An Exclusive Interface with Mr. Hemant Sapra, (President Global Marketing, KARAM)

1Q. KARAM is today India's leading Personal Protective Equipment Manufacturing enterprise and one of the top ten Fall Protection manufacturing companies in the World. Tell us something about your journey so far.

It all started back in the year 1998 with just a few helping hands. Every day was a challenge as the concept of safety in India was very new and nascent. The major breakthrough was when KARAM was the first company in India to introduce a CE certified full body harness. Subsequently we slowly explored the prospect of entering into the European market by exhibiting at an international platform for the first time. With growing expertise in areas of research and development we expanded our product range from Harnesses, Layards, Fall Arrestors to Head Protection, Safety Eyewear, Face Protection Foot Protection, etc. We strongly believe that providing the right training to customers in the field of safety is of prime importance. With that intent, KARAM Training and Consultancy was formed, specializing in the field of providing safety trainings. KARAM now exports its products to more than 80 countries with representatives all around the world. With 11 regional offices in India, we reach out to our customers in all 29 states.

Q. You are aware that we have been having a spate of terrible fire accidents, especially in Mumbai, since the deadly Kamala Mills fire, can you tell us a bit how you view these lapses and what should be done to avoid more of these?

The fire incident at Kamala Mills was indeed very unfortunate. Lack of fire safety equipment in the building, training and sheer negligence in terms of handling a fire situation were some of the reasons associated with this incident. I believe if authorities lay stress on proper hazard identification and risk assessment of every site, such incidents can be mitigated in a better way. The next step should be providing regular trainings in forms of creating mock drill situations, classroom training on how to use the equipment and delivering general safety awareness to people.

Q. What is your new launch about? Please tell us something more about Hand Protection and Protective Workwear and how it is important and how it is different from existing product ranges.

KARAM strives to become a one-stop shop for providing safety solutions from head to toe. Adding Hand Protection and Protective Workwear in our product range was just a part of achieving this long-term endeavor.

With increased accidents in the workplace pertaining to cuts on hands of the workers or burns due to exposure to hazardous chemicals in various industries, it is extremely important to realize the importance of Hand Protection. We have introduced specialized cut-resistant (Prokut) and chemical resistant (Prokem) gloves to cater to the specific needs of the customers. These gloves are certified as per the latest 2016 EN standards providing maximum protection and excellent dexterity to the users. The KARAM Protective Workwear range marks a new definition in Indian workwear safety. Made with100 percent cotton they are CE certified available in various styles with high level of comfort and utility.

Q. KARAM's Vision is also to provide technical and usage-based understanding for combating industrial hazards to Workers and Supervisors alike. Please tell us how you and your company go about spreading awareness about safety wear among both your clients and people at large who need to know? Is mere advertising enough?

All activities by KARAM are aimed at creating safety awareness among workers and end users, as this is our major focus. Training of end users pre and post sales for correct PPE usage are done through providing free demonstrations by our workforce. KARAM Mobile Studio now operating through two demo vans travels to various companies throughout the country to educate the end users regarding the correct product usage and showcases live demonstrations for better understanding of PPE by the users.

KARAM Training and Consultancy based in Noida focuses on providing trainings on various work at height situations with classroom as well as practical exercises to fully equip the users with the knowledge of safe working.

As industrial safety is still a niche, advertising is not enough. A personal connect with the users focusing on educating them well with all the correct safety procedures and products is definitely more beneficial.

Q. What is the competition you face today in your business? How do you stay ahead?

There is fierce competition in every industry, safety being no exception. Our major focus is on increasing brand awareness not only in India but also around the world. Since 20 years of its inception, KARAM has been able to build a strong brand in the industry and it is our endeavor to continue this legacy forward in the future.

With continuous improvements in high quality products and introducing innovative solutions by a team of 30 dedicated engineers focusing only on R&D, KARAM focuses not only on the present but also the future of safety industry. We provide extensive training to our workforce to aim on providing safety solutions rather than just making a sale. All customer feedbacks are taken seriously at our end and every customer is valuable to us. Keeping in line with the mission and vision of the company, we constantly upgrade our systems and processes by adopting new age IT solutions.

Q. Tell us the agenda to improve KARAM's position in India & what are the business benefits to look forward to?

Infrastructure at KARAM is an ever-growing practice with the expansion of our manufacturing facilities in Lucknow and Sitarganj. With more than 70 per cent of products being manufactured under Six Sigma, our high quality products are certified to various international standards and we continually strive to increase our product portfolio. An increasing number of more than 3000 members of highly motivated and result-oriented individuals across the globe are the backbone of KARAM.

Focusing on customer needs with offering something new and improved has been the key agenda to improve KARAM's position. In addition to being actively involved in the organic growth of the business, we are also looking at prospects of inorganic growth to partner with or 100 per cent buyout of companies within India and across the globe in the field of PPE.

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