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Rajinder GuptaThe man who leads the prestigious Trident Group Published On: Monday, March 23, 2015 Views 6557

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A wise man had once said that; “Power and prosperity are best shared”! That man today leads one of world’s most prestigious – Trident Group!

Born on the 2nd of January 1959, Rajinder Gupta is presently the Chairman of Trident Group, a business corporation with its headquarters located in Ludhiana, Punjab. Trident Group primarily deals in Home Textiles, Paper Manufacturing, Chemicals and Power.

Under his strategically perfect management, the group has grown at the rate of over 30% annually and has gone on to become one of the largest yarn spinners in India, leading global manufacturers of terry towel and world’s largest wheat straw based paper manufacturers.

Rajinder being the first person to enter entrepreneurship possesses over 3 decades of industry experience, and to add to that; he also holds tremendously diversified exposure to promoting industrial ventures & holding Directorship of various companies.

Other than being an active member of several trade and management organizations, Rajinder is also actively associated with quite a few philanthropic ventures too.

Some of the strategic positions that he holds include: –

  • Vice Chairman in the Punjab State Planning Board (PSPB) in the Rank of Cabinet Minister
  • Advisor to the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab on matters related to Government Reforms, Employment, Skill Development, Technical Education, Industrial Investment and Infrastructure
  • On the Board of Governors of Punjab Bureau of Investment Promotion as a Representative of Trade, Industry & Commerce
  • Chairman of Advisory Council of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for the states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Himachal Pradesh

Personally; a Harvard graduate – Rajinder has also completed his studies from ISB Hyderabad & Templeton College University of Oxford.

He is a proud father of a daughter – Neha Gupta who holds a master’s degree in finance from the Cass Business School, London and a son – Abhishek Gupta who recently took over the position of Managing Director in the firm, is a graduate from University of Warwick, UK.

EARLY LIFE

Rajinder was the son of a very small-time cotton trader in Punjab itself. Coming from such an odd background, he was forced to drop out of school at an early age of 14 while he in his 9th grade. Soon after which he began his career by doing odd jobs like making cement pipes, candles, etc and earned a negligible amount of INR 30 a day.

Now back then, who could have known that, this man would go on to become what he is today!

And, after working hard for many years; Rajinder decided to start something of his own in the year 1985.

One thing led to another and with an initial investment of INR 6.5 crores he set up his first ever fertiliser manufacturing plant called Abhishek Industries, on a licence granted by his friends in the Union government.

TRIDENT GROUP

Rajinder was one of the only few who took several bold risks during a time when Punjab was going through a violent phase and was considered to be highly unstable. This was the time when capital and companies was leaving the state but instead, unlike others, Rajinder took a different route and began establishing industries.

In the year 1991, with the help of his friends in the state government which was then under the governor’s rule, got into a JV in a spindle mill at Barnala, which back then held heavy activities of terrorism.

Being a self-made successful first-generation entrepreneur, Rajinder was now being called the Dhirubhai Ambani of Punjab. He was the perfect example how a true businessman should be!

On 18th of April 1990, the company decided to incorporate itself in the state of Punjab, and with that came into picture – Trident Limited.

And soon after that; for the first time, the company decided to diversify its reach into yarn, paper and terry towels as well.

Having said that; they quickly implemented its yarn spinning project into joint sector with PSIDC! This was being done to set-up manufacturing facilities for cotton yarn which had an installed capacity of 24,960 spindles.

And from here onwards; growth & success went hand-in-hand! The chain of events that took place henceforth are mentioned below: –

  • At first; due to increase in the business they upgraded their capacity to 32,400 spindles.
  • In the year 1998; at an expenditure of INR 9500 lakhs, the joint venture of PSIDC and Trident setup another unit of 43,392 spindles out of which 36,288 spindles started commercial production within a year.
  • Uniquely, they were using a model which made them self-reliant and at the same time saved substantial money that is incurred on power besides. So for instance, for its paper business it used only agro residue which meant no falling of trees.

Plus the power that it co-generated as a by-product got diverted to the terry towel plant. The company uses advanced technology to manufacturer its wheat-straw based paper which helps in reducing input costs, thus saving roughly 5000 trees per day.

