The pen is mightier than the sword, as the saying goes, and this has proved true today even as pens in all shapes, sizes and prices successfully compete with technology like computers, mobiles and laptops to contribute to India’s literacy through writing use in schools, colleges and other institutions. One company, FLAIR, which is an ISO 9001:2008, & SA 8000:2008 certified company, is making history through pens as it celebrates its golden jubilee and plans for further expansion to African countries through its Kenya base to meet demands of that continent.
“Since starting in 1967, our company witnessed turnover growth from a humble Rs 5,000 then to Rs 500 crore today with pens priced between Rs 5 to Rs 5,000,” said Mohit Rathod, Director, Flair Pens Ltd.
“We produce 50 lakh pens and one lakh metal pens daily to meet our 7%-8% growth in India itself, besides exporting to 75 countries globally. Our focus is on innovation rather than price sensitivity. We have a pen named Writometer, which writes upto 10,000 metres,” said Rathod. “In our golden jubilee year 2016, we have now signed Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan to endorse FLAIR pens as our product starred in his alien thriller movie “KRISH”, besides our Writometer was used by Salman Khan’s film Sultan. We have also launched ‘Superman” and “Tom-N-Jerry” pens for kids in the back-to-school season, besides plans to launch pens with many unique features,” he added.
The company has joint venture tie-ups with pioneers of the writing instruments industry including Pierre Cardin from France and Pentel from Japan. The in-house brands of the company include Rudi Kellner, Landmark & Flair, while they have recently bought over HAUSER a leading German name in writing instruments.
“The GST is a much awaited tax and we all look forward to the new regime as standardization of taxation has its own advantages. We want Government to keep all pens –costing below MRP Rs 30 – exempt from tax,” he said
The small-scale unbranded pens sector accounts for around Rs 550 crores in sales, even as domestic consumption of various brands grows annually at 18% in quantity and 10% in value in India.