The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Linc eyes Chinese pie at Wal-Mart

Calcutta, Oct. 7: Linc Pen & Plastics, a Calcutta-based writing instrument company, is competing with the Chinese for rack space in Wal-Mart — the leading US retail chain.

Linc sells some 30 million pens to Wal-Mart every year at Re 1 each, which the latter sells for 5 cents. Linc’s managing director Deepak Jalan said: “Even at this price, we manage a 20-25 per cent gross margin.”

Pens sold through the Wal-Mart chain are produced in Calcutta. Linc’s production unit in the city employs some 1,000 people directly, and 500 more indirectly.

The company that earned Rs 61.94 in total revenues and Rs 7.84 crore from exports is expecting a 30 per cent growth in sales and exports. Linc is in talks to export pens to a number of other retail chains in the US.

“In the US, Indian pens are now considered better and as economical as the Chinese. Linc and a couple of other Indian companies are giving the Chinese a run for their money,” Jalan added.

Under a special marketing arrangement, Linc sells pens for Mitsubishi Pencil Company of Japan under the Uniball brand in India.

“We will soon start manufacturing these pens in India, and going forward hope to supply them to Mitsubishi for being sold in other countries,” Jalan said.

Commenting on financial performance in the current financial year, he said: “We are sure of registering a 30 per cent growth in sales this year. In the first five months of the year, our sales grew 40 per cent. In terms of profit, our bottomline should increase 50 per cent.”

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