Raj Tents India production visit December 2010

Every year I visit Ahmedabad, India on a production visit to discuss new designs for the following year. Ahmedabad, in the north-western state of Gujerat, is one of India’s most business oriented cities, with a vibrant economy and long tradition of textile production. It is also the city that Mahatma Ghandi made his base during the Indian Independence Movement and retains great pride in the association. Raj Tents developed our manufacturing connection with the factory owner, Jitu Bhai, in Ahmedabad from 2005 to enable us to have better control of production and be able to turn around custom orders quickly, moving to the current location in a new business park in the textile area of the city in 2008. It’s always a pleasure to see friends and colleagues and tap into the vibrant hustle and bustle of India.

I have posted some pictures so you can get a feel for operations in Ahmedabad. The first is a group photo from when the factory opened in 2005.

We would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all the team in Ahmedabad. We often work on short lead times for custom items and they always rise to the challenge.

Special thanks go out to:

Jitu Desai who runs operations in Ahmedabad. Jitu has various other business interests, his main being his family steel firm, founded by his father. He has lived in Ahmedabad all his life and has the wide ranging contacts and local savvy that make operations run smoothly. It is always a highlight for me to drive around the streets of the city with him and have the details brought to life with his commentary. Indian society is highly differentiated and complex, with its many castes and conventions, and he knows a lot about how things work and why.

Brijesh – In charge of administration and quality control. Brijesh is a fully accredited quality control professional and works in close association with the factory as well as coordinating with suppliers.

Krishna – Master Tailor, who came to Ahmedabad from Mauritius where he ran a production department for UK company Marks and Spencer, before which he had been working for M & S in Dubai and Muscat as well.

Mani – Supervisor and Krishna’s # 2. He worked with Krishna at M & S and the two of them make a great duo.

Alpesh – Inventory Control, who has worked for Jitu Bhai for many years.

Amit – Main Tailor, who has been working with Jitu Bhai since 2007

Shailesh – Main Tailor, who started as an apprentice in 2008 and has become an integral part of the team.

Jyoti – Supervises embroidery works.

Also to all the other core crew who work on Raj Tents production and keep standards high, Akbar, Niki,Ankit, Mansi and Dipal.

I also went on a sourcing and inspiration tour in the south of India and will be putting up a post with some pictures from the trip in the next post.