What do the world’s top intimate brands like Victoria’s secret, DKNY, Spanx and others have in common? Many of these are manufactured in Indonesia at Shyam Lal Uttam’s PT Busana Remaja Agracipta (BRA) a top 10 fused garments manufacturer worldwide.
PT Busana Remaja Agracipta was established in 1993 by Uttam in a partnership, specialising in the production of a wide range of underwear and body garments for export markets worldwide such as the USA, Europe and Australia. ‘After 1999 I began directly managing the company on a day to day basis following the economic crisis in Indonesia’ says Uttam.
‘We have grown from US$ 3 million to an over US$ 75 million company with 5000 strong staff and 3000 machines exporting to 16 countries’ says Uttam with a broad smile, an incredible growth by any standards. From his original factory in Tangerang, which is still in production and also his head office, Uttam also has two manufacturing plants in Yogyakarta in Indonesia and has now diversified to a factory in Bangladesh which is managed by his son, Vijay Uttam, a graduate from Wharton.
The company was also a recipient of the prestigious Primaniyarta export award 2013 by the government of Indonesia, and recognizes the constant and ongoing quality consciousness of successful Indonesian exporters who are then role models for other Indonesian exporters. ‘The jury was very impressed by the company’s performance’ narrates Uttam.
‘We successfully compete with China and our success is on account of three key dimensions: Full compliance to buyer needs and all the rules and regulations. Secondly, we have diversified our product range – from intimate wear to sportswear, and finally we are constantly upgrading our technology to foam cup development and bonded garment manufacturing.’ The high quality standards are maintained by the in-house research and design unit at PT BRA.
Uttam believes in honest business practices with adherence to guidelines. He says ‘there are 2 types of people – workers and managers. The managers are empowered to identify issues and find appropriate solutions, whereas workers merely follow directions. It is all about adding value.’
He leads by example with a personal approach and through motivating his staff. He encourages them to be in constant pursuit of excellence with integrity. While he has setup stringent systems and standard operating procedures, Uttam believes in being open minded, pragmatic and being supportive of the his mostly young employees. ‘Success is meeting self made challenges and to excel. I have always dreamed of an organization where the people are self motivated and dedicated and this is what I have created.’
For all young entrepreneurs Uttam’s message is brief ‘Believe in yourself. Do it honestly with no shortcuts.’