Penning A Success Story

Drawing and painting is a part of everyone’s childhood memory and one brand which brings that memory back is Camlin. The stationery and art brand has been dedicated towards creativity and hobby building. Over the years, its journey has been built on the right technology implemented just in the right time. V. K. Marathe, Sr. General Manager IT, Kokoyu Camlin shares this journey of IT implemention.
Tell us about the inception of Kokoyu Camlin
Inspired by the Swadeshi movement, Camlin was started as a partnership firm in 1931. Its initial products included Fountain pen ink; Stamp ink, Adhesive paste, Gum, Sealing wax, chalk, etc. On 24th December 1946, the company tunred Private Limited and became “Camlin Private Limited”. On 24th March, 1988, the company converted to a Public Limited and listed entity on the BSE. Today, the company has around 3000 SKUs. The range can be broadly classified as 1) School and Education products, 2) Fine art and hobby products 3) Office stationery products, 4) Technicaland drawing instruments, and 5) Note books.

What are the major milestones in the success story of Camlin?
“Camel” and “Camlin” are one of the recognized stationery and art material brands in India. In the year 2009, the brand “Camlin” was adjudged by Planman Marcom as ’Power Brand’ in the stationery category. Also, in the same year, its product “Krafty Glue” was awarded ‘Product of the year’ by productof the year (India) Private Limited. In the year 2011, its flagship promotional event, the All India Camel Colour Contest (AICCC) attracted 6,601 entries from schools across India, which is a world record and finds its mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest art competition in the world. In 2011 Japanese Stationery Company Kokuyo Limited acquired majority stake in Camlin, and the company became Kokuyo Camlin. Kokuyo Co. Ltd is a 110 years old stationery company. Kokuyo is listed in 1971 at Tokyo Stock Exchange. Kokuyo is also into Furniture, Online & catalog selling, Retail Business.

No. of Employees: 1400
Turnover (FY 2015-16): 641.97cr

How is the company readying itself for future growth?
The company presently has large number of distributors and C&F agents across India through which it is increasing in retail reach. It plans to soon come up with a new and bigger factory at Patalganga, Maharashtra. 
How has technology fuelled the growth of Camlin?
In the year 1980, the company introduced integrated business package called HP System. Around in the year 2000, the company introduced an ERP called MOVEX. Accounting, Purchase and production functions was functioning on Movex. In the year 2008 January, it implemented SAP in all departments to enhance overall efficiency across the organization. The company implemented all basic modules, additionally Project systems (PS) and Plant Maintenance (PM). In the year 2014, the company enhanced SAP database to SAP HANA.
Currently, it is implementing S/4 HANA (Simple Finance and Simple Logistics). The Company introduced Customer portal called SAMPARK, which is a complete CRM, through which customers can order online and can go through all kind of customer related information. Looking at the success of Customer portal (Sampark), it is now in the process to implement Vendor Portal (SRM). Also the company introduced Tablet/Android base application for secondary order booking through its Sales Representative to understand ground reality of the market (Project under implementation phase). This Tablet application is integrated with Sampark and Sampark is integrated with SAP using SAP PO.
In which year did you adopt IT solutions and how it has turned around the growth of the company?
SAP is fully automated for Supply chain and Logistics with replenishment, Automated from Order to Cash and interdepo transfers. We also implemented Material Resource Planning (MRP), which helped in raw material procurement in a timely and efficient manner and helped us in right sizing of the inventory level. All these implementation helped the company for fast and responsive business needs, reduced cost and manpower and detailed information available for all operations of business. Fujitsu has implemented SAP HANA in 2014 at our company. The implementation was successful within a record time off our months. While implementation, some time for some issues, Fujitsu has escalated till Global Support head.
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (September 2016 Issue)

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