Ellora Time's Manufacturing Woes

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER013
Case Length : 10 Pages
Period : 1991 - 2002
Organization : Ellora Time Pvt. Ltd. (Ellora)
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Manufacturing

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

Established in 1991, Ellora manufactured timepieces under the Orpat brand name. The overwhelming response to its products encouraged Ellora to manufacture calculators and telephones as well. These products were also received well by the market and in a short span of time, Orpat and Ajanta established themselves as good brands.

The company offered over 40 models of Ajanta timepieces including the highly popular 'devotional' models for both Hindu and Muslim communities. Orpat calculators were available in 15 different models and were very popular for their quality and economical price. Telephones were available in around 12 different models.

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Ajanta and Orpat enjoyed a 70% marketshare in the timepiece and calculator business respectively and Orpat telephones held 20% of the market share. Ellora set up its manufacturing base in the 'Orpat Industrial Estate' in Morbi with a built-up area of 15,00,000 sq. ft. and an overall carpet area of 10,00,000 sq.ft..

The estate housed essential machineries, such as Wafer Sawing Machine, Automatic Coil Winding Machine, Ultrasonic Ware Bonders, CNC Plastic Injection Molding Machine, Mould/Dies/Jigs and a full fledged workshop for in-house mould manufacturing as well. Around 80% of this machinery was imported. By 2001, Ellora was producing around 15,000 calculators, 20,000 timepieces and 8,000 telephone instruments per day. There were around 1800 workers at the estate with 90% of them being females. Ellora used 45 trucks for daily dispatch as part of its transportation setup to feed its distribution network of 25,000 dealers spread across the country.

Ellora's products were popular both in India as well as the export markets because of its manufacturing efficiencies. The company's overheads were low, which enabled it to price its products very reasonably and competitively. It had exclusive showrooms in Morbi, Rajkot, Baroda, Surat (all in Gujarat) and in Mumbai.

These outlets were serviced by a network of 150 sales depots and service stations. According to company sources, Ellora gave prime importance to R&D and quality. R&D efforts were described by the promoters as "an ongoing process in which a dedicated team is constantly engaged under the direct supervision of the directors. Individual initiative is encouraged at all levels and innovation is sought."

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