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Wal-Mart's entry turns boon for small exporters

Sep 20, 2007 09:44 PM IST Business Business

Mumbai: Even as opposition to organised trade continues there are some people in smaller towns who are reaping the benefits. JVS exports, based in the Karur district of Tamil Nadu has emerged as Wal-Mart's biggest supplier of kitchen textile.

JVS Exports, Wal-Mart's leading supplier in kitchen accessories sent its first shipment to Wal-mart in 1998.The order was a Christmas promotional order worth Rs 3 crore. Since then, it has added 35 items to its supply basket for Wal-Mart. And today this figure has grown up to Rs 70 crore that constitute 35 per cent of the company's Rs 200 crore turnover. But along with bulk orders, Wal-Mart also brought to the table, certain key advantages.

M Britto Joseph, CEO, JVS Exports says, “Supplying to Wal-Mart was a major marketing tool for me. Because I was a supplier to Wal-Mart I was able to supply to one among the top 10 stores in America, Canada, England and even South Africa.

Meeting the Wal-Mart order also means an increase in employment. JVS exports factory set up exclusively to meet the Wal-Mart demand five-years back with just 100 people, today employs 600 workers, 70 per cent of who are women. And their wages have increased by 50 per cent in the past 5-years.

“Level of income has gone up and so has the standard of living. 10-years back, two-wheelers and even gas stove were luxuries. All those that were luxuries in 1998 today is a necessity today,” says M Britto Joseph.

But as they say, there are no free lunches. Wal-Mart walks in as a customer with a list of demands. And one of them is fulfilling the corporate social responsibility.

JVS Exports while constructing its factory found out that the water in the nearby areas is not even fit for construction. Hence once the company was up and running, it constructed an osmosis water reservoir that provides drinking water to its workers and even their families

And not just that, the company has also invested in high power water pumps that provide clean drinking water for forty thousand people in Karur.