With an investment of Rs 13,000 and power of belief, this entrepreneur built Rs 56 Cr silicone rubber company
Alpesh Gandhi does not come from a business background. His parents were teachers. Hailing from Savarkundla district in Amreli, Gujarat, Alpesh did his engineering in rubber technology and went to work with several companies before shifting to Mumbai.
While doing his MBA, he became a trader to earn some extra income. After completing his MBA, he looked for jobs, but was unsuccessful. At the same time, his trading business was gradually expanding.
“I decided to focus solely on the business because I was getting a good response from customers,” he says.
In 1998, Alpesh startedPvt. Ltd. with an investment of Rs 13,000, which was the last salary credited to him. The company manufactures silicone-rubber products for the pharmaceutical, food, and medicine industries.
To begin with, Alpesh started the company and managed everything alone. He took orders by himself, and got the products manufactured and sold them. Gradually, his team strength rose to a hundred people. He then rented a small gala on which he set up his manufacturing unit. In 2003, the firm became a private limited company.
The company sources raw materials from Wacker Chemie AG, Germany.
One of Alpesh’s consultants once asked him about his future plans. “Without much thought, I casually told him Rs 10 crore,” he says.
But he became serious about something that he had spoken without giving much thought. He would make monthly plans of what he wanted to achieve and started applying the power of belief, inspired from the book ‘The Secret’. “I started believing that my company had already clocked Rs 10 crore,” he says.
Belief and action transformed things, and the company reached a turnover of Rs 10 crore in 2010. Today, the firm clocks more than Rs 56 crore turnover and employs around 375 people. The company also has several certifications for quality standards from several international bodies.
The second breakthrough was in setting up a factory in Silvassa. “It took me almost two years to set up the factory. We had to get 30 to 40 licenses. There was a lot of hostility from the locals who wanted us to hire people from that region only.”
Another breakthrough that Alpesh fondly mentions was the introduction of clean rooms in the factory in 2011.
The hoses and tubes manufactured by the company are mostly used by the pharmaceutical or medicine industry and hence the production process requires a lot of caution and precision. Moreover, the companies have to ensure that the products are manufactured in clean environments with zero entry to viruses, bacteria, and contaminating elements.
Installing clean room facilities in the factory increased the trust of the customers and many companies that were initially importing some products from the US and Europe, started reaching out to Ami Polymer Pvt. Ltd.
In 2013, the company implemented Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to centralise systems and further implemented Navision ERP. Today, with two manufacturing facilities, the production capacity of the company is around 25,000 tonnes and is currently operating at 18,000 tonnes.
The company has a vast distribution network in India and even exports to countries like the US, Korea, Japan, and Gulf nations. It competes with players such as Europe-based Helix and US-based Advantapure, etc.
The road ahead
Ami Polymer Pvt. Ltd. resumed its business activity on April 20, after a brief halt in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. Alpesh says that it will take a lot of time to recover and regain the momentum that was there in the pre-coronavirus time.
Talking about future plans, he says, “I am looking at developing a world class manufacturing facility in Mumbai that will give India an edge over its international competitors. But this requires a huge investment.” Alpesh had already purchased the land just before the nation-wide lockdown was imposed.
He believes that with his forward-looking attitude, he will tide over the current times.