V-Guard : Success, Uninterrupted
A seed capital of Rs one lakh, two employees and the passion to excel. In 1977, Kochouseph Chittilappilly amalgamated the only three assets he had and set off confidently on a journey of growth. Today, the V-Guard group is the undoubted business leader in Kerala and a fast growing business house in India with a diverse group of companies involved in electronics, entertainment, R&D and textiles.
Innovating on the Path to Success: The reason for the uninterrupted success of the V-Guard group since the past 30-odd years has been its ability to ideate and innovate. This philosophy extends across the group and permeates its management philosophy too. For example, it was V-Guard and Kochouseph Chittilappilly who innovatively decided to outsource production to self help groups in order to cope with the frequent problems posed by labour unions in Kerala. The move was a resounding success and even today, the parent company, V-Guard Industries focuses on core competencies like R&D, innovation, quality-control, branding, distribution and marketing. All other tasks including production and packaging are outsourced and 80 percent of its workforce consists of indirect employees from various self help groups. As an innovative business model, this perhaps have few parallels.
V-Guard: A Presence across India
When Kochouseph Chittilappilly set up V-Guard for making stabilizers, industries were rather rare in Kerala. However, today, the company has a range of products including electronic & digital stabilizers, stabilizer for air conditioners, UPS, digital UPS, battery, electric water heaters, solar water heaters, domestic pumps, agricultural pumps, industrial motors, switchgears, distribution boards, wiring cables, industrial cables, induction cook-top and fans. Its 50-million strong consumer base extends from the south to the north of the country, making this Kerala based company a renowned national brand and India’s leading electrical and electronic major.
R&D is an important part of the company’s growth strategy. State-of-the-art labs at Kochi and Coimbatore bring in new innovations on a regular base to the existing product range. Strict quality control measures are enforced in the modern facilities where production takes place. Over the years, the company has invested heavily in human resources and today there are 1850 V-Guard employees in addition to 5500 indirect employees.
Diversifying and Growing
Wonderla: From stabilizers to water parks can be a roller-coaster of a ride; but for the V-Guard Group it has been smooth sailing. The creative brain behind this diversification was Kochouseph Chittilappilly. During his travels to Europe and America, he had extensively researched the various theme parks and felt that a water park was ideal for the Kochi terrain. There were plenty of naysayers when Wonderla (formerly Veegaland) first opened its doors in Kochi. The very idea that budget conscious Indians would spend money to ride on roller coasters and water rides seemed alien. But Wonderla was a thundering success and soon made its presence felt in Bangalore. Today, brand Wonderla has extended into the hospitality business with Wonderla Resorts and there are plans to open more parks.
The success of Wonderla can be gauged from the fact that the park at Kochi has completed more than 12 successful years and has entertained over a crore of visitors. The Bangalore park with 55 rides has seen 6 million visitors in seven years.
V-Star Creations: The innerwear manufacturing company – V-Star Creations – is the brainchild of Mrs Sheela Kochouseph, wife of Mr Kochouseph Chittilappilly. With production facilities in Kerala and other locations, the focus has been on quality and innovative designing. Targeting men and women, its brands like Vanessa and Valero have captured the market in the state.
In his blog, Mr Kochouseph Chittilappilly has been quoted as saying, “Only when one takes the risk of getting a few scars, does one gain the opportunity of winning stars.” This has perhaps been the guiding principle by which he runs his group of companies. The result, as the world can witness, has been a truly blazing success story.