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Friday 22 May 2015

Splendid Weaves

TK Chandran, Chairman, The Chennai Silks


Well-known for its exquisite silk saris and finely crafted jewellery, The Chennai Silks has established its presence in south India as a garment manufacturer, retailer and exporter.


The Chennai Silks, India

Popular actor Anushka resplendent in a Vivaha Silk Saree. Inset: A Vivaha sari recognised as the world’s most expensive sari in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records.

The Largest Textile Kingdom in Tamilnadu

Headquartered in Tamil Nadu’s textile hub Tirupur, The Chennai Silks is a `1000 crore (US $195 million approximately) worth Group. Started in 1962 as a weaving unit by A Kulandaivel Mudaliar, it has expanded rapidly and is now a conglomerate with business interests in textile retailing, jewellery, manufacturing, garment exports, spinning, fabric processing and energy.


The flag bearer of The Chennai Silks image is a range of bridal and wedding saris conceptualised under the brand Vivaha Silk Sarees. Hand-woven in its own handloom units in Arni and Kanchipuram, there is a Vivaha sari for every wedding related occasion – engagement, nalangu (a pre-wedding ritual), wedding, reception and gifting. A Vivaha sari that is retailed at `40 lakh (US $79000 approximately) has gone down in the Guinness Book of World Records and Limca Book of Records as the world’s most expensive sari.


The quality of its products is attested by the Silk Mark and Handloom Mark, and two of its showrooms in Chennai and Coimbatore have also earned the ISO 9001:2000 certification for complying with International Quality Management Systems. Among its loyal customers are actors Anushka, Radhika and Kavya Madhavan.


A large selection of contemporary and traditional designs at SKTM


It has nine large showrooms across Tamil Nadu and one in Kerala that sell a wide range of western and traditional garments in silk, soft silk, synthetic, cotton, linen and denim for men, women and children for both casual and formal occasions. It retails menswear under the brands Vitomine, Harolt and Rich Craft, and has an exclusive collection of children’s wear called Bublee.


The Group has a chain of jewellery showrooms across Tamil Nadu called Sree Kumaran Thangamaligai (SKTM). The first to be BIS-certified in the state, it is well-known for its variety, purity and competitive prices. The jewellery collection includes bangles, necklaces, earrings and finger rings in gold, platinum, silver, diamond and precious stones. With a choice of customised designs and reworked antique patterns, they are crafted with care and make for a dazzling display.


One of the Group companies, SCM Garments Pvt Ltd, set up in 1989, is a vertically integrated garment manufacturing company, with facilities that include spinning, knitting, dyeing, printing, embroidery and sewing. Its factories adhere to AQL 2.5 Level Quality Standards with quality being monitored at every stage of the manufacturing process. Another vertically integrated company Aathava Garments specialises in woven garments. These two companies export to the Middle East and Germany.


SCM Textile Spinners, set up in 2003, manufactures 100 percent combed cotton yarn; yarn is also spun from organic cotton. At SCM Textile Processing Mills, which is equipped with advanced German machines, fabric is processed according to the Oeko-Tex 100 standards. The factory also has a modern effluent treatment plant, zero discharge waste water recovery plant and reverse osmosis technology.


The Group has made a foray into the manufacture of precast concrete products, setting up Teemage Precast In, in 2011. In an effort to reduce the impact on the environment, it has also set up the SCM Energy Division with 40 windmills that effectively generate energy for its own units.


As part of its corporate social responsibility, the Group assists underprivileged children by providing them school notebooks, clothes and uniforms through the AKN Trust.


With plans underway to open new stores across Tamil Nadu, TK Chandran, Chairman, The Chennai Silks, says, “Our unique value system has made us what we are today. An ethical approach to business ensures integrity in all our dealings, making us synonymous with reliability and trustworthiness. Our core focus has always been to make sure that each person connected with us - our vendor, employee or customer – finds our association fulfilling as well as fruitful. As we change with the times, we will ensure that our values stay constant, because more than anything else, we will remain a Group that values its values.”