  • Later in 2005, the company also expanded its capacity by over three times, taking it to 29,000 tonne per annum in the towels business.
  • Soon after that; the company along with terry towels also started exporting surplus yarn which started from 17,000 spindles and went on to increase to over 60,000 spindles.
  • While this business of theirs was progressing smoothly; Rajinder with an aim to expand into multiple genres, also started many other affiliations under the group such as: –
    • Trident International, Inc.
    • Trident Limited
    • Trident Infotech Corporation Limited
    • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
    • Trident Infotech Limited
    • Trident Global Corp Limited
  • In 2012, the top-level positions got reshuffled and the group appointed Abhishek Gupta – as their new Managing Director, who until then was leading the company’s commercial, supply chain, project and operations team; while Rajinder moved to the post of the Chairman.
    • And with that, Abhishek also became one of the young Managing Directors in the country.
    • Besides that he also took care of corporate marketing, innovation team and providing strategic direction.
  • In the year 2013, with the approval of The Board of Directors of Trident Limited [TL] and Trident Corporation Limited [TCL], in their respective meetings; Rajinder took a huge step towards by merging both the companies.

And due to such beautiful progress in the past; today, the Trident Group has become a BSE & NSE listed business conglomerate and operates in five major business segments i.e. Yarn, Terry Towels, Paper, Chemicals and Captive Power.

Currently, the key people of the group who take care of the major functioning include: Rajinder Gupta – Chairman, Pallavi Shroff – Director and lastly Abhishek Gupta – Managing Director / Institution Builder / Member of the Corporate Advisory Board

The flagship company of the group – Trident Limited, today reaches out to customers that are spread in more than 75 countries across 6 continents.

The Group has successfully executed projects worth INR 36000 Million over last 5 years.

Trident Limited is one of the largest yarn spinners in India, one of the top five of the world’s largest terry towel manufacturers and the world’s largest wheat straw based paper manufacturer.

To add to that; Trident draws 10% of its Paper segment revenues i.e. INR 7,248 Million by just exporting its goods across 35 countries such as India, Middle East, Africa, U.S., Latin America and the U.K. through a network of 60 distributors.

Their Textile wing contributes to more than 75 % & Paper segment contributes 20% of the group’s total business. Also Trident is widely considered to be one of the lowest-cost producers of paper in the mid-segment. To add to that, their paper and chemicals division also produces sulphuric acid and co-generates soda recovery as well.

Presently, they hold one of India’s largest single-location spinning capacities, which provides the economies of scale in production. Their facilities combine imported state-of-the-art Machineries from Rieter–Switzerland, Murata–Japan, Zinser–Germany and Savio–Italy.

The group has tied-up with some of world’s best technology partners and system providers to get the best-in-class, cost-effective and fast produced products. Being the world’s largest terry towel manufacturer; Trident has been associated with some of world’s most renowned retail companies as its customers, some of these include: Ralph & Lauren, Calvin Klien, Target, IKEA, Wal Mart, Bed, Bath and Beyond, J C Penny, Chris Madden, TJ Maxx, Luxury Linens, etc and many more…

Hence, with revenues worth INR 3358 crores (US$530 million) in the fiscal year 2012–13; Trident Group today accounts to a $ 1 billion enterprise and has an employee headcount of more than 10,000 direct and 20,000 indirect employees.

At the same time, unlike many other companies; Trident Group also remains the state’s single largest employer of roughly 1,500 women who are mostly rural girls. And to indirectly benefit the 20,000 families, he uses a mixture of locally produced raw materials for his diverse business portfolio of paper, chemicals, IT, textile, energy and pharmaceuticals.

It has also recently become the first corporate in India to disburse the salaries of its employees using the Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), wherein the salary of the employees would be transferred to their Aadhaar Card-linked bank accounts.

Other than that; being the kind-hearted person that he is, Rajinder under the wing of the ‘Trident Group’, has also established and financed many educational and cultural institutes in India, along with that they hold a long history of philanthropic activities too. Some of these include:

  • Takshashila Centre for Excellence – A vocational institute, which was inaugurated in 2004
  • Sacred Heart School – Trident Group has adopted this school, along with a grant of INR 10 lakhs for development & management of library and sports for the school children. Some of family members which mainly include spouses of the Trident employees teach at the school.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • Awarded as “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Government of India (1985)
  • Awarded with “Udyog Patra Award” by Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Vice President of India (1999)
  • Awarded with “Udyog Ratna” by the Chief Minister of Punjab (2004)
  • Listed amongst the top 20 India Inc Icons for “Entrepreneur of the Year Awards” by Ernst & Young (2004)
  • Received the “PHDCC Distinguished Entrepreneurship Award” by The President of India (2005)
  • Received the prestigious “Padma Shri Award” from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the then President of India in recognition of distinguished service in the field of Trade and Industry (2007)
  • Awarded the prestigious “International supplier of the year” Award by Wal-Mart

Author:

YoChef puts the spotlight on emerging businesses and reputed personalities to help young entrepreneurs learn from their experiences. Watch out for posts published under YoChef to discover entrepreneurial journeys and life lessons.

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Chetan Aggarwal

Sir, iam big fan of you.I appreciate what you have done in your life.Iwant to meet you soon.

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