporting designer fabrics for fashion and home fashion, including made-ups like stoles, ties, curtain panels cushions, corporate gifts to European and US market. The company is using natural silks and silk-mixed with natural fibers like linen, wool, cotton for making these products.
The company already has three units and is setting up the fourth one in Chhaygaon near Guwahati. The unit will be inaugurated by union minister of textiles, Dayanadhi Maran on August 19.
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