“I got a million ways to get it…”
It feels like there are a million options and uncertainties right now, but strangely, I’m feeling cautiously optimistic (much like the acquisition of LFC.) Today I’m off to the North to explore some options and new business ideas and partners. I’ll be around Delhi for about 5 days (around is a loose term here- I’ve got multiple 3-4 hour trains rides here and there.) After that I’ll be headed back South to Tirupur, where I should have the first finished Janum cloths! Should is the optimal word here but I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on the vendor there so I think I should get it.
Taxi. Bus. Flight. Bus. Taxi. “Yes sir, we can do it.” Taxi. Bus. Flight. Bus. Taxi. “Yes sir, we can do it.” Taxi. Bus. Flight. Bus. Taxi. Home. Exhausted.
This has been the routine for the past week. Many forms of transport, many meetings, many promises which ultimately end up broken. Where to begin?
Coconut fiber continues to pose a grand challenge. The raw material itself is truly a wonder of nature, yet creating a scrubby made without any synthetics might have been too lofty a goal of mine. 3M has recently filed a patent for a scrubby made of 80% coir and 20% synthetic material and bound with a synthetic adhesive. One strong lesson I am learning is that sometimes it is impossible to make a chemical-free product that is also scalable. The latter part of that statement is massive. Creating scale with natural materials will often be a challenge to all manufacturers, not just for Janum.
Vijayawada came and went in the blink of an eye. I met with two cut-and-sew facilities, an embroidery business, and a paper plant. I even snuck in a trip to Eluru to visit the jute mill. I’m not sure whether we will be doing business with them, despite their superior quality. Unfortunately their minimum order is 1000kgs, which would make an insanely large amount of cleaning cloths…and more! Despite learning that, and the increasing price of raw jute, the trip was a success for taking marketing snaps, as well as learning about new jute materials being produced, including many geo-textiles and new hessians.