Lindstorm India offers corporate rentals uniforms

By Venkatachari Jagannathan | 25 Oct 2007


Chennai: The Chennai-based Lindstorm India Services Pvt Ltd, the wholly owned Indian subsidiary of the €202-million Finnish company Lindstorm Oy, has launched its corporate uniform rental services.

"Our work wear services include designing the work wear, fabric purchase, washing, tailoring, delivery, laundry, storage, repair/replacement of damaged garment and final disposal," says Jukka Roiha, president and CEO.

In India the company is targeting manufacturing, electronics manufacturers and the services sector. The company''s first client is Chennai-based Nokia vendor, Perlos Telecommunication & Electronic Components (India) Pvt Ltd.

According to Roiha, the Indian subsidiary is talking to other Nokia vendors located in the Nokia Telecom Park at Sriperumbudur.

Presently most of the Indian companies provide their workers with the uniform fabric and a stitching allowance. Often, the uniform is stitched at company authorised tailoring units. The workers are also paid a weekly washing allowance.

So, is there a market for renting uniforms? "Renting the work wear is the latest trend in this part of the globe," says Ajai Bhaskar, business unit manager, Lindstrom India. "Studies show that a worker who is provided with a clean uniform on his first day of work has more pride and the productivity is high. Moreover, management time could be better spent than on looking at fabric sourcing."

"In the traditional method, the amount spent by a company on the uniform is a sunk cost when a worker quits. On the other hand with us the company pays rent on the basis of work wear used daily," Bhaskar elaborates.

Lindstorm India will collect the garment rent on a weekly basis, Roiha explains.

As to the investment in the Chennai facility he says the company has rented some washing machines and the driers from a group outfit in Finland.

The major investment will be in the fabric as one worker would need a minimum of three sets of uniforms. "The initial investment on the fabric at the minimum per worker will be Rs600. The other operational costs are power, detergents, wages and the like," said Bhaskar.

In the case of specialised garments the investment would be further higher. For instance Lindstorm provides electrostatic work wear for Perlos Telecommunication''s workers. The tailored garments were imported from China.

Lindstorm will collect the uniforms when a worker leaves the company and would issue the same to another worker who fits that size. "Recycling of the used uniform depends on the contract we sign with the client," says Varis Smilga, director, Lindstorm.

The Chennai facility can handle around 50,000 garments per month. "Additional investments would be made based on the business growth. Ours is a family owned business which is debt free. Hence investments are made cautiously," adds Roiha.

Speaking about the water requirement, Bhaskar says, the company has set up an effluent treatment plant and the waste water will be recycled efficiently.

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