A phoenix saga from Kerala: Pennyworth Clothing

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The customers in the textile market from India and abroad were finding it very difficult to get organic textile products. Anand Paul Kochupurakkal, a young entrepreneur, hailing from Kerala, was able to find a perfect solution for this problem. He created “Pennyworth,” a company that produces 100% organic textile products. Pennyworth quickly took a sizable position in the market within a short time due to its high quality and competitive pricing.

 Pennyworth was established in the year 2013. The brand had undergone a series of hurdles during these years. Anand, the founder, was a final year student doing his B.Sc. in Mathematics. Hailing from a small town called Adimally, Anand had no previous experience in the textile industry, but he was passionate about building his own textile brand. After studying the market, he and his friend went to Tiruppur district in Tamil Nadu with a primary capital of Rs.70,000/- borrowed from his neighbour Mr Bibin. Tiruppur is famous for its garment industries. He approached Mani Garment, a firm run by Mr Sreejith situated at Ammapalayam, Avinash road. Initially, Anand gave an order for 400 T-shirts. For completing the order, the unit took four days. But Anand didn’t have any money to rent a hotel room, so he slept at the railway station platform during these four days. After receiving the 400 t-shirts, he and his friend distributed them in Kerala by travelling on their motorcycle.

The birth of Pennyworth

After receiving a good market response, Anand and his partner became confident. They began to visit Tiruppur for placing more orders. And all the productions were under the brand name “pennyworth”. At that time, Anand decided to launch his exclusive brand showroom at Adimally, his village. But things went sideways. He had to close down his shop because of unfavourable market conditions. After making huge losses, his partner decided to leave him. But Mr Bibin gave Anand confidence and capital to move ahead. Anand still remembers the inspirational words by Bibin “You can still get a job, but there is a brighter and wider world awaits you”. These words inspired Anand to move forward with his plans.

Back to Tiruppur

Anand went back to Tiruppur to find his old friend Mr Anoop, the owner of P.S.D Fashions, a stitching company. He introduced Anand to a textile merchant Mr Selvam. He asked Selvam to give T-Shirts on a credit basis. Selvam was confident and ready to give credit to Anand. The business again went skyrocketing, and within 30 days, he sold out 100 T-shirts around Kerala using his motorcycle and settled Selvam’s credit. This helped Anand get more orders and many distributors were willing to take up his brand to a new level. Slowly Anand began to sort out the debts caused by the shop. Pennyworth started to export textile products to the international market.

Setbacks caused by demonetization

In December 2016, foreseeing the Christmas and new year market, Anand decided to invest huge amounts of money. He decided to raise funds through borrowing and pledging the gold ornaments of his mother. Large quantities of products were stocked under various designs, but on November 8th, the government of India declared a nationwide Note ban. This was a massive setback for Anand. The market was crashed, and the demand went down. This resulted in huge losses amounting to approximately 24 lakhs. At that point again, Mr Bibin came to his rescue. He kept on helping Anand because he was confident about Anand.

Pennyworth uniforms began to capture the international market.

For getting out of the setbacks, Anand decided to get into the market again by resuming his production. He began to receive orders from companies for manufacturing their uniforms adhering to international standards. Anand discussed this with Mr Selvan, and he decided to support Anand. But the capital again became a hurdle for them. Anand already has a debt of 24 lakhs. It was at this point that Anand took an innovative Programme. While visiting Tiruppur, Anand observed that there are more than 3800 companies. And he studied the strength and weaknesses of the owners of these companies. He decided to design a new organization comprised of 20 companies who are experts in different fields in textile manufacturing. The company owners were ready to cooperate with him. Soon he began to receive orders from Europe and the middle east. Now he exports textiles worth crores of rupees to the international market. Pennyworth is now one of the leading textile manufacturers in India who produces 100% organic textile products. This makes Pennyworth an eco-friendly brand. With a significant presence in the global and local market, Pennyworth has become a responsible, eco-friendly textile manufacturer leading the way for other companies.

